Coming Inside for Worship
Sunday, May 16 at 9:00 a.m.
In-person inside worship services in the sanctuary will start on the 3rd Sunday in May (May 16). This has been a long wait, and we thank everyone for patiently and supportively bearing with us as our local church leadership continue to responsibly navigate through this pandemic with our safety in mind. At the April Administrative Council meeting, May 16 was set as the target date to resume in-person indoor worship. This decision is based on the current status of vaccination, burden and positivity rates for Ozaukee County. The benchmark being used is the standard set by the Wisconsin Council of Churches. To be clear, we (Ozaukee County rates) are not there yet as of the April Administrative Council meeting. We are projecting that we could be by May 16. If current trends continue, we predict May 16 to be the earliest possible date and are putting in motion our planning based on that date. The situation will be assessed and our plan for May 16 will be confirmed at a special early May Administrative Council meeting. If necessary, the date may be delayed to the first Sunday in June.
This is a return to the sanctuary, but it is not a complete return to normal. For a while it will be a new normal. A task force appointed by the Administrative Council has been working for many weeks to make this possible. Nearly 40 volunteers have been grouped into three Safety Teams to support worship (a set-up team for before worship, a greeting team to manage flow into and out of worship, and a disinfecting team for after worship). An expanding Technology Team will manage the audio, in service graphics, and video recording. A Process Team will coordinate and train these teams, acquire supplies, and manage registration and any necessary contact tracing. These teams met for training and scheduling on April 25th. If you would like to add your name to the list for a Safety Team, please contact the church office.
A simple pre-registration process will be made available, and socially distanced seating will be marked to accommodate between 50 and 60 people. This is a starting place with one service. Attendance will be recorded at entry in case contact tracing is necessary if someone becomes sick. A self-service fever thermometer will be available. Face masks are required of everyone except for speakers or musicians socially distanced in the pulpit or altar area. Congregational singing remains a very high-risk activity. Worship music will be by performance only; you may hum along or sing softly inside your face mask. To eliminate possible contact transmission, there will not be bulletins, hymnals, communion or pew Bibles, and offering plates will not be passed from person to person. An offering basket will be located at the sanctuary door. Service length will be managed to last between 30 and 45 minutes. At the end of the worship service, you will be dismissed by a host to maintain social distancing while inside the building. All socializing after the worship service must take place outdoors.
It is not the same as before, but it is a way we can safely assemble in person for now. I look forward to seeing you in worship. We have been waiting a long time. Let’s do this well together!
Pastor Don Greer
We are asking all attendees to reserve their seat(s) prior to the date of the service so we can prepare the space inside our church. Reservations can be made online. If you do not have internet access, you may call the church office (262-377-3832) and, as space is available, a seat or seats will be reserved for you. Please note seats are reserved on a first come first serve basis.