As we begin to meet again after a season of digital worship, we all have questions about what this looks like. Here are some common ones we’ve heard, along with our current solutions. Things are fluid, so we expect that some of these things will change and we will update as needed.
Is it important to attend worship in-person? We believe that gathering for worship is one of the most central rhythms of the life of the church. There truly is no replacement for physically meeting to sing, pray, hear the Word, share communion, etc. Corporate worship is at the heart of our identity as part of Jesus’ church and it is what we were made for. So in short– yes, it is important to worship together. However, these are unprecedented times. For many different reasons some of us may not be able to attend in-person worship while COVID-19 is still an active concern. This is why we are committed to providing a live-stream of the worship service each week for as long as needed and training up an entire new volunteer team to make that happen (by the way, if you’re interested in being part of that team and haven’t already spoken to Michael, shoot him an email!). We are committed to providing access to the worship service for those who are not able to attend in-person.
Should I skip some weeks to make room for others? At this point we are encouraging everyone who would like to attend to go ahead and register. We know of a number of members who would gladly give up a seat to make room for others, if needed. We’re also willing to add additional service times if needed.
What safety measures are taken for the indoor service? What does it “feel like”? Everyone is masked for the entirety of the service and every other row of seats has been removed to provide adequate space for proper distancing. Weather permitting, we keep the doors to the lobby open and provide hand sanitizer for each person as they enter. Worship guides are provided as self-serve, as well as pre-packaged communion bread/juice (yes, we’re using the little styrofoam wafers). An offering plate is located in the back of the sanctuary instead of being passed during the service. We hope these efforts will help you feel more at ease as you consider attending in-person.
What about kids making noise! We love it! Honestly, with having a much smaller group of people in the sanctuary, it can feel kind of quiet. Over the past few weeks, having a few kids in the room has helped bring a sense of joy and life to the room. So, they are more than welcome!
What will outdoor worship look like? We will meet at 9am in the back parking lot where it’s shady. A couple of things to note:
- Practice social distancing of 6 feet between individuals or family groups
- Please bring your own lawn chairs or blanket (although we will be on the parking lot surface)
- Masks are encouraged, but not mandated (as they are for indoor worship)
- The worship service will be shorter (about 45-50 minutes) and family accessible (i.e. kids making noise is no problem!)
- The area where we’ll worship will be blocked off, but feel free to park anywhere else on our property
Do I need to R.S.V.P each week? Yes, signing up in advance helps us to manage the size of our gatherings, and also keeps a record for us in the case that an exposure were to occur.
Are we considering any other means of gathered worship? We are planning to try a simpler outdoor service in the parking lot beginning on July 12. That will be an early service while it’s still cooler and shady and we’ll continue to have an indoor service which we will stream later in the morning. We are going to try it and if it’s something that has good participation, we’ll keep it up. Look for an announcement and registration link next week sometime.