Our in-person worship services were suspended earlier this year. Shortly after suspending our in-person services, a Re-Opening Task Force was formed to decide the state of our services. Since then, we have introduced our streaming services, brought back in-person worship services and in-person communion.
All of these services were introduced slowly and conformed with state and synod guidelines. The safety and health of our congregation was and is always our utmost concern. We take temperatures of anyone entering either the church or school; we practice good social distancing of 10 feet during services; masks are required upon entering the building; we have hand sanitizer stations throughout the building; we have installed high capacity filters in our HVAC system; and we follow the CDC current guidance of capacity limits.
Under current conditions, the total attendance of our three services has remained relatively steady. However, the attendance at the 10:45am service is below what we had expected. (For example, a few weeks ago, we had only 8 people attend the 10:45 service.) After much prayer and thorough review, upon recommendation of the Re-Opening Task Force, Council approved moving to a single worship service on Sundays, beginning September 27, at 9:00 A.M. This means that the number of our attendees will increase to a maximum of 75 total. This also means that all other safety protocols listed above will still be in place to ensure a safe environment for 75 people to worship our Lord.
Having one service will better utilize the gifts of our Pastors, Music Director and others involved in the worship services. While our worship team will diligently serve God’s people whether we have 8 people, 50 or 75 in attendance, it is much more spiritually fulfilling and uplifting with more worshipers gathering as the Body of Christ.
As so much in today’s world is being reviewed, this decision will be reviewed on an ongoing, monthly basis to determine best practices. We will continue to be compliant with CDC guidelines. The health and welfare of God’s children is our main concern.
While we are still gathering for in-person worship (and still offering our services online), due to rising case numbers of those infected with COVID-19 in our region, we will be reducing our capacity at our weekend worship services to 50 until further notice, starting this weekend. We thank you for your understanding and patience! We will continue to monitor the situation as it impacts our weekly worship. Above all, continue to hold this pandemic up in prayer to our Lord above. Whatever changes may come as the days, weeks and months wear on, the Lord’s steadfast love for us in Jesus will never change!
Pastor Ben Roberts
Thank you and may God’s peace be with you! Stay safe!