Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,
I am very thankful to be able to announce to you that the Session has made the decision (with excellent input from Jack Cooper our Administrator, David O’Neil our Deacon Chairman, and Al Bart our Facilities Director) to begin corporate worship again this coming Sunday, May 17 at 10:30 AM.
As you know by now, last Friday our Governor amended the earlier order restricting corporate worship gatherings. For this we are grateful indeed! However, in light of the continued dangers associated with the COVID-19 virus, we believe it is wise to seriously consider the guidelines and recommendations of the State Health Department as we begin gathering together again.
With this in mind, there will be a few changes to our service of worship for the near future:
- Our service of worship will be shorter than normal.
- While we are gathered together, we will practice social distancing to the degree possible. That is, we will try to maintain 6 feet of distance between people of different households, (and we will be careful not to exchange handshakes or make other physical contact). As you enter the worship center there will be marked places for seating in the pews, as well as movable chairs placed on the perimeter.
- There will be no nursery or childcare at this time.
- There will be no food or beverages consumed on the premises.
- There will be no Communion until the Session determines how we may observe it safely.
- Masks or face-coverings are not required. Please bring your own if you would like to wear one.
- Sunday School and other Bible studies will not be meeting until after Labor Day (this is our standard practice in the summer).
Additionally, our State Health Department lists the following guidelines regarding who should not attend worship at this time:
- Any person who has been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
- Any person exhibiting any symptom(s) of an illness of any kind.
- Anyone who has had a fever in the last 48 hours (a temperature over 100. 4 degrees). It is advised that everyone take their own temperature before attending worship.
We would also recommend that anyone with a preexisting health condition (that would possibly make them more vulnerable to infection) should also avoid worship at this time.
Finally, the State Health Department advises that those who are 65 years of age and older should be aware of a potentially greater risk of infection. However, we encourage any healthy person of any age to attend.
For those who cannot be with us in worship, we will continue to provide a video of the service each week. The recording will be ready for viewing sometime after Sunday, and a link will be sent to the congregation when the video has been uploaded to our website.
Also, on Thursday of this week you will receive an email questionnaire regarding your plans to attend worship this Sunday. This will help us to better prepare our seating arrangements for our first Sunday back. Thank you for your assistance in completing and returning this survey.
Praise the Lord that we are able to resume our worship! He has answered our prayers!
Let us continue to seek mercy and wisdom as we serve our Father’s eternal Kingdom!
I love you all,