What to expect at physical gatherings
Dear Church Family, It is with joyful hearts that we reconvene our physical Sunday morning service (10AM) in our church building. Some things will be the same as they have always been. We will gather in faith, believing that God is present among us, working in us and through us by the power of the Holy Spirit. We will worship him, both with our voice and through the examination of his word. However, some things will be different than before. They must be different because God has been changing our hearts throughout these months that we have been at a distance. We are a different people. But God is the same and, in his great faithfulness and steadfast love, he will supply fresh mercy and plenteous grace for all of our needs. We will continue to make the livestream available for those who feel that it is best to continue to worship remotely. Those coming to church should be aware that they will be participating in a live broadcast. Also, while in-person worship will resume on Sunday morning, our other gatherings will continue to take place away from our physical church building. In due time, we will return to the other church activities that we miss so much. There are various opinions about how church should be done in these weeks. In the interest of unity and care for one another, we will all choose to be cautious as we come together. Please do not attend our service at church if you believe you are at a high risk of becoming sick, or if you believe that your presence in the building will place others at a high risk of becoming sick. We respect that you are making the best choice for your own health and the health of your family should you continue to participate via the livestream. If you have any of the following symptoms, please do not attend: fever, chills, body aches, cough/congestion, recent loss of taste or smell, or if you are generally unwell. We encourage those who are in categories of increased risk of hospitalization from COVID-19 due to underlying health issues, low immunity, or age, also to consider refraining from attending worship services right now. We would ask that you would stay home on Sunday if you can answer “yes” to any of the following questions: - Have you had contact with individuals with known COVID-19 infection during the last 14 days? - Have you tested positive to Covid-19 in the last 14 days? - Have you experienced any symptoms of Covid-19 in the last 14 days? - Do you have a persistent cough, runny nose, or have you been sneezing frequently? Please plan to arrive early, or at least promptly, so that we may be seated in an orderly manner. The ushers will be available to help everyone find a responsibly-distanced seat. This may not be your “usual” seat. We ask that you follow the ushers’ directions while we work to keep everyone safe. People who live in the same home can and should sit together. When in attendance, please adhere to the following guidelines: - A face covering, which completely covers the nose and mouth, must be worn: - When entering the church building - When moving about the building - When participating in the service (singing, worshipping, praying, speaking) - Observe proper hand hygiene. Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the building. Please sanitize your hands upon entering the building. - Please minimize movement throughout the building. The Chapel is available during the service for children. Please limit its use to parents and young children. - Please minimize your use of the restroom. There should just be one person in the restroom at a time unless a parent is accompanying a child.
After the service, there will be an orderly exit process (as in weddings), row by row, starting at the back of the building. If you would like to speak to someone, please do so outside on the sidewalk or in the side yard. And as we enter and leave the church building, let us remember to follow our civil guidelines and responsibilities as a way to love those who live in our neighborhood. As always, the church will be cleaned carefully each week to prepare for the next Sunday. Please do your part to lessen the burden on those who will be preparing for the following week's service. There will certainly be questions and various things that are not mentioned in this email. If you find yourselves with a question on Sunday morning, please ask an usher or minister. They will gladly attend to your needs. It is difficult to be so close together, yet feel that we are so far apart. Let us all do what we can to love one another through this season. Let us be charitable and promote unity. This is an opportunity to demonstrate how much we love one another and how much we miss one another.