Return to In-Person Worship, Small Groups coming in February
Our COVID-19 Task Force met this week (January 19) and made a plan to return In-Person Worship and Small Group activities beginning in February. The group felt that with a declining number of cases, the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccinations, and updated orders from the State of Michigan, it was appropriate to plan a transition back to worship and church activities.
In-Person Worship will return with the beginning of the Lenten Season. The first In-Person Worship Services will be held on Thursday, February 18 (6:30 pm) and Sunday, February 21 (10:30 am). There will be a limit of 65 persons at each worship service. We will use Eventbrite for worship reservations. Reservations can be made beginning Monday, February 1. We encourage everyone to make a reservation for worship as this provides the staff with a participant list in case contact tracing becomes necessary. You do not need to bring the Eventbrite ticket to worship.
There will not be an 8:30 Sunday morning worship at this time however, it could be returned in the future if worship attendance demands a third service. Also, Ash Wednesday and Wednesday Lenten Services will be held online only. A service featuring Drive-Up Holy Communion and Self-Imposition of Ashes will be held on Wednesday, February 17 at 4:00 pm in the church parking lot.
Small Groups (such as Confirmation, Hand Bells, Quilters, Shop Guys, and others) may return beginning February 1. These groups may have 10 or fewer participants. Group leaders should check-in with the church office for further details including a start date and location. These groups will be required to track participants, wear masks, and maintain social distancing protocols at all times.
Protocols for In-Person Worship
- As you enter the church building, please sanitize your hands. Upon entering the sanctuary you may pick up wine and bread for Holy Communion or you’re welcome to bring your own elements.
- An usher may seat you and your family, like guests at a wedding, from the front to the back. This is to ensure we have enough safe seating for all who are registered to attend worship. We kindly ask that you follow the ushers’ lead and do not request a specific location unless you need handicap access.
- As we have done in the past, there will be no singing. And because there is no singing and to keep the church clean, we have removed the hymnals and Bibles. You’re welcome to bring your own Bible! We will use the screen to share scripture, too.
- Following worship, the ushers might dismiss you by pews - also just like at a wedding! This is to ensure social distancing. We ask that you exit the building as quickly as possible and limit more extended conversations to the outside. We ask that you kindly refrain from shaking hands, hugging, or other person-to-person contact. Thank you for your understanding!
- Restrooms will be open in the church during worship. We ask that you accompany any young children to the restrooms to ensure handwashing and safety protocols are followed. We will not be providing Nursery at this time.
We ask for your kind patience and grace as we make another transition in our worship and life together during this COVID-19 pandemic. As Christians, we are called to care for one another -- and we are committed to ensuring your safety while providing opportunities for worship, education, service, and fellowship.
If you have questions or comments, please contact Pastor Bill Uetricht or the church office at 231-744-1522.