Returning to Worship in the Sanctuary August 2021
“For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”
We look forward to worshipping in the sanctuary starting August 8th! Whether you attend in person or join the service online, it will feel good to be back in our beloved sanctuary. Remembering that not all our congregation members have the vaccination available to them (the very young and the immunocompromised), for those who attend in-person, we ask that everyone adhere to the following practices:
Practices for Worshipping In Sanctuary
- Entering/Signing In – You will be invited to enter the church through the front vestibule doors and sign-in for contact tracing purposes. Vine and Dix St doors will remain locked.
- Masking – We are asking at this time that everyone except the speakers, while speaking, wear masks while inside the sanctuary.
- Spacing – worshippers are asked to maintain physical distancing from those who are not in the same household.
- Singing – Assuming that everyone is masked and socially distanced throughout the sanctuary we will invite people to sing hymns…maybe with a little less gusto than usual.
- Ventilation – Windows in the sanctuary will be open and fans will be going in order to maximize ventilation of the space.
- Livestreaming – We will be livestreaming all of our services so there will be cameras going and at least a couple of people running the livestream and AV system.
- Offering – Offering plates will not be passed but remain at the front and the back of the sanctuary. There will be iPads available for electronic giving.
- Communion – We will be using pre-packaged disposable communion cups and wafers which will be distributed as people enter the sanctuary.
- The Nursery – We will offer child-care in the nursery and our care providers will be masked. Children over the age of 2 will also be asked to be masked.
- Meet and Greet – While the weather holds, we will offer some light refreshments out on the Abbe Patio, keeping it simple and brief with disposable (but eco-friendly) cups and plates.
- Cleaning – Surfaces in the sanctuary and nursery will be wiped down and cleaned after each service.
Extending Hospitality to One Another
As we transition to hybrid worship, we want to highlight the importance of extending hospitality and welcome to everyone. Worship leaders will be working to make people receiving the Livestream feel as welcome in worship as those sitting in the pews. This will be a growing edge for us and might be awkward at times, so please be patient!
For those coming to worship in-person, we want to give full permission for people to set needed boundaries, observe safety practices, and keep distance in ways that are comfortable to each. While it will be tempting to hug and hold one another, love can be expressed through bright eyes, kind words, elbow nudges, and fist bumps!
Monitoring as We Go
The Regathering Team encourages everyone who is able in our congregation to get the vaccine. They will continue to monitor and discuss the situation in church and the guidelines coming from the state as we move toward the fall. Please contact us with questions, concerns, encouragement, or suggestions.