|Posted by communications on August 12, 2020 at 4:30 PM|
Just recently, our Diocesan Bishops made the decision to move us into Stage 1B, which allows us to gather outdoors in limited numbers. Being outside drastically reduces the likelihood of virus spread, as does keeping gatherings small. We are excited to share our plans for outdoor worship in September!
Our 10:30 a.m. Sunday service will continue to be an online Morning Prayer service with a sermon and music. This service is where we continue to put the majority of our time and energy, since it will have the broadest reach.
Beginning September 2, we plan to hold in-person worship on Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. and beginning on September 6, we plan to hold in-person worship on Sundays at 8:00 a.m. These worship services will be simple and short. Our intention is that these will be services of Holy Eucharist, but we are awaiting final word from the Diocese about this.
Additionally, we plan to introduce a special weekly service called “Wiggle Worship” geared toward families with young kids. This service will meet on Thursday mornings at 9:30 a.m. beginning September 10.
Please understand that attendance at any of these services will require strict adherence to all of the following Diocesan guidelines:
• Prior to attending, please pre-screen yourself and everyone in your household for possible COVID-19 symptoms
• Everyone over the age of two should wear a mask.
• Please keep at least six feet of physical distance from anyone not in your household.
• Singing is not allowed.
• Bring your own chair or blanket to sit on.
• Please understand that we will not be able to provide entrance to the building for restrooms except in emergencies. Whenever possible, take care of bathroom needs prior to coming.
• Each attendee must be signed up in advance to ensure we stay within the attendance limits of 25 people per gathering.
In order to safely offer these services, everyone must understand that abiding by the guidelines is a Covenant we all willingly enter, to protect the most vulnerable in our midst.
Signups will be made available next week. As space is limited, please start by signing up for only one service in September. If there are still available spaces on the day of the service, feel free to sign up and attend. Because these services will be outdoors, we may need to cancel in the event of inclement weather. We will do our best to contact everyone who has signed up if we are forced to cancel a service.
We’ll plan worship one month at a time, in case we need to make adjustments as we go. Of course, any plans we make for in-person gatherings are subject to change based on the current situation. We must all stay flexible and do our best to adapt with grace when needed.
Stage 1B also allows for outdoor gatherings for meetings or small groups as long as all the same guidelines are followed. If you are part of a group that would like to meet in person outdoors, be in touch with Jessica in the church office to schedule it. Please be mindful that some members of our congregation are not able to attend in person gatherings and therefore some meetings and group should probably continue online for the time being.
This is a new milestone for us and we will do everything we can to make these outdoor worship opportunities safe and meaningful. One thing I can guarantee you is that it will not feel like “old times” in any way. It will be “good and pleasant to dwell together in unity” (to quote this Sunday’s Psalm) but it will not be the same. Yet we trust that God’s grace will be present in these changes, as it always is.
Yours in Christ,