Let’s Talk: Worship in the Building as We Return
Okay! Let’s talk about in-person worship. As I have said before, we are going to Keep It Simply Simple. We are going to depend on each other to look out for each other and to do what is in the best interest of each other. When you think about it, that’s biblical.
So, here are our plans:
1. We will have the 9AM worship service but we will not have Sunday school classes at this time. We want to step back into this carefully. The five-minute countdown for the service begins at 8:55AM as we go live online at 9AM.
2. We will not parking cars at this time. Please feel free to park as close to the building as necessary for you. Others of us will park further away to make that space for you.
3. We will not have Children’s church. Children will be with their families during the worship service. There will be activity pages and a bingo page with crayons in a plastic bag for children to do during the service. After the service, they can take the bag and everything in it home. You might want to bring extra items that will help them get through the service in case they run out of things to do. (Don’t worry about the pastor because he doesn’t get too worried about children not being able to sit still during worship. After all, he can’t do it either!)
4. We will not have our nursery at this time. You are more than welcome to bring your child into the worship service. (Again, don’t worry about the pastor, he’s heard a crying baby before. If it gets too difficult, you can step out into the foyer and observe the service through the window. Some chairs will be there.)
5. We will have a children’s sermon; however, the children will remain seated with their families. Pastor Julie will do the children’s sermon like she has the past few months. She will be up front, but the children will remain in their seats.
6. We will have the entrance doors already open, into the church building and into the sanctuary. You will be able to walk right in without having to touch any doors.
7. There will be no bulletins or handouts at the current time.
8. Hand sanitizer will be available as you come in the doors to the building.
9. When you enter the sanctuary, there’s plenty of space to keep a little distance between each other or your family group. Please create appropriate space from each other.
10. We would request that you wear a mask. (Notice I said “request”, and not “demand.”) I am aware of the debate about wearing a mask. I am asking you to wear a mask for the well-being of others. I will not wear a mask while I am in the pulpit, but I will be wearing a mask following the service. If you need a mask, we have them! We have plenty of nicely made masks (adult and children’s sizes) that will be available at the doors. These were made by people in our church.
11. We will not pass offering plates. During the service, we will have a time where you are invited to bring your tithes, offerings, or gifts, and place them in offering plates located in the front on the altar railing. We will also have offering plates located in the back for you to place your gifts in. Also, you are welcome to continue giving as you have been, either online through the church website or by mailing your gifts to the church office.
12. We will not encourage handshakes or hugs or have a greeting time. (Introverts, rejoice!)
As you can see, these steps are common-sense actions. Most of them really depend upon you and me doing things in a way that keep other people safe.
PLEASE NOTE: We will continue our online worship through Facebook Live. You will not miss any part of the worship service by not being present here. We are going to continue structuring our worship just as we have the past few months. We continue to update our equipment to improve both the picture and sound quality. What I am saying is that it’s okay for you to stay home and participate in the service through online worship. In no way do I want you to feel any pressure to be here in person. You will not hurt the pastor’s feelings if you are not here.
My number one concern is your safety. If you are not feeling well or you are in a higher risk category, I would strongly encourage you to stay home and be a part of the worship service online. If you are not comfortable being physically here in the service, please do not. It will be okay. While I look forward to this step, I want you, and all of us to be safe. Let’s make that the bottom line and be sensible and gracious to each other, and everything will be okay.
Whether you are here in person, or participating on Facebook Live, I look forward to our worship time. Blessings to you and Peace be with you in Jesus Christ.
Pastor Jeff Reed