Church Reopening! Sunday, June 21, 10:00 a.m.

It's been a full three months now since our church has gathered for worship! And most of us were ready to be back together yesterday. We miss the congregational singing and the joy if friends and families worshiping and fellowshipping together in the church building.

You may not remember what happened in the spring of 2016 or 2018, but you'll probably never forget what has happened during the spring of 2020! The COVID-19 pandemic has changed almost everything about our daily lives, and the changes are still not over. Like you, we're ready for things to return back to something approaching normal, even though we recognize that each step takes wisdom, caution, and patience. In the midst of it all, God reminds us that He leads us through the wilderness into the new things He has for us.

In the last several weeks, Pastor Steve and your Church Council have been praying for God's direction and preparing for the reopening of our church building for Sunday worship services. Today, we are thankful to share our upcoming Sunday morning plans with you. 

Based on prayer, consulting expert opinions, and watching the current local trends, the Church Council has unanimously recommended that we reopen the church building for worship on Sunday, June 21, at 10:00 a.m., as long as we are able to complete our preparations to help keep everyone safe and healthy.

For those of you who are not yet ready to return, we just want to reassure you that WE UNDERSTAND! We know that some of you may have health issues or just a concern about not coming back until you feel more comfortable with the situation. That's OK!

As excited as we are about being able to gather together again, the main concern is to keep people safe and healthy and to minimize risks, while still gathering us together as the body of Christ.

Things will be different. Let us say that again: Things will be different. 

A couple of things you will notice right away:

  • We STRONGLY request that both adults and children with any signs of sickness please STAY HOME.
  • We are going to start off temporarily with just one worship service at 10:00 a.m., until our attendance recovers to support our normal two services.
  • We will be STRONGLY encouraging everyone to wear masks (we will have sanitizing stations with hand sanitizer and masks for those who didn't bring their own set up at each entrance). Even if you don't feel you are at risk yourself, we are requesting you wear a mask to protect others from potential asymptomatic carriers of the virus.
  • As much as you want to see each other and socialize, we request that upon entering the building, you proceed directly into the sanctuary and sit in the pews as indicated - please no loitering or close greeting in the lobby/narthex area.
  • The pews will be marked for appropriate social distancing. Please sit together as family units (no mixing please), and only sit where indicated.
  • All worship services will be for the entire family. We will temporarily suspend nursery care, children's Sunday School and Children's Church. Please keep your children with you in the sanctuary. It's OK, really! We all are able to handle some fidgeting and a little noise - we were all kids once too!
  • We will not engage in corporate singing for a while - studies and real-life examples have shown that airborne droplets travel extremely far when singing. We will utilize individual singers and special music to help us draw closer to the Lord in worship.
  • Other aspects of our order of worship will be changed.
  • We will offer our worship service live online for those who are not yet ready to return, and for those who are ill or traveling. We also encourage everyone who is considered part of a vulnerable population or who is not yet comfortable coming to an in-person worship service to continue worshiping with us online.

We have clear guidelines for extra precautions as well as some procedural changes to our in-person services, to do our best to ensure that everyone remains healthy. We have a detailed "Reopening Preparation/Procedure" document that Pastor Steve and the Council have developed to manage our reopening process. We will be providing a link to the document soon so that people will know the steps we are taking to make sure we do our best to keep everyone safe and healthy.

If you have any questions or comments, we encourage you to contact Pastor Steve.