Worship: Phase 1
We have decided to resume corporate worship this Sunday, May 10.
If you are healthy enough and low risk enough, we want to offer you the opportunity to join in corporate worship. Please read all of this since there is a lot of important information sprinkled throughout. Our plan will be to do a gradual rollout where we introduce new aspects with an emphasis on safety and simplicity.
THE PLAN: We have broken the church into three worship groups. You don't have to attend, but if you do please attend the service to which you have been assigned (assignments are at the bottom of this email). These worship groups were created from the zoom groups so you will at least get to worship with the people you’ve been seeing.
- Group 1 will worship at 9 am.
- Group 2 will worship at 10 am
- Group 3 will worship at 5 pm
VISITORS: By doing three services, we have room for visitors. Don't stay away from our church for fear of sending us over the limits set by the city. Just be aware that things will be a bit awkward for all of us, but it's not a bad thing to see us at our most awkward rather than our most presentable.
THE LIVESTREAM: We will continue to livestream the worship service through my YouTube channel. Each week we will livestream the 10am service. We will continue to livestream the service until everyone is available to return to worship. Our livestream is available here.
THE CAVEATS: There is always the possible that the city might reverse their rollout and if they do then we will be back at my house. If, on the other hand, the city moves to their next phase, then we will switch to our Phase 2, which will mean only two services.
IMPORTANT: Zoom Groups have been a vital part of our ministry these last six weeks. We ask that you still participate in them. Your own group can figure out if a different part of the week works better or if you can go to a park after worship, but please still meet. This will NOT be corporate worship as we knew it and we don’t want to lose the real and substantial ministry with the whole body just for the sake of sitting in the church building. So keep meeting.
THE WORSHIP SERVICE: As we get started, we will basically do the same thing we’ve been doing at my house. The service will last about 45min. We are asking that only one family unit sit in each pew, leaving vacant the pews that are marked as such. Please reserve those back few rows for some of the larger families. Also, the balcony will be open and, as we progress to other phases, we expect to use most of it to maintain proper social distancing.
Speaking of distancing, we encourage every able person to use the large, outside stairs/doors to keep traffic out of the narrow stairwell. If weather permits we will probably have them standing open or have ushers holding them. For these first few weeks, we will not have communion. We will also not have coffee after the service. There will be baskets available for the offering, but you can keep giving online if you prefer.
THE NURSERY: We will not be having nursery, and that will probably be the case for awhile. We know the challenge that creates for families and we will be making the service simpler and have shorter sermons to try and accommodate it. We also know that it’s just going to be a circus. So don’t stay away for fear of disrupting. This will be a reality for long enough that we might as well get comfortable with it.
EXTRA DETAILS: I would also encourage everyone to bring their own hand sanitizer. We will have a bottle in the entryway, but having your own will make it last longer. When it comes to singing, we ask that you wear a mask while you are singing; studies have actually shown that singing is a really effective way to spread the virus. If you prefer to sit and meditate on the words or sing under your breath, then this is your moment!
As we add elements and local guidelines change, we will have to make adjustments. Just stay tuned for upcoming changes as they happen from week to week. If you have any questions about all of this don’t hesitate to ask.
Over the last two months I have been so thankful for your kindness and patience with us, and most especially for your intercession for our Session and Church. Jeremiah’s words to the exiles in chapter 29 are essentially this: “bloom where you are planted.” I believe you have done this exceptionally well. I have heard stories of people giving each other gifts, sharing needs, and checking in on each other regularly. This has been a trial and God has met us in it. You are the bride of Christ and you’ve proven yourself faithful.
With all that said, here are the assignments for worship. Zoom leaders are in bold with their groups underneath.
9:00 AM WORSHIP (50 people)
- Browns (16)
- Josiah & Ashlee Hashman
- Phil & Hannah
- Aaron & Barb Hutchcraft (24)
- Jeff & Sonja Hashman (10)
10:00 AM WORSHIP (49 people)
- Blakelys (21)
- Kathi Brown
- Pattersons (17)
- Jen Williams
- Huitsings (11)
- Dan Scott
- Duane & Jackie Williams
5:00 PM WORSHIP (52 people)
- Davidsons (16)
- Jason & Adah Hutchcraft
- Skaggs (21)
- Benders (15)