Dear Sisters & Brothers in Christ,
When our session suspended in-person activities back in March, we did so out of compassion for our community, especially its most vulnerable. As we gradually resume in-person activities, we remain guided by that same Christian concern. While following the advice of government, public health, denominational, insurance, and music education experts, our session is allowing in-person worship and events to resume. We ask the following from all who attend these events.
- Facemasks are required during all on-site or church-sponsored activities. We will have extra facemasks in the office and near the sanctuary entrance for any in need.
- Sunday worship attendees should enter and exit the sanctuary through the association room. This means we should enter and leave the church building via the parking lot ramp, office entrance, or northern Calhoun St. steps.
- Members of different households are urged to stay six feet apart and avoid physical contact. Masking tape on the floor by a pew indicates a spot that is six feet away from others. For the middle pews, sit on the aisle side right next to the tape. For the side pews, sit in the center of the pew aisle marked by tape.
- There will be no coffee hour fellowship for now. Those who wish to socialize after church or an event are encouraged to do so outside, where the air circulation is better.
- People are asked to regularly wash their hands, and sanitizer can be found by the sanctuary entrance.
- Those who feel unwell should stay home. Recordings of our worship services will be uploaded to YouTube and Facebook by 5pm that same day, and we will soon be livestreaming the service so everyone can share in worship at the same time.
- Ministries and community groups may meet at our church again but must follow these guidelines. Group leaders may set additional safety measures if they desire but should check in with church office staff before resuming their on-site activities.
You may notice other changes to our worship services. To avoid cross-contamination, we are forgoing hymnals, bulletins, Bibles, offering plates, and other commonly-touched items in worship. Indoor congregational singing is also highly infectious, so we will share in other forms of praising God together instead. Communion returns to its usual annual schedule but will be provided in prepackaged containers and served according to public health guidelines.
Our church will continue to adapt and revise this strategy as the Covid-19 situation develops. But though the looks of ministry may change, the heart of ministry remains the love of God and neighbors. So I pray we all remain guided by Christian compassion during this difficult time.
Rev. Alex Peterson