COVID-19 Worship Updates

7-3-2020

“Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

Matthew 25:49-50

 

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

The session has asked me to write to you all, inviting you to join us this Sunday, July 5 for corporate worship.

We think of ourselves as a family, I’ve heard it said, and so we should. We are brothers and sisters in Christ – united by faith in the body of Christ.

Just like any family, there are tensions in ours. With protests and riots in our country and an epidemic happening all over the world, we’re bound to feel a little uneasy – even on a Sunday morning.

In talking to deacons and elders about how to handle this difficult situation and listening to them as they talk to each other, I am struck by how they have put their individual preferences aside and worked together out of a devotion to this church and a desire to make our weekly gathering together here safe and accessible to as many of us as possible.

Certainly we have seen a great desire to return to corporate worship.

Some of us simply can’t be there – they’re vulnerable to this virus because of infancy, old age, or illness and they dearly miss gathering together with us to hear the Word, to sing God’s praises and to see their brothers and sisters – to share in this wonderful fellowship.

But others – perfectly healthy people – might be caring for someone who is vulnerable, frightened or working with someone who is at risk. It is for these people that the deacons and elders are asking everyone to practice caution – to take a little extra trouble to make it possible for them to attend and share in what we have here. Not because they’re afraid, but out of our love and devotion to our brothers and sisters – just as Jesus did when he ministered to those who were infirm.

So, we ask that you follow these guidelines below as closely as you can out of devotion to each other, for the good of the Church and for the glory of God.

  1. In order to comply with new state and local mandates, we are asking that everyone wear a mask in both the sanctuary and in the fellowship hall and outside the buildings.
  2. Children are encouraged to wear a mask, but we realize this may not be possible
  3. In the fellowship hall there will be no singing and social distancing will be greater
  4. Ushers will manage seating at the beginning of worship and organize our exit from the building (there will be more details about this in the announcements)
  5. And here’s a difficult one: and in an effort to keep infection to a minimum, we are asking everyone to maintain social distancing outside the buildings, even after worship. Again, this is in accordance with new state and local mandates.

We know it will be awkward and sometimes difficult to do these things. Please know that these guidelines were developed by the deacons and elders together in the interest of allowing the greatest access to the church for all who can safely attend while protecting those who are at greater risk who also long to gather with us. We all feel the need and the desire to gather and lift up our hearts in joyful praise of our God and Savior.  Let us do so in a way that allows all who possibly can to freely participate in the blessing of worship.

Your brother in Christ,

Charles DeAntonio

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