Over the past several weeks, we have gathered for worship via Facebook Live, and recently the Session has begun to develop and implement a process for opening the church to our faith family , that all who wish and are able might gather again in person in worship.
We will be reopening the Third Church sanctuary on Sunday, June 21.
Of course, we will be doing so with limitations. We ask everyone who attends worship to wear a mask that will be comfortable for you for the duration of the service. We will have some disposable ones available, but if you have one that you prefer, please bring it with you.
When you arrive, you will be greeted prior to entering the building (weather permitting) and asked to put on a mask. Once inside, your temperature will be taken and you will be asked some basic health questions to make sure you are feeling well and have taken the suggested precautions over the previous days. Hand sanitizer is will also be available for use.
You are invited to see wherever you choose – as long as it is designated for use to be able to maintain appropriate social distancing. We have marked off several pews to ensure we can maintain six feet of social distancing between individuals. We have two full pews specifically set aside for family groups of four or more so that they can sit together.
Communion will be served in pre-packaged serving cups. You will be invited to come forward to receive the elements from a font table, while also taking the opportunity, as the Lord leads, to place your gift into an offering plate. We ask that as you come forward down the center aisle, that you maintain a two-row separation between yourself and the person in front of you, then return to your seat down the side aisle.
A note about the elements: The cups are small and can be a challenge to handle, especially the first time. Note that there are two “peel-away” plastic lids — the top one is clear and exposes a small “wafer”, the second will expose the juice. After returning to your pew, partake of the elements in your time, but be careful to open the thin clear plastic cover to get to the wafer first, then peel back the cover of the cup.
We understand a large and important piece of our coming together to worship is interaction with brothers and sisters in Christ. To that end, we ask that you continue to maintain social distancing guidelines and keep your mask on when in the Sanctuary. If you come early and prefer to talk outside that’s fine – no need to wear a mask, but please to keep your distance to ensure the health of yourself and others. We also ask that you minimize your passing through the back of the church to avoid congestion in that area.
As always, we certainly welcome our children and youth to join us in worship, but at this time there will be no coming forward for a children’s message. We will, however, have worship resources available for those children who do join us in worship.
How many we will be able to accommodate in worship will depend upon how many come as individuals and how many as “family” units. However, the Session will do its best to accommodate all who come. At the same time, we want any who feel uncomfortable coming to know that you are a vital part of our faith family, and so we will continue to offer participation through Facebook Live. We ask for your patience with that since we are working to make it better but we’re facing some equipment limitations at present. Lord willing it will get better for you soon.
At this time, all other on-site gatherings at the church remain paused, including meetings of Session and the various committees. If you have questions about how to access any meeting of which you are involved, please contact your committee chairperson.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact any of the Elders or email the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org.