Return to Worship

Dear Hilldale Family,

The Hilldale shepherds have prayerfully studied our return to congregational worship.  We have looked at the infection rate and current numbers of COVID-19 cases in Tennessee and the Clarksville-Montgomery county community.   It is our decision to return to congregational worship on May 24, 2020.  This return will not look like the times before March 15, 2020 when we last met.  On May 24, 2020 we will only have an AM worship at 10:00 AM.   This service will be planned for 50 minutes or less.  There will be NO Bible classes or nursery facilities.

Here are a few highlighted items:

Temperatures – If you have a thermometer, we ask that you take your temperature at home before you come to the building.  If your oral temperature is over 99.6F please remain at home for Livestream Worship.  If you do not have a home thermometer then we ask that you submit to having your temperature taken at one of the entrances.  If your temperature is over 99.0, we will ask you to return home and worship via Livestream.

Entrances – We ask that you enter ONLY at the East (school side) or West (office side) canopied entrances.  Please do not use other entrances e.g. the Youth wing.

Exits – We plan to direct ALL exits from the building from the doors opposite the cry room (handicapped entrance) and the doors opposite the AV Room.  This will reduce the trapped air exposure to us all.  Please exit to the parking areas before attempting to socialize.  If it is raining, we plan to EXIT via the ENTRANCES previously described.

Seating will be adjusted to maintain 6(six)-foot social distancing as much as possible.   We plan to seat everyone in every other row.  Families who live in the same household should feel free to sit together.  Family members outside your household should sit with a 6-foot distance. (We know some families actually interact more closely outside the worship setting, but we ask that you respect these seating arrangements at this time.) Overflow seating will be in the vestibule followed by the chapel.

The Lord’s Supper will be administered by men who will wear gloves and masks.  We currently distribute travel communion before entering for worship.

Collection will be taken in containers placed at the entrances of the auditorium.  You may drop your gift in the container upon entry. We will give thanks for these gifts at the appropriate time.  If you forget and wish to give upon leaving, the containers will be available at one of the exits.  Online giving will remain an option as well if you prefer.

Masks – masks will be optional and wear is encouraged when singing. We suggest once you put on your mask that you leave it on and do not handle it or touch you face.

Nursing Room– The nursing room will be available for mothers to assist with their babies.

Ushers – We ask that you respect the authority of men who will be ushering if they ask you to move to a different seat or if you are asked to avoid certain areas of the building.   These men will be asked to help you maintain healthy contact spacing as well.

Restrooms – We will ask men and women to act as access control persons to the restrooms.  We ask that there be no more than 2(two) persons in the ladies or men’s restroom at one time. (An exception will be made for those in the same household.)

Children – We ask all parents to keep their children in close control and do not allow them to roam or run in the building.

Sanitation – Upon dismissal PLEASE pick up after yourselves.  Do not leave papers, tissues or debris in the pews.  Please bring a small Zip-Locked bag with wipes just in case you need them, also bring a small container of hand sanitizer for your convenience.  Cleaning and sanitization will begin immediately after the facility is cleared and may not be re-entered for 8 hours.

Please review the the article below (Return to Worship Team Recommendations) that presents additional detail regarding our return to congregational worship.  We are making HEALTH AND AGE recommendations at the bottom of it.  Read all the material, pray about your personal involvement and consider the health of not only yourself but each of your brethren as you return.  If you have any questions regarding our return to congregational worship, please feel free to contact one of the shepherds, deacons, ministers or office staff. Please pray for our efforts.

In His Love,

Your Shepherds


The Hilldale shepherds appointed a group of men to look into returning to worship after the recent shelter in place order has been lifted in Tennessee.  Some churches have already returned to congregational gathering and some have elected to wait to see what risk may be involved with those who have already returned to worship.  The return to worship group met on two separate occasions and submitted their recommendations and concerns to your shepherds.  Based on their recommendations our plan to return to congregational worship is as follows:

When: May 24, 2020 10:00 AM Worship Only (No Bible Classes)

Where: Hilldale Church of Christ Auditorium with any overflow in the vestibule followed by the chapel

  • Certain furniture will be moved out of the vestibule and chairs will be appropriately placed
  • We ask that there be NO ROAMING of the halls or classrooms/library or offices
  • Air Exchange will be maximized in the building as well as have upgraded filtration


  • If you are sick or have been sick within the past 3 days PLEASE stay home and join in on Livestream
  • Entrance will only be available at the Main East (school side) or West (office side) doors
  • All members are asked to take their temperature at home.  If your oral temperature is over 99.6F please remain at home for Livestream Worship
  • If you do not have a thermometer please submit to having your temperature taken upon entry
    • If your skin temperature measures 99.0F at the door you will be asked to return to your home
  • Masks will be optional (Consider wearing a mask while singing)
  • Families and individuals are asked to respect safe social distancing – 6ft
    • Parents are asked to keep their children contained and not allow them to run about in the building or auditorium
    • Avoid hugging, handshakes, fist/elbow bumps or other contact outside your household
      • Please respect the idea that you may be comfortable with close contact but not everyone else may be
    • Bring personal hand sanitizer and a small zip lock bag with a few wipes – just in case
    • Sit every other row
      • Please respect marked off areas
      • You will be asked to move if you are too close to another family unit
      • Ushers will be empowered to enforce social distancing, seating and entrance/exit safety measures
  • Contribution can be made at containers at one of the 3 auditorium entrances – these will be moved to the exits once service begins
    • Online giving will remain in effect
  • The Lord’s Supper will be passed by men who will wear masks/gloves while serving
    • Cups/debris will be collected by a server after the serving of the fruit of the vine
  • Please cover your cough or sneeze and sanitize your hands ASAP
  • Restrooms will be open, but we ask no more than two people inside at a time
    • We will ask men and women to serve as gatekeepers to the restrooms to avoid overcrowding
    • Please Flush the facilities and wash your hands using soap and water for 20 seconds immediately before leaving the restroom
  • Avoid touching your hands to your face
  • There will be NO CHILDCARE, Cry Room or Nursery Room Available
  • Upon dismissal, ushers will dismiss by rows starting in the back
    • Please DO NOT congregate in the hallways or foyer upon dismissal
    • Socialization may be done outside as you are comfortable
    • Please do not leave papers/tissues or other articles in the pews

*Health Recommendations –  Until further notice we recommend that you stay home if any of the following conditions apply to you:

  • 65 or older
  • If you have had COVID-19 and have not been cleared by your physician
  • If you have uncontrolled hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, asthma
  • If you suffer from any form of chronic lung disease e.g. asthma, emphysema, bronchitis
  • If you are immunocompromised
    • Receiving chemotherapy
    • Receiving high dosed steroidal therapy or drugs that suppress your white blood cells e.g. Methotrexate
    • Have uncontrolled HIV disease
    • Have diabetes that is difficult to control
    • Suffer from chronic autoimmune disorders e.g. Sjogrens disease, Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Guillain-Barre
  • If you have been hospitalized over the past 14 days

*Please note that these are recommendations.  Each person will need to evaluate their own health and feelings about their return to congregational gatherings.  Your presence in the assembly is your own and final decision to be respected.  If you feel you should remain at home there is no reason to feel that you will be judged having a lack of faith or commitment.

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