May 16 update
At our recent meeting, Session approved the use of the church building for small groups of approximately 10 or fewer, beginning May 18. This would include groups such as Bible or book studies, youth group, prayer & fellowship gatherings, and officer meetings. The Session asks that those meeting at the building maintain appropriate hygiene and safety measures, such as physical distancing, and cleaning/disinfecting surfaces after meeting, and we encourage outside ventilation and use of outdoor spaces when possible.
April 30 update
The Session met again on April 30 to review our plans for resuming in-person worship. We wanted to fill in some gaps, answer questions, and clarify the language of the announcement that was sent earlier last week. As Pastor Kessler expressed in the open letter you recently received, your pastors and elders want to take appropriate measures to foster the health—spiritual and physical—of you, this precious flock of Jesus Christ entrusted to our oversight and care. We want to be mindful in doing so not to require of you anything other than what is necessary, by the authority of God’s word; and also to encourage you in the liberty you have in Christ, while at the same time calling you to remember that in the body we don’t live each unto ourselves, but must give due consideration to the needs and concerns of one another. This is our desire and purpose in reinstating our public assembly of the church on the Lord’s day, starting May 10, with the following guidelines as we meet together:
- To protect those who are most vulnerable, we recommend that if you or someone in your household is age 65 and older, have underlying health concerns, or have symptoms of illness, please continue to participate in worship through the live stream rather than in person.
- In order to maintain appropriate distancing, we are encouraging attendance of about 75 worshippers at each service. While we believe we can safely accommodate somewhat more than that number, we have set that as the target. We will not turn people away from joining us for worship. Please use the sign-up sheet for morning and evening worship services. (Contact the church office for a link to the sign-up sheet.)
- We ask that those who attend observe guidelines for 6-foot distancing and hygiene practices (hand-washing or sanitizing). We recommend the wearing of masks, and will provide them for those who need them.
Please note that these are recommendations and requests, not mandates. We encourage you to consider them, and in humility, wisdom, and prayer to weigh carefully what you choose for yourself and your household. Let love, patience, and grace rule our hearts toward one another. Any who feel they cannot or ought not to assemble physically are encouraged to join with the church via live-stream.
As circumstances change, and our understanding of the situation develops, Session will revise these recommendations as needed.