I am so excited for this Sunday!
We haven’t worshiped together since the middle of March – seven months!
When the coronavirus first became a threat, all of us hoped that our suspension of worship would be only a couple of weeks, maybe three at the most. Seven months ago, we had no idea what to expect; and to be fair, we still don’t know what to expect in the long term. There is a reason we keep hearing the phrase, “new normal.” Many things will be different, even at church.
Scripture is clear that the people of God need to be in the habit of gathering for worship. In Hebrews 11:24, 25, we read these words:
24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Worship holds a twofold purpose. First, we give glory to God. We ought to be doing that every day with every part of lives. But we also need to regularly gather and glorify God corporately. What a relief we are doing that this Sunday! Second, worship serves to encourage us. This encouragement happens two ways. First, the experience of the worship service – singing and music, prayers, preaching, and sacraments – all of these serve to bring us encouragement. How frequently do we hear people express the sentiment that a worship service lifted them up?
We also find encouragement in one another. The collective love and wisdom of the Body of Christ is an irreplaceable part of the Christian experience. We need each other! Some of the greatest parts of our Christian experience happen when we are gathered.
I am thankful we are gathering again this Sunday. I know not everyone is comfortable with this. And if you are coming, it’s important to know what to expect. We may have to sit in different places, the worship order will be a little unfamiliar, and we will be practicing social distancing.
There won’t be congregational singing. [Please see the Re-opening Guidelines in the attached CTPress below.]
But there will be worship.
We will be encouraged.
And God will be glorified!
Summary of Re-opening Guidelines
The list below is a summary of guidelines mailed/emailed to every member this week. These guidelines will be in place beginning Sunday, October 4.
Register – Everyone planning on attending worship is asked to notify the church office (304-725-5316, firstname.lastname@example.org). Registration needs to be updated weekly.
Do a self-check – If you do not feel well, stay home, and participate via Facebook.
Wear a Mask – Everyone will be asked to wear a mask upon entering the building for the duration of the service. If you forget your mask, we will have one available for you.
Entering/Exiting – Enter/exit via the sanctuary entrance on Washington Street unless you need the elevator.
Offering – Mail it to the office, give online, or place it in the offering plate upon entering.
Bulletins – Print at home, save to your phone, or use one of the copies we will have on hand.
Seating – One pew per household, even if it’s only one person.
Singing – For now, we will not be singing. It is a major spreader of the virus. There will be music.
Communion – Bring your own bread (BYOB ), juice will be set up and in pews prior to the service.
Dismissal – By pews, as directed by the ushers.
Nursery – Available for emergencies and nursing mothers. Children must stay in worship with parents.
Please avoid congregating close together before and after the service. To that end, we encourage people to consider staggering arrival times prior to the service, and to head straight to their vehicles after the service.
If you have any questions, please contact the church office.