Latest Update – May, 2021
Your session called a meeting on April 20 specifically to discuss when and how we might begin to welcome folks back into the sanctuary for worship. Good news: we are getting really close. In fact…
We will use the month of May to transition to the familiar summer pattern!
Here’s the plan
11am Outdoor Church on the Grounds will continue weekly through May 23 for folks who would prefer to drive up or bring their lawn chairs to the back lawn. Recordings of this service will be posted Sunday afternoon until we begin posting from indoors..
8:30am Indoor Worship in the Sanctuary will open gradually to help all of us get used to our new indoor worship protocols:
May 9 – a “Soft Opening” for up to 30 worshipers by reservation. We are keeping numbers very low this week to give our worship leaders, ushers, greeters and technical crew an opportunity to get comfortable with the plans and protocols, as well as test our live stream .
May 16 and 23 Up to 40 worshipers by reservation, video will be streamed and/or posted online.
Then on May 30 (Memorial Day), we will shift to the Summer Schedule
8:30am Launch the 2021 Season for Beach Worship
11am Sanctuary worship by reservation (to be streamed and/or posted online)
To make a reservation, you can call Kathy in the church office from 9-1
at 910-754-6929 or email her at email@example.com.
Your Questions Answered
We’ve tried to anticipate your questions and concerns, but chances are good we’ve missed at least one. Please reach out and ask.
Why are we requiring reservations?
- To get a head start on contact tracing/sign in protocols
- To gauge how many of our members are ready and willing to begin worshiping indoors
- To determine when/if we need to prepare our ushers for using overflow space to accommodate members and visitors.
How do I make a reservation?
- Call Kathy during church office hours (M-F, 9-1) or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- She will need your name, phone number and how many from your household are attending.
- If we’ve reached the cut-off for that week, she’ll let you know your options.
- NOTE: Please do not ask to reserve multiple weeks at a time, so that other households might have the opportunity to be present while our seats are limited.
What do I need to know about indoor worship protocols?
- We will ask you to initial our check-in list, just in case we need to do any contact tracing.
- You will need to wear a mask while indoors (we will have extras in case anyone forgets).
- To help with social distancing, ushers will guide you to seats (by household).
- After worship, ushers will dismiss you by rows (through the exit to the columbarium).
- The service will remain shortened, with no choir, no congregational singing, or spoken responses. Communion will be provided using the prepackaged elements.
- As is always true: if you are ill or experiencing symptoms that might be contagious, please stay home and take advantage of worship as it is streamed or posted online.
Will I still be able to watch online?
Yes- we want to be sure that anyone who is unable or uncomfortable gathering in person can continue to worship with us. To that end, we aim to live-stream the sanctuary services- hopefully as soon as May 9. Until then we will post a recording of worship as soon as possible Sunday afternoon.
How long will we be following all these protocols?
This transition plan is just that – a guide for our next steps away from virtual-only gatherings. Meeting outdoors on the beach and on campus were our first steps last fall and this spring. By faith, indoor precautions will only need to be in place for a while longer.
The session will continue to monitor the Brunswick County health statistic trends that have guided us for the past year (hospitalizations, new cases and percent positive tests) and, since the beginning of 2021, percent vaccinated. We will also consider ongoing guidance from state officials and denominational leaders about what activities pose the greatest risk, what protocols are most effective, and how these risks shift as more people get vaccinated.
The bottom line is this – we ALL look forward to the day when we can sit shoulder to shoulder, singing and praying with gusto. We will ease into that reality, guided by the potent combination of science, common sense and the Holy Spirit.
How can I help?
- If you are willing to serve as an indoor usher or greeter, please contact Gail Thomas
- If you would like to give our on-the-grounds volunteers a hand with greeting or parking, contact Don Kauffman
- If you would like to volunteer to help at the beach, contact Wayne Rowell
Here’s something new! You can now listen to our worship services by phone. Just call our toll free number at 1-844-636-0722 and press 3 to listen to the entire service and 4 to listen to just the sermon. Recordings will be updated each Monday for the previous day.