Below are the guidelines for your safety while Covid is still a threat. There are also news and information below regarding Easter, Sunday school and more. I encourage you to read to the end.
2nd…and related to our coming back to the church building on Palm Sunday, we plan to follow the same protocols we did when we came back for a month or so before Christmas: wearing masks, signing in, socially distanced seating, mingling outside only, passing the peace with waves and air hugs from our seats, using hand sanitizer, frequent hand washing, etc. To limit exposure time indoors, we will strive to keep the worship service under 45 minutes.
One change we think you will enjoy is Praise Team videos being shown during worship. While the Praise Team will not be singing in person, their songs will be pre-recorded for projection on the screen. That being said, it is still important that you make their singing your prayer and that you refrain from singing or humming along. As the signs on the Thruway and around town remind us: “Covid is still a threat.” So let’s remain diligent in our good care of one another.
We’ll send you another reminder over the next couple of weeks about the necessary protocols…and in the meantime, I encourage you all to get vaccinated as soon as you are eligible. To that point, by the time you read this, Karen and I will have had our first shots of the Moderna vaccine! We’ll get our second one on April 8.
3rd…taking into consideration feedback from the parents of our youth, Sunday School will not begin meeting in person until after Easter, and Logos will not be meeting face-to-face until Fall. Sarah will continue to engage our youth with online opportunities to help them grow in Christ. She has been doing a fantastic job! Thank you, Sarah!
Also, Sunday Seminars will continue in the form of our (usually) Monday night Bible studies via Zoom around 7PM that have been happening pretty much since the beginning of our shut-down. This is another way we can minimize exposure time inside the building. By the way, I’d love to have more of you join us for these times of reflection and learning on Monday nights! They have really been great…even if just to see the people you love from church without masks! Information about how to join us has been coming to you through our emails, so please go ahead and hit that ‘join meeting’ Zoom link next Monday night at 7PM!
No Printed Bulletins Provided
4th…we will be emailing you the bulletins each week and would ask that you please print them and bring them with you as we will not be printing them for the worship service on Sunday mornings. Partially because we are trying to be good stewards of our resources considering our current financial issues, and to help us be safe, and also because the liturgy will be in the PowerPoint on the screen.
5th…Palm Sunday, of course, is the beginning of Holy Week, and while we will not have a Maundy Thursday Service this year, the sanctuary will be open from 8AM-8PM on Good Friday (April 2) for silent reflection and prayer. You will find a reflective atmosphere in the chancel to help you focus your prayer and make your time in the sanctuary meaningful. PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THAT THIS TIME IS FOR INDIVIDUAL, SILENT REFLECTION AND PRAYER. IF SOMEONE ELSE IS IN THE SANCTUARY WHEN YOU ARE, PLEASE RESPECT OUR REQUEST TO MAINTAIN SILENCE AT ALL TIMES.
Also related to Holy Week, if you’ve not been accessing the YouTube video links for the Lenten devotions that my clergy colleagues and I put together, and that Andrea has been emailing to you each Wednesday during Lent, I think it might help make Holy Week extra special if you watch all five of them over the course of that week. The dramatic monologues provide powerful and unique perspectives and reflections from some of the lesser-known characters in the Bible who were present for the crucifixion and resurrection.
And finally, won’t it be wonderful to be together this year on Easter Sunday, April 4, after missing it last year? Though, again, in order to help provide good care for one another, we’d ask you to please BYOC (Bring Your Own Communion) on Easter Sunday, as you did when we celebrated the Lord’s Supper outside last summer. If you forget to bring it, we will have some of the pre-packaged Communion juice and wafer containers for you.