The Session, Worship Committee and staff have spent the past few weeks considering and praying about how to begin in-person worship again now that restrictions on groups are being loosened. We are glad to be at a place where we can share our plans.
Because of continued limitations on crowd sizes and the need for physical distancing, in-person worship will initially look different from before pandemic restrictions.
We are targeting Sunday, June 14 to restart in-person worship service. We will hold two identical worship services, one at 9 and the other at 11:15, that will resemble the worship services we have provided online since March, in an effort to distribute our weekly attendance to allow for physical distancing and smaller groups. We plan to livestream one of the services each week on our YouTube channel and also upload a recording to our website to minister to those who are not comfortable being at in-person worship. Each of the services will be under one hour. If restrictions and health considerations allow it, we plan to return to having two different styles of worship on September 6. Later this summer, we plan to provide opportunities for your feedback similar to how we have done during our online-only worship.
Here are some other things you need to know as we prepare to gather in person.
Health & Safety Considerations. We ask that if you have a fever or any symptoms of illness that you participate in worship from home. Additionally, we will be cleaning the sanctuary and public spaces before, between and after each service. We are following health and government guidelines, which call for facemasks to be worn in indoor public spaces (more on that, including exceptions, are at this link.) We will not require our worship team or others who have roles leading the services to wear masks. You will also notice all Bibles and hymnals have been removed, we will not have printed orders of worship and offerings will be collected in baskets on your way in or out of the sanctuary.
Entering and Exiting. We will designate one entrance at the narthex near the sanctuary and several exits for worshippers. Please enter and exit only at designated locations. Once each service is finished, you will be instructed to leave the building immediately to allow for disinfecting and physical distancing.
Physical Distancing. Ushers will show you to your seats when you arrive and will be seating you away from others so that we can appropriately distance, as is recommended by heath guidelines.
Nursery & Children’s Church. At this time, we will not have a nursery or children’s church.
Access to Other Parts of the Building. Only the sanctuary, lobby areas and restrooms around the sanctuary will be open. There will be no access allowed to any other parts of the building.
Other Activities. Worship is the only event that will be held in the church building. Sunday school classes and all other activities are still restricted to online meetings only.
We know this all looks and feels different than when we were last gathering in March. We also know that the comfort level about returning to in-person worship varies from person to person, and that some of you may continue to worship from home for a while. So, we urge everyone to show love and grace to one another and your leaders as we navigate a very unusual circumstance. We, the church, can be a light of love, grace and unity to our surrounding community during this time.
If you have questions that we haven’t addressed, send us an email.