At their August meeting, the Session accepted the Health Advisory Task Force’s recommendation for us to resume worship in-person on September 13, and the full details of that recommendation are included in this newsletter. The Task Force and the Session will continue to review all sorts of data, and are willing and able to pull back from this plan as we get closer to that date if needed. In the coming weeks, more details will come on what worship in this new world will look like for us. You will have to register to attend, which will be a new thing for all of us. You will have to wear a mask, which has now become very routine for all of us. We will not sing hymns together, and there will be grief for us around that.
This week, though, I am giving thanks for a Task Force and a Session who are doing difficult and painstaking work to continue to lead our church forward. I am giving thanks for a resilient and faithful church, who continues to wait patiently for us to resume worship in-person. I am giving thanks for a staff who are working hard and being as creative as they can be to meet the needs of our congregation in this season. In the midst of all of the hardship, I am giving thanks for you and for this place. As we continue forward, one step at a time, may we all experience God’s peaceful presence, guiding us through these anxious times.
How do I register to attend worship? The link for worship registration will be posted on the church website. Each week, registration will open on Monday for the following Sunday morning, and will close on Thursday night at midnight, which will give our staff and ushers a chance to prepare for everyone who will arrive. You may also call the church office during the same time frame to register for worship by phone. In addition to our two services in the Sanctuary each week, you may also select to worship outside in the Courtyard, where you will be seated safely distanced and will be able to hear everything that happens inside the Sanctuary.
Pastor Dee Dee Carson
Phase III: Resuming in-person worship
The Health Advisory Task Force proposes resuming in-person worship services on September 13, 2020. The Health Advisory Task Force and Session will be monitoring Covid-19 data actively as we approach that date, and all plans for in-person worship are subject to change in light of that data.
What will worship look like?
- Two shorter Sunday worship services at 8:30am and 11am in the Sanctuary with a maximum capacity of 75 congregants (plus staff and 6 ushers per service).
- Cleaning of the Sanctuary will take place between services.
- Participants must register to attend worship by Thursday at 12am using a link on the church website or calling the church office if you are unable to access the website.
- Masks will be required for all who attend, including children over the age of 2.
- Pews will be roped off to maintain appropriate distancing when people are seated.
- Ushers will greet people at the door to make sure they are registered to attend and remind them that masks are required for worship.
- Ushers will seat people as they arrive beginning with the pews closest to the front of the Sanctuary and moving back toward the rear of the Sanctuary as they fill up the pews.
- Elements of the service will be projected onto the screen rather than using bulletins in the beginning.
- Offering will be collected using a stationary offering plate in the Narthex for people to utilize while entering or exiting, but no offering will be taken up during the service. Ushers will wear gloves for counting the offering following worship.
- No hymns will be sung by the congregation, but a soloist will be recorded singing the hymns and that recording will be projected on the screen.
- 5 places will be held for visitors or others who failed to register who might arrive.
- There will also be seating available in the Courtyard when weather cooperates for those who would prefer to worship outside, and this will also serve as overflow seating when more than 75 people would like to attend.
- No nursery care will be offered initially.
All other gatherings beyond worship remain under the Rules of Phase II, with groups of up to 40 people accommodated in the Fellowship Hall and Courtyard by request.