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Church Office Hours, by appointment Mon. - Thurs. 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Pastor W. David Weddington
"GOD IS STILL SPEAKING"
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ’s love,
Starting on April 4, Easter Sunday morning, we’ll be opening the sanctuary to those who want to come and worship in-person. It’s a joyful time in the life of our church, a good new thing for springtime. This pandemic has stretched us, wearied us, frustrated us, and now, we would love to see it all go away.
Sadly, the pandemic hasn’t gone away, even though lots of steps have been taken in a positive direction. Our diligent wearing of masks in public has helped a great deal we hear. Our handwashing, giving one another some space and limiting travel have helped. It looks like the vaccines have done a great job of turning the tide on this virus.
And because of these things, because we’ve been diligent, because we’ve accepted these limits, we feel that it’s safe for us to open our doors, to gather in-person beginning on Easter.
Below, you’ll find the list of steps we asked ourselves to take when we were getting together for limited in-person worship from August to November last year. The Church Council decided to start our new in-person worship with these same guidelines. As time goes along and something like herd immunity comes to pass, we fully expect to be easing these limits. We all look forward to that, I know.
In the meantime, here is the list of special things we’ll be doing for now to keep each other safe:
Self-screening – To avoid delays in assembling we are asking everyone to self-screen before coming to church. Please stay at home and consult your physician if you have any of the following signs and symptoms: Flu like symptoms such as fever (temperature over 100.5 F), aches, chills, sore throat, cough, runny nose, fatigue, shortness of breath. Also if you have new loss of taste or smell, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Also please stay home if you have been in contact with anyone who has or is suspected to have the virus.
Entry – There can be no social gathering or close contact greetings before or after worship service. The sanctuary will be open for those who are willing and able to wear masks through the whole service. Disposable masks will be available. There will be two designated entry points. You may enter by the main sanctuary door on your left as you face the building, or you may enter by the handicap entry at the end of the ramp. The lift will not be available unless prior arrangements are requested. Hand sanitizers will also be available upon entry. Pews will have tissues and there will be no-touch trash cans.
Ventilation – The windows of the sanctuary will be open during our service of worship, regardless of the outside temperature. If you plan to attend on a day when it’s cold outside, be sure to bring a coat or a blanket for warmth.
Seating – Greeters and/or ushers will direct you to the areas marked for seating (many areas will be cordoned off to insure social distancing); there will be one-way traffic to avoid undue physical contact. Seating areas can accommodate individuals or households (people who live together).
Service – We will have printed bulletins available for those who would like to pick one up from the table at the entrance to the sanctuary. For those who prefer, we’ll also continue to send out the bulletin material in an email and on Facebook. We will maximize the use of the video projector. There will be no Sunday school or children’s part in the order of service. Special accommodations will be made for communion and the collection. There will be music but no choir or congregational singing.
Bathroom – The bathroom across from the Ladies Parlor will be available.
Coffee Hour – Unfortunately, there will be no coffee hour for now.
Exit – There will be two ways out after service. Most will exit via the sanctuary vestibule door on your left. Others may use the handicap ramp door.
Remote service – The streaming video service will continue for as long as it is needed or wanted. We will be looking into ways to enhance this service.
It seems like a lot, but you’ve done it before, and once we’re all settled, it really is nice to have the option of worshiping together in the sanctuary. I look forward to our time together, however you choose to join our beloved community.
To protect the health and safety of all our members, the Church Council has decided to move the Annual Meeting from February 14, 2021 to sometime in June. In the meantime, the Council will continue to serve as the decision making body of the church, as laid out in our by-laws. Except for contractual changes, we will continue to operate under the current budget, limiting our spending as much as is reasonably possible until a new budget can be passed.