So the countdown has begun!  We will re-open for public worship on Pentecost Sunday, May 31.  As we return to worship in the sanctuary, things will be different.  It won’t take long for you to notice the changes.  Doors leading into the sanctuary will be open.  A hand sanitizing station will greet you and you will have the option of wearing your own mask or grabbing a mask that we will provide.  You may choose not to wear a mask, although it is strongly encouraged.

Every other pew will be closed off, so you are not guaranteed the same spot that you have sat in for years.  Worship bulletins will be placed on pews prior to the doors being opened, also giving you an idea as to where to sit, as we will be observing social distancing as we worship.  There will be no time for getting up and shaking hands or greeting one another.  We will be using the screen for words to the few hymns we sing and the Scripture verse as all Bibles, hymnals, cards, and special envelopes will be removed from the pew racks.

As we are now live streaming our services, we will be limited by the hymns that we can sing because of copyright violations.  We will also be singing fewer stanzas of the hymns.  The offering will be collected by the offering plates that will be placed on each table near an entrance, and you can place your gift in the plate, either before or after the service.  We will still recognize the act of giving within the worship service.  For communion, the trays will not be passed from person to person.  A Deacon will hold the tray and you will pick up two cups, one cup holding the cracker, the other cup filled with the juice.

Once the service is over, you are asked to not linger inside.  We have suspended all the OJ/Coffee Fellowship Hours for the time being, so if you choose to visit, do so in the parking lot.  A crew will be then clean the sanctuary in preparation of the next church that will be coming in.  We know some churches in the area will not re-open until July or August while there are some churches in town that never closed.  Now is not the time to invite those folk to come join us, as difficult as that is for me to say.  Space is limited.

You may want to continue to worship online at home for a few weeks once we re-open.  This will give us the opportunity to see if there are things we need to do differently. These

changes aren’t permanent.  We will find a “new” normal.  But this time does give us the opportunity to re-image church differently in a world that has revealed its vulnerabilities, all because of a pandemic.

See you Sunday on-line,

Gary