Grace and Peace to you in the name of our risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
As I'm sure many of you have heard by now, we will be having a trial, in-person, outdoor worship service on July 12th. We shied away from doing it on July 5th because it is a holiday weekend. We will be taking extensive precautions about meeting in-person because COVID19 hasn't gone anywhere, it's still here. Just because we have reopened the state and the businesses, it doesn't mean the pandemic is over. So, that being said, let's cover some details about what to expect that day:
- We will still be streaming and uploading the service online. So, by all means, do not come to the service in person if you are uncomfortable doing so. Meeting in-person is only an option. We will still be making all the accommodations to worship from home as we have been doing.
- That being said, July 12th is the only day we are including the in-person option for the entire month of July. All the other Sundays will still be online only.
- Masks are mandatory, please bring your own. (extras will be available if you forget yours)
- Please bring your own bulletin with you. (extras will be available if you forget yours)
- We will be outside in our worship pavilion and we will encourage most of you to bring lawn chairs or blankets. We request that the limited seating inside the pavilion be reserved for those who have to have shelter from the sun for medical or age reasons. In the lawn, or under the pavilion, we will be practicing social distancing of at least 6ft.
- There will be no singing, but Cody will play the music. (If Cody is comfortable being there.)
- We will make an attempt to have communion. Members of the altar guild will wear gloves and masks and place individual wafers into individual little bags and they will be placed on a table alongside individual bottles of grape juice, spaced far enough apart so that you can pick them up without touching others. You will collect these elements when you arrive for the service and you will keep them with you at your seat until communion.
- The building will be open so that the restrooms are accessible. We ask that the children do not enter the building unsupervised. There will be no childcare at this time.
- In the event of rain, we are working on an alternative plan that would involve meeting in the sanctuary with the pews being spaced six feet apart. I would like some volunteers to help me move the pews in the near future. It is very likely that the pews will remain in this arrangement for the foreseeable future as we plan for worship in the fall and winter months.
- Amy will be sending out an email as we get closer to July 12th asking you to RSVP to let us know if you will be there and if you require a seat under the pavilion, it will help us with planning. Also, if you have one of those pop up canopy/tent things, please let us know if you would be willing to bring it for anyone who may need shade if the pavilion reaches its safe capacity.
Whew, I think that about covers it. It will be a joy to see those of you who are able to attend. And, for those who don't feel comfortable coming, we understand, and you will remain ever present in our thoughts and in our prayers. July 12th will not be the day that we "return to church", because "we" have always been "the church"; over Zoom, over Youtube, and in the spaces we inhabit. And, whether we see you in person on the 12th, or in November; we are all still the church together, united by Christ, and led by the Holy Spirit.
Take care, my friends.
Soli Deo Gloria, Pastor Robert