We have been waiting for this day for some time. All of us have been watching as Lancaster County went from the “red” to the “yellow” and finally into the “green” status. It was impossible to consider any sort of reopening until the green phase was achieved.
Now that it has happened, we are looking forward to being back together. Being able to meet does not mean going back to the way things were in January. There will be no slacking off from making sure that our building and more importantly, you, can worship as safely as possible. Therefore, when you come to worship this summer, things will look and happen differently.
It starts with entering the building. There will be one set of doors dedicated for entrance, and another set dedicated for exit. Everyone is to bring a face mask to church. If you forget to bring one, there will be a supply available for you to use and take home. Hand sanitizer will be everywhere.
Inside, distancing will be followed. Every other pew will be roped off and not used. Tape will be on the floor, six feet apart, to guide us. There will be no coffee time or lemonade socials this summer.
Paper bulletins will be available, however the weekly bulletin will be also be emailed through the Ministry Minute network. You are encouraged to use your electronic device to view the order of service.
Liturgically, the service will be shortened, but we will still follow our historic pattern of gathering/word/meal and sending. Passing the peace will be different as we will stay at our place and wave. Other liturgical changes , including the distribution of the Holy Communion will be part of the pre-service announcements and printed in the bulletin.
The most noticeable change in the liturgy will be that there will be no singing or chanting. Allison is preparing some familiar music for you to tap your feet to, and even hum. And the number of spoken congregational responses are reduced.
And the room will be airy! The glass doors will be opened, and other doors as well will be open to promote fresh air. We are fortunate that the architecture of our building lends itself to being very open.
We grieve not be able to do those things we are familiar with. But remember: worship is what we make it and the effort that we put into it. God will be honored. Jesus will be praised. The Holy Spirit will be supporting us in our effort.
It may take a little time for some of you to feel comfortable returning to worship. That’s OK. And if you are sick or just getting over an illness, do not come to worship. We pray that our area will not fall back into the yellow phase. We pray that we will be able to worship in person. Those prayers will be answered by our persistence in our collective love for the neighbor. A command which comes to us from Jesus himself.