Dear Friends in Christ,
Grace and Peace to you from the one who was, who is, and who always will be. I write to you with great joy about our plans to gather for worship in the Sanctuary for two more upcoming Sundays (October 25 and November 8). We will be meeting in drastically reduced numbers, with opened windows, and a changed liturgy to provide that chance for people to be in this building in a way that responds to and builds upon recommendations of health and safety officials.
This will be a chance for us to gather our strength and connection as we head into the shorter and colder days that are already making themselves known. All the details of these service are found below and on our website. We are committed to streaming these services to for those who are unable or uncomfortable with coming. In these times, as in larger life, there is always a balance to be struck between doing those things that are truly important and remaining safe. I believe that worshipping together is important and while nothing in these times is ever completely without risk, we are doing everything we can to minimize or eliminate the risks we can. I hope that you will consult the church office with any questions and then make the decision that is best for you and caring for our community.
Peace and blessings, Brent
Registration Registration for these services is REQUIRED. This is to ensure the safety of those attending and to allow us to plan for your arrival. You can register by clicking on one of the choices below. We are limiting attendance to 15 groups not to exceed 30 people per service beyond the five worship leaders. For context this will place seven group (beyond Brent, Jon, and Jake) on the ground floor and eight groups in the balcony. We will accept reservations on a first come, first served basis. We ask you to only reserve for only one of the three services. You can indicate interest in other services if space is available on the registration form. All registrations must be complete on the Thursday before the Sunday service.
Confirmation You will receive an e-mail (or phone call for those without e-mail) by the Friday prior to the Sunday service. That confirmation will also provide information about your assigned seat(s).
Safety Protocols All people will be expected to wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose throughout the service. Everyone will be asked to use the main entrance to the Sanctuary (through the Narthex) to enter and exit the building and to use hand sanitizer on the way in and out. Those who need to use the ramp for access are invited to do so and indicate that need on your registration. While in the church you are asked to remain within your pew unless you need to use the restroom. We ask anyone who has medical complications, feels ill or may have been in any situation where the coronavirus has been present to refrain from attending. We will live-stream these services.
Ventilation We will warm the church up overnight before opening the windows at 9:00 a.m. The windows will remain open to allow for good air flow and ventilation. As in our current live-streamed services we will set the thermostat at approximately 65 degrees to keep the temperature reasonably comfortable. We ask you to dress appropriately.
Liturgy/Worship To ensure maximum safety, we have arranged for special instrumental music for each service. On October 18 Sandor and Tracy Wilson will provide piano/organ duets. On October 25 Sandor’s spouse, Shelly, will be on hand to play the violin as they bring favorite hymns to life. We are still arranging music for November 8. There will not be congregational singing nor a vocalist at any service. All speaking will be done from the pulpit. The congregation will join together for a masked closing prayer.
Changes Currently we see the infection/transmission rates in our area to be conducive to these services. We will continue to monitor information from the Governor’s Office and health officials. Should anything require change/cancellation of these plans we will follow the guidelines that promote health and safety.
Concluding Thoughts We are offering these services at time when the infection and transmission rates in our area are low and while the outside temperatures are conducive. We are offering these services to allow people the joy of gathering in worship in our sanctuary cognizant that it might be some time before we can do so again. We have worked with the Deacons, the staff, and the Re-gathering Committee using the guidelines from the State and our denomination to plan our approach. No approach is perfect. We hope that this will give us the connection, hope, and resilience to continue being God’s people in these times. Please do not feel any pressure to attend and know that you will be welcome if you do. If you have any questions or concerns please contact the church.