In anticipation of this new experience in the life of our church, I want to make you aware of what you can expect in the way of planning for a safe gathering.
We will gather for worship at 10:45 AM outside on the East lawn under the trees. Please bring your own lawn chair for seating. Worship will be recorded and uploaded to our Church website and to YouTube by early Sunday afternoon, so the service will be available online for those who prefer not to attend in person. All who attend in person are required to wear face coverings and to observe 6 feet of social distance between family units at all times.
Childcare will not be provided, and the church nursery and playground will be closed. If you are a parent with young children, please know that there are other parents who do plan to bring their kids, and we fully expect to see parents chasing their little ones around, so there will be no judgment--come as you are and be present as you can! We celebrate that children are full participants in the life of our church family, so our service will also include a Time With Young Disciples, although children will be asked to remain with their families.
There will be access to restrooms on the main level and in the Fellowship Hall; however, because worship will be led from the raised patio on the East side of the building, the main level side door is not to be used. You will be able to access the building from the Sanctuary main entrance and from the Fellowship Hall.
In order to conduct a “contactless” service, the Bulletin will be sent out to you this weekend prior to Sunday morning, so that you can follow along from your smart device or print off your own copy at home. Although our service will include the Peace, we will remain at our seats and share signs of reconciliation without physical contact (e.g., the “queen’s wave”). In addition, we will not receive the Offering by passing the plates during the service; instead, there will be blue containers located on our Welcome Tables where you can share your gifts. At the Welcome Tables, you will also find hand sanitizer, extra masks (if you forget your own), and extra bulletins (also, in case you forget to print one off or if you don’t have a reading-friendly device).
We will also be offering an in-person Sunday School from 9:30–10:20 AM, which will meet in the Sanctuary where we can observe social distance. Attendees are expected to wear face coverings, and supplies will be available to sanitize the space afterward. Please note the revised class time (9:30–10:20): we are beginning and ending early so the area can be sanitized afterwards, and so that participants have sufficient time to move to the outdoor worship space. For those who prefer not to attend in person, you can attend by Zoom—please contact Pastor Strickler at email@example.com to receive access.
You can expect to find several areas of the church where access will be closed off: the third floor, the nursery, the playground, the bulk of the Fellowship Hall (excluding a well-marked path to the restroom), the kitchen, the Parlor, the church office suite, and the library. We deeply appreciate your help keeping our facilities safe. We also have a wonderful team of volunteers who will be ensuring social distances are maintained during our gatherings and who will be sanitizing our spaces afterward. We are grateful for their willingness to step into this essential responsibility!
We will notify the church family of any cancellation or change in plans by Saturday evening at 5:00 PM. If we do not hold in-person outdoor worship, we also will not hold Sunday School in person in the Sanctuary. Instead, all Sunday morning activities would gather remotely, by Zoom for Sunday School, and a recording of Worship would be posted online.
Recognizing that this message might not reach everyone in our congregation at the same time, please consider sharing this information with other members of our church family. Thank you all so much for your continued support of our ministry as a congregation, and I hope to see you Sunday--by one medium or another!
Grace and Peace,