Letter From PastorJune 3, 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
May our Lord continue to be with each of you, sustain you, and grant you His peace as we continue dealing with this pandemic. The elders and I met on Monday, May 18, 2020, to discuss how and when we reopen the church for worship. It was decided that we will once again be open for public worship on June 7, 2020.
While we will be open, that does not mean it will be “business as usual,” so to speak. In compliance with our governing officials and the recommendations of healthcare professionals, at least for the time being, we will be doing some things differently. Whether you agree or not, please be patient and understand that it is out of concern for the safety and well-being of each of you that these changes are being implemented.
· We will be having both services at their regular times, 8:15 and 10:45.
· There will be no Sunday school for adults or children. Hopefully, we will be able to resume both soon.
· There will be no midweek Bible studies.
· We are asking that everyone wear a mask.
· Nursery will not be available.
· Seating will only be permitted in every other pew in order to maintain six feet of social distancing. Please respect the six feet of distancing if there is already someone seated in a pew.
· While it will be handled differently, we will serve Holy Communion.
· After the service, please remain in your seats. An usher/elder will dismiss the congregation one row at a time.
· To minimize traffic throughout the church building, only the front and west doors will be open.
· No acolytes will be needed for the service until social distancing guidelines are lifted.
· To discourage socializing in the narthex and minimize exposure from surface touching, there will be no coffee available.
· The worship service will be shorter than usual in order to reduce the time of exposure in case someone who has the virus is present, but asymptomatic.
· When the service is over, please refrain from gathering in the narthex. While there will be people you want to visit with, we ask that you not visit inside. Feel free to visit, but please do so outside.
· The sermon will continue to be available online for those who are uncomfortable attending, or those in the high-risk category who should not attend in person.
· “Safer At Home,” guidelines are still in effect and should be practiced. This means that people aged sixty-five and older, as well as those with a compromised immune system/underlying health issues, are advised to stay at home.
1. Our regular quarterly congregation meeting will still be held next Sunday, 6/14/20, after the second service. Please plan to attend.
2. Our Church Planning Committee meeting that was scheduled for Tuesday, 6/9/20, has been cancelled.
3. Barbara Kienzle has been moved to Colonial Estates nursing home in Shawnee. She was sent there to rehab. Unfortunately, she now has pneumonia. Please keep Barbara and her family in your prayers.
4. Thank you again to all who have been so faithful in your giving. It is greatly appreciated. Our offerings have been slowly declining over the past several weeks. Our financial obligations haven’t changed, so please be sure and support our financial needs.
Interestingly, preparing to reopen for worship has been more difficult than making the decision to shut down. Shutting down was the right thing, and the safe thing to do. And while we are anxious to reopen, we recognize there are risks. We will do our best to make for a safe environment by following CDC guidelines regarding cleaning, sanitizing, and practicing social distancing. However, we cannot absolutely guarantee that no one will be exposed to the virus. So please, if you are in the group that is considered to be high risk (65 and older or with underlying health issues/compromised immune system) the CDC recommends that you stay home. And obviously, if you are ill or have symptoms of any kind of illness, please continue to stay at home until you are well.
We understand that not everyone is going to feel comfortable returning to worship yet. That is ok. Everyone has to decide for himself/herself when they are comfortable returning. It is a personal decision that we each have to make on our own.
In Christ’s love,
Sunday Morning Worship 8:15 a.m.
Sunday Blended Worship 10:45 a.m.
Phone #: 405-273-6286