Healthy at Church on 7/5

From the Pastor

I have exciting news to share!  We’re going to resume in-person worship AND continue to have an online presence.  We will begin in-person worship on Sunday, July 5th.  We are also opening the church to groups that have not been able to meet in recent months.

Below is some information about what worship will be like.  Somethings will be different.  I want to make sure that we do everything we can to ensure you have a clean and safe sanctuary for worship.  Please read the information below in its entirety.  I know you have lots of questions and I’ve tried to give you as much instruction as possible.

ENTERING
You will be able to enter one set of the front double wood doors and the glass door.  All other doors will be locked.  You may use the elevator or stairs to go up to the sanctuary.  Please go straight up to the sanctuary.  Please do not go anywhere else in the church.

GATHERING
When the Elders surveyed the congregation, those who are ready to come to church would like us to wear masks and practice social distancing.  Please wear a mask to church when you come.  We will have some extra masks in case you forget one or don’t have one.

We will have a touchless hand sanitizer dispenser installed before 7/12.  Please bring hand sanitizer with you on 7/5 if you feel you will need it.  We have some jugs of hand sanitizer if you’d like to fill your bottle up.

SEATING

In order to practice social distancing, it will be impossible for everyone to stand and chat with our friends whom we have dearly missed.  Please go directly to your seat when you arrive.  If we’re standing in the open spaces chatting, others may not be able to get to their seats.

Every other pew will be closed so that we can have some space between the people in front and behind us.  Each pew that is closed will have a sign on it indicating that it is closed.  I will stagger the closing so that there is room for one family per pew and there won’t be another family at the other end of the same pew.

There will be no hymnals, Bibles, envelopes, or cards in the pew pockets.     

GREETING

For many of us, our favorite part of worship is our greeting time.  We will have a greeting time.  You may greet one another in many ways while practicing social distancing.  I will give you instructions before our greeting time.  We can bow, wave, give the peace sign or offer the Vulcan salute. 

If you absolutely must hug someone, please don’t assume that everyone will feel comfortable hugging.  Please ask someone before offering a hug.  Please don’t be offended if someone says no to your offer to hug.  The safest way to hug is the Christian side hug.  This is not permission to hug.  You must negotiate that with your friends.

MUSIC

We are so glad that we will be able to hear live music and Randy play the organ.  All the reports I read do not advise congregational singing.  I will find creative ways to incorporate music into the worship service like musical interludes from soloists, music videos and guest musicians.  I hope to have the projectors running again so we can have more options.

COMMUNION

We are Disciples and we have communion when we gather.  That’s who we are.  We will be having communion when we resume in-person worship.  We will not be passing the trays.  You may bring your own communion elements from home or we will also have communion kits available.  A deacon wearing gloves will give you a communion kit if you choose a communion kit.  I will give you instructions for opening the kit during communion time.

CHILDREN

We will not be offering nursery care, Sunday school or Worship & Wonder.  Children will receive a paper bag with a color/activity page and a few crayons that they are welcome to work on during worship and take with them when they leave.

SUNDAY SCHOOL

We will not be offering Sunday school classes or donut / coffee time.

BATHROOMS

The bathroom in the sanctuary will be available for your use.  Please only use that bathroom.  There will be bleach wipes available for you to use to clean up before or after your use.

ONLINE WORSHIP

Our online worship service will take on a new format.  We will begin recording and uploading the entire worship service as one video.  This will not be livestreamed.  The video will be available on YouTube.  You will receive a link to the video on Sunday afternoon.

GROUP GATHERINGS

The Mary and Martha Sunday school class will begin offering in-person study on Tuesday afternoons at 2 pm.  They will meet beginning next week.  The online Zoom / phone in option will also be available.

One of our recovery groups has begun meeting on Tuesday nights.  I have given permission to the other 3 groups to start meeting.  I have place a limit to 50 people per meeting.  I have asked the leaders to ensure that no one goes upstairs for any reason. 

Community meals will continue to be served as carry out.

QUESTIONS

I hope I was able to answer all your questions.  An Elder will be calling you soon to review this information and answer any questions you still have.  If you would like to talk to me, please call me next week.  As I receive feedback from the Elders about your questions, I will put out another communication so that everyone has as much information as possible.

Just because we can do something, doesn’t mean we should do something.  We have been allowed to meet since May, but the Elders have held off.  We were uncertain that it was safe to gather in June.  Just because we’re resuming in-person worship, doesn’t mean you have to come.  Please make the best decision for your health.  We will be offering an online option so you can still participate.  For those who do not have internet, they will continue to receive a copy of the Scripture, newsletter and sermon.

I look forward to seeing you soon,

Pastor T