|Dear members of Grace, may God’s peace be with you in this holy season of the Resurrection!|
Pastor Bamsch and the Elders have met to discuss what worship will look like in the short term when we return to our beautiful building. Below you will see what a typical Sunday will look like until we get the all-clear to return to “normal.”
Even as you read this, the church is undergoing a deep cleaning and sanitizing of all surfaces and furnishings. There will be special care taken each week to continue to keep everything clean.
We are doing everything we can to minimize the amount of contact between people and surfaces throughout the building. When worship resumes, the doors will be open before and after church to minimize the amount of contact with door handles, etc.
When you enter the church, please go directly to your chosen seat. Social Distancing will be the order of the day, even in the pews. Feel free to sit together as a family/household, but be aware so that you do not sit directly in front of or behind another person or group.
We have plenty of room to move around and safely space ourselves apart, and you may not be able to sit in your usual “assigned” seat, but we do have a place for you. If you wish to wear a mask during church, you are free to do so.
Offerings will be collected as you enter or leave in the offering plates placed by the doors to the church itself.
The choir will not sing for a time, until we have a clearer picture of what the future will look like.
The service will be preprinted for now to minimize the amount of cross-contamination that could happen, and the hymnals have been removed from the pew racks. Feel free to bring your own hymnal if you have one, but take care to take it with you when you leave.
So, what does this mean for the celebration of Holy Communion? At first, we will commune via a continuous line. Please observe a six-foot distance between family groups as you line up to receive, and follow the ushers’ directions to return to your seats.
The ushers will direct you to the center aisle, where Pastor and an Elder will offer you Christ’s Body and Blood. Pastor and the Elder will wear masks during the Distribution to protect you. Their hands will be sanitized immediately before coming forward to serve you.
Pastor will place the Body of Christ into your open hands. Please do not reach for the host to avoid any unnecessary touching. There will be fewer cups per tray to also minimize touching. Take care that you do not touch other cups as you take yours.
There will be a tray nearby for you to place your cup in as you return to your seat. For the time being, we will refrain from offering the chalice, and ask for your forbearance and feedback as we proceed.
After the service is over, you will be ushered out to minimize the number of people in the narthex at one time. Please proceed directly outside and to your vehicles.
We are instituting these procedures in order that we might best love our neighbors. We want to minimize any possibility of contamination and spread of the coronavirus, but we realize that there will be a rise in cases across the country as more and more people come out of their Shelter In Place confinement.
If you are in a sensitive age or health group, or are uncomfortable with gathering for worship right now, please feel free to remain at home. Once we have returned to worship in the building at Grace, Pastor will resume visits to our shut-ins and those who are compromised at their request to bring them Holy Communion.
So, when will all of this happen? We have made the decision to return on Pentecost Sunday, this May 31 at 9:00am. Now, that date may not be exactly in line with the State or County’s recommendations, but we believe that the above guidelines will keep everyone safe.
Beginning May 31, our Sunday morning Bible Class will be suspended for a time. Please feel free to join us on Tuesday nights at 7pm for our Zoom Bible Class which will continue until we return to the Social Hall. Right now, we are studying Philippians.
What does this mean for our Facebook Live streamed services?
For those who wish to remain home for a while, the services will be streamed live on Facebook at 9:00am:
If you have any concerns, please feel free to contact either Pastor Bamsch or one of the Elders.
May the Peace of our Risen and Living Lord Christ be with you all!
Pastor Bamsch and the Elders