May 17, 2020


Service Type:


Together Again this Sunday

Let us begin by saying how glad we are to have the opportunity to meet together again!  We will resume our Sunday morning service beginning May 17 at 10:30am.  It has been hard not being able to see each other “face to face” during this challenging time.  God designed the church to be a community and to be built on relationship—both with Him and with each other through Him.  We’re thankful for the technology that has allowed us to continue to be in community, but something is missing when we are not truly together.

Please Be on Time

In order to reduce the time in the room, we will start our worship program at 10:30am exactly.  Please plan to be on time.

Thank you to Conner Prairie

Second, we are grateful to Conner Prairie for allowing us to resume meeting, even though it will be a bit different than what we are used to.  They are the ones that make the decisions on the use of their buildings and facilities, and they were under no obligation to allow us to resume our services.  In fact, Conner Prairie continues to be closed to all other groups.  So once again, we’re grateful.

This is your decision

Finally, it is obvious that there is a wide diversity of opinions on all things related to COVID-19 in our nation and our world.  We are certain that diversity of opinion exists within our church as well.  Our hope and prayer is that we will remember that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, and that we will always treat each other with love and respect, even when we have differing views.  Each person must make the decision as to when you feel safe to return.

Continue Livestream on Facebook Live

We will continue to livestream our service on Pastor Gary’s Facebook Live and it will be available on our website ( and our YouTube channel (see below for link)

     Onward Church YouTube Channel:

Be Aware Over Age 65

The state of Indiana guidance asks that all individuals who are 65 or older or who have an underlying at-risk health condition stay home and watch services online.  This is not mandated, but strongly encouraged.

Our Safety Precautions

Below we will be outlining the conditions under which we will meet until the next phase of guidance is released.  These conditions are the result of careful review of the guidelines put forth by the State of Indiana for places of worship and discussion with Conner Prairie personnel and reflect balance between the desire for Onward to meet together, the desire for Conner Prairie to maintain safety protocol within their buildings, plus our shared concern for the safety and well-being of our congregation.  We ask that you be respectful of the guidelines below.

Physical distancing 

    • There will be no nursery or children’s church.  Families will be seated together as a unit in the Woodland Room in chairs that are six feet from other chair groups.
    • There will be no donuts or coffee to maximize sanitation.
    • Children’s Activity Pages and disposable crayons will be provided.  Additionally, Pastor Jerry has created a 40-minute children’s program that can be accessed during the worship service if parents bring screen device and headphones.
    • Please maintain the six-foot distancing guideline at all times (entering, exiting, and moving about) while in the building.
    • Please enter up the exterior ramp unless you are physically unable to do so.  If you need to use the elevator, only one family on the elevator at a time.
    • At the end of service, please proceed directly to the parking lot and “socialize” outdoors.


      • No one will be refused entry, but Conner Prairie has asked that we strongly urge people to wear masks when inside and moving about the building.  Once seated in the Woodland Room, you may remove your masks if you so choose.  We would urge everyone to comply with Conner Prairies guidelines.
      • Gary, Matt, and worship leaders will not be required to wear masks while up front.  They will be maintaining the six-foot physical distance from each other and from the front row.
      • Please provide your own mask if you have one, if not we will make them available to you at the doors.


    • Conner Prairie personnel will sanitize all equipment and chairs prior to our arrival on Sunday.
    • Hand sanitizer will be available in several places throughout the building for our use.

Final Considerations

In closing, we know that these are challenging times.  It is hard to know exactly what is “right” when it comes to resuming some semblance of normal life.  Even churches within our community are resuming services at different times.  We believe that each individual and family must make their own choice in terms of how comfortable they are and at what pace they “return to normal”.  We look forward to being together again as a body, but we want you to know that we are supportive of whatever choice that you make for you and your loved ones.

Questions or Concerns

If you have questions or concerns on any of the above, we ask that you contact one of the Elders below.

Jim Smeltzer 317-440-3696

Chris Britt 317-617-8627

Dave Price 765-617-5531

Marc Aldarondo 317-629-5326 

Matt Vander Wiele 317-614-5763

Jerry Ackerman 317-919-7171

Gary Stump  317-513-0227

The Lord created the church to be in community.  We are excited as we anticipate being together this Sunday at 10:30am.

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