Dear Sisters & Brothers in Christ,
As Michigan slowly reopens, our congregation also slowly returns to in-person activities. As a transitional step, our church is now offering outdoor worship in our parking lot until repairs to our sanctuary are completed, under the following regulations.
- If you feel unwell, please stay home. If you feel unsafe attending, we encourage you to stay home as well. We will upload a recording of worship to our YouTube and Facebook pages at 1pm that Sunday so those at home can share in worship.
- Each household is invited to bring lawn chairs from home and to place those chairs on a parking lot line in order to maintain proper social distance from others. If you wish to talk with others, please keep six feet apart and avoid hugs, handshakes, etc.
- Worship attendees are strongly urged to wear masks, even if they feel well. At best, wearing a mask prevents infections. At worst, wearing a mask is merely inconvenient but still shows respect for the well-being and comfort of those around you.
- Because the service is outdoors, limited congregational singing is allowed. All who wish to sing must do so softly and while wearing a mask. Only the first two verses of each hymn will be sung.
- Communion will not be offered. Offering plates will not be passed around, but collection buckets will be placed near the parking lot exits for any who wish to donate. Session will serve as ushers.
- In case of rain or inclement weather, our outdoor worship service will be canceled. However, an online-only service will still be posted by 1pm on Facebook and YouTube.
- Our Zoom “coffee hour” conference call and worship broadcast is suspended.
Even as we transition towards reopening, congregational life is not going to look the same. I understand the desire to return to “normal” life. I understand the frustration after months of isolation and social distancing. I share those feelings. But as Christians called to look after “the least of these,” if these safety measures protect even just one person from becoming infected at our church, then they would be worth it. As we each consider our own plans as Michigan reopens, I encourage us to think not only of our own safety but of the well-being of others as well, as Christians called to love both God and neighbors. Be safe out there.
Rev. Alex Peterson
June 26, 2020