We are about to resume in person services! Woohoo! First, the bad news – it won’t be this week. We still don’t have the high speed internet we need for live streaming. But, the good news is that we will resume service June 7th, with or without internet! Although I would be surprised if we didn’t have it.
A couple of quick things to know. Services will be at our regular times of 9AM & 11AM. At least for the month of June there will be no Sunday School, Kid’s Church, or Nursery. All children are welcome in the service. We recommend bringing coloring books, etc. to keep little ones busy. We had considered adding additional quiet bags, but those wind up being shared – didn’t think that was a great idea.
So, mark it on your calendars - June 7th, 9AM & 11AM. We are so excited to see you!
That’s the ‘when,’ now the ‘how.’
One of the great challenges in reopening after this pandemic shutdown, is that it will be impossible to do it exactly the way everyone wants it done. There are those who are extremely cautious – always wearing a mask, sometimes wearing gloves, continually wiping everything down. On the other end of the spectrum are those who are just going about life the way they always have. And, there is every possible “between” position. With changing information, conflicting information, and lack of information about best practices, everyone is left to decide what is best for themselves and their own families. As we prepare to meet together physically, I encourage you to prepare to meet spiritually and emotionally as well. Here’s what the Bible says:
Philippians 2:3-4 - Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Galatians 5:13-14 - You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Mark 9:35 - Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”
As we come together, the natural tendency will be to be critical of those who are doing things “differently than I do.” But, what if we opened our hearts to the idea that EVERYONE is taking precautions in different ways? If I don’t wear a mask, could my attitude towards those that do be, “They are at higher risk. They need to be careful. They are working to protect both their health and mine.” If I do wear a mask, could my attitude towards those that don’t be, “They are healthy and not at risk. Wearing a mask could be counterproductive for them. They are working to protect both their health and mine.”
Let’s show grace, compassion, and respect for one another. That’s being the church, and it glorifies and honors Jesus! That said, here are our guidelines for the next few weeks.
When this began, our Board of Ministries discussed a three-phase plan for reopening. We didn’t post it, as we wanted to wait until about a week from opening to do so. As we are opening three weeks later than we had hoped, we will be jumping to phase two. Here is phase two:
- Masks (Optional, but encouraged)
- Sanitizer stations
- Sanitizing wipes in restrooms (Please wipe down any surfaces you use)
- Handshakes (Fist bumps & chicken wings. Please respect those who are averse to touching)
- Coffee (Disposable cups only - No snacks/treats)
- Offering (Drop off only - no passing of plates (This may be a permanent change))
- Pre-packaged communion (Not sure what our 1st communion date will be, would love to make it June 7th!)
- 2 services at normal times 9 & 11. We have 125 seats seat up. This is slightly over half our normal capacity.
Family groups should sit together. Please leave at least two seats between people who do not live in the
same household. Also, if you “bounce” between services, please consider attending first service.
- Sick must stay home
- Intense clean of high touchpoint areas
- No Sunday school, kids' church, nursery
- Church available for small groups
We will likely have a few additional details before June 7th. And, you are welcome to ask questions or send me suggestions! If everyone works together, we will have a great first return service. Again, we are so excited to be meeting again and are looking forward to seeing as many as possible!
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Will we be singing? Please!