Dear Church Family and Friends,
The week has finally come for us to return to in-person worship in the sanctuary. We’ve been through a long winter since the beginning of the pandemic, and in many ways, I’ve felt like the apostles of the early church as we’ve sought to find creative ways to worship safely together. Through all the highs and lows since we last worshiped together in the sanctuary on March 8, 2020, I’ve felt God guiding us each step of the way.
This week as I’ve been preparing for worship, there’s been a song running through my head. It’s based on Psalm 100 and is called He Has Made Me Glad. The lyrics of the song are: “I will enter his gates with thanksgiving in my heart. I will enter his courts with praise. I will say, ‘This is the day that the Lord has made!’ I will rejoice for he has made me glad!” I have a feeling this will be the song in my heart this Sunday. To listen to a recording of the song, click here.
Because we now live in a COVID world, we won’t be able to return to worship the way it was prior to March 8. There are a few guidelines and adjustments our ReOpen Team has made in order to return safely to the sanctuary. I hope you’ll read through everything below so you have a good grasp of what to expect on Sunday and what’s expected of those who attend.
I look forward to seeing you all this Sunday for worship at 10:00am!!!
Rev. Malinda Weaver
P.S. We will also have our Facebook livestream option for those who are not comfortable attending or who may be out of town. You can also always watch the video of the livestream later on our Facebook page … it just won’t be “live.”
Worship Time – 10:00am
The congregational survey we did in April showed that the majority of respondents prefer to worship at 10:00am. Thus, we will worship at 10:00am Sunday mornings for the foreseeable future. Please make note of this so you arrive on time. To see all of the survey results, click here.
Masks are Strongly Encouraged
Please continue to wear masks when attending worship to protect our children under 12, their families, and other worshipers who are not yet able to be vaccinated. It is important for all of us to wear masks not just for the safety of our children, but to also model for them the importance of wearing a mask. We have some high-risk children among us that need for us to take this seriously.
Worship – No RSVPs Needed – Safe Seating
Reservations are no longer required for worship attendance. We believe we have ample space in the sanctuary to spread out and safely social distance. When you arrive on Sunday morning, you’ll see tassels on the ends of certain pews. A tassel means that pew is available for seating. We are skipping every other pew in order to maintain a safe distance. You’re also welcome to sit in the balcony if you would feel more comfortable doing so.
Nursery Available – RSVPs Required
Children of all ages are always welcome in Worship, but we also understand that some parents need a break. We will have nursery available each Sunday morning beginning at 9:30am for children age 4 and under. For now, the nursery will be staffed by trusted church members. They will listen to songs, hear Bible stories, and be offered age-appropriate crafts as we begin to teach our children about God’s great love for them.
Each nursery volunteer has had a background check in accordance with our child protection policy. Special thanks to Randi Turner, Kacy Sesser-Dorné, Jeanne Baker, and Diane Robinson for volunteering to serve in the nursery as we search for the right person(s) to hire for this important job. If you know of someone who might be a good candidate for hire in our nursery, please have them email Pastor Malinda.
Reservations for Nursery are required each week so we can make sure we have enough nursery volunteers available. To RSVP, click here. The deadline to register each week is by Friday at noon.
Children’s Sunday School
We will have Children’s Sunday School each Sunday morning at 9:30am in the Fellowship Hall for children age 5 and older. Mrs. Randi will teach them important stories and themes of the Bible using age-appropriate activities and crafts. The children will then join us in worship at 10:00am for the entire service.
Communion – This Sunday
This Sunday is the first Sunday of the month … that means it’s a Communion Sunday. We will celebrate Holy Communion as part of worship, and we’ll seek to do so in a COVID-safe way. There will be individual, pre-packaged communion elements available for everyone. You will have the option to receive communion by coming forward to Pastor Malinda where she will hand you the pre-packaged elements. Then you may kneel at the altar rail if you desire to do so, or you may return to your seat to partake. If you feel more comfortable, you’re always welcome to bring your own bread and juice from home.
Congregational Survey Results
Many of you participated in our congregational survey in April regarding ways in which you all would feel comfortable returning to the sanctuary and other spaces of the church. If you’d like to see the results of that survey, click here.