As our community begins to show signs of opening up again, the Operations Council and I have been considering our own plans for reopening. Our bishop, Lawson Bryan, has encouraged churches to make preparations while we remain closed through at least June 12, the end date for the current stay at home order.
Our current plan, and hope, is to resume in person worship on June 21, Father’s Day, provided that when we reopen, we can be fully open.
Fully open means resuming Sunday activities mostly as usual, including nursery, Sunday School, coffee service, breakfast service, and congregational singing, all things prohibited by current social distancing guidelines. Fully open also means full use of our worship facilities, for social distancing reduces those capacities significantly (40 in the sanctuary, 35 in the social hall).
To be fully open will require that social distancing guidelines be relaxed from where they are today. We will be watching developments closely, especially around June 12, for any new orders or executive action that replaces or extends the current stay at home order. Should social distancing requirements be rescinded or relaxed sufficient for us to be fully open on June 21, we will open; should they not be, the council and I will reconsider our plans and come to you with an update.
Meanwhile, we will continue worship as we have known it for these last several weeks. So many of you have made that such a special and meaningful moment. I’m glad for the life we have together via that channel. We have several regular viewers who are not members of our church and a few who do not live locally. We are currently making plans for how to extend this new mission arm of our church after we return to in person worship to continue our witness online.
All scheduled activities are cancelled until we officially announce a return to in person worship. Should we be preparing to reopen on June 21, the church office and facility will reopen on June 15, allowing for rehearsals and other activities to resume at that time.
No matter how things shape up, Vacation Bible School will be July 20-24! This may be in person, virtually, or some hybrid model, but one way or the other we’ll be engaging children across our community through those dates. Leigh and I are working through creative solutions that allow as many children to participate as possible while keeping everyone safe.
Peace to you and yours,