Pastor’s Friday Comments (05.21.21)

The recent change in guidelines related to fully vaccinated people that the Centers for Disease Control announced last week was welcome news. I believe almost all of us are looking forward to some semblance of “normal,” and that includes our being able to return to worship in our sanctuary. 

Because we want to return to indoor worship as soon as possible, I have asked members of the staff, deacons, and Church Council to weigh in on both timing and protocols for re-entry. Although the time for their response was short, we have been able to ascertain not only individual preferences, but more importantly, concerns that need to be addressed. I delivered a summary of those comments to the staff and we have derived from them a plan that allows as much freedom as possible, while safeguarding the health of all concerned. 

Please recognize that there may need to be some adjustments over the next few weeks. There will be evaluations of the effectiveness of this approach each week, and a full consideration of a new schedule and protocols before school resumes in the late summer.

Here are the basic features of our revised approach to church activities.

We will resume worship in the sanctuary on May 30. Those who have not been fully vaccinated will be required to wear masks in order to attend worship in the sanctuary.

Those who have been fully vaccinated will not be required to wear masks, but certainly may continue to do so if they choose. 

Specific plans are being worked out for children, Level Up, and youth. Jane Redman and Glenn Gray will be in contact with the parents to work out the details.

For those who are not comfortable being indoors where some are not wearing masks, the service will be live streamed to the fellowship hall where masks will be required for everyone. 

The service will also be live streamed for those who choose to worship at home. The service will also be available on our website after it has been held.

The Sunday Morning Worship Service will be at 10 a.m. with each Sunday School class deciding when to meet and whether to meet in person or via Zoom.

Through the summer we will continue to provide worship material for The Beginning via email on Friday. However, because we will be providing a live stream of the service, we will no longer be providing an interactive worship service.

We fully realize that this plan does not incorporate everyone’s specific preferences, but believe that this strikes a balance between freedom and responsibility. We ask for your understanding as we implement this plan and make any necessary adjustments.

I hope that you are as eager as I am to return to our pre-pandemic worship practices. Although you have responded admirably to our requests for flexibility and consistency in worship participation, it will be wonderful to get back to “normal” in many things. We all recognize what we have missed. This would be a great time for you to recommit yourself to consistent attendance in worship and to appreciate what corporate praise of God means to each and every one of us.