Dear Church Family,
I am beyond pleased with our drive-in service experience over the past several weeks. There has been talk about making it a regular part of our summer…err…spring routine. Time will tell and thanks for your part in such a fun experiment. For some of you, I know it opened up opportunities to invite people to church who would not readily step into our building. I am celebrating that and praying with you for their salvation! But that gets me to the reason for this letter.
Last Sunday was hot! That makes safety outside a concern. We have been brainstorming a way to move worship indoors while abiding by the NYS guidelines for resuming our gatherings. (Governor Cuomo allowed in Phase 2 for houses of worship to open at 25 percent capacity.) Accomplishing this will mean creating some special circumstances. Here are some things to know:
- Are we still social distancing? Yes. Remember that some people can be made to feel uncomfortable if approached too closely or without a mask. We love people, right? My advice is to go through the custom of asking what someone is comfortable with as you engage with them. Do still engage with them. That is encouraged.
- What will the sanctuary look like? Every other row will be “closed” in order to space people out in our sanctuary. Family units are encouraged to sit together. We will only use one set of doors to enter the sanctuary. Our greeters will ensure that we do not exceed the capacity of our sanctuary.
- What if the sanctuary “fills up”? We are taking a number of steps to mitigate that from being a problem. If it does fill up, overflow seating will be available in the lobby.
- Will there be singing? Yes. I have investigated the matter, and I still think we can sing.
- Will there be children’s ministry? Yes. This will help alleviate space. Parents will have the option of keeping their children with them or sending them to the children’s wing for the entire service. There will be no transition in the middle of the service.
- Will the Café be open? Yes.
- What about offering? Instead of receiving the offering in the traditional fashion, a place for offerings will be designated near the exit to the sanctuary.
- Are there other ways to participate in the service? Yes. We will still transmit the service on the FM radio which can be received from the parking lot. We will also be posting a recording of the service on our website and social media. At this time, we will not have an online service or livestream during our 10:00 a.m. service time. Services will be uploaded afterward.
- What about sanitation? The entire church building will be thoroughly cleaned in preparation for each Sunday service. All bathrooms will be open. If anyone wants to sanitize before use for their own peace of mind, disinfectant supplies will be available.
As always, your questions are welcome. Thank you again for your permission and trust as I do my
level best to lead us through this unusual time. May the grace of our Lord Jesus keep you and