If you have not yet filled out the survey regarding returning to worship, please do so ASAP. It is important for the elders to know how many people would plan on worshiping in person so as to make things as safe as we can. As of today, only 13 people have responded to the survey. The survey is available at: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd_qVphbF7iqC-2HA-z1WPNDwZfuDHg8AmmHA7wANqUTUsotg/viewform?usp=sf_link
In May, we sent out a plan for moving toward reopening the church buildings as the world begins to slowly creep out of lockdown and quarantine. On July 10, we moved to the yellow phase of our reopening and began holding outdoor worship services in August. In October, we began live streaming Sunday morning worship, and this past Sunday - Easter Sunday - we held our first outdoor worship service of 2021.
As you know, the elders have been in constant communication and check in about when and where to return to in-person worship and programming. We have a Covid opening safety plan and we are delighted to announce that we are moving toward the green phase of being open. We do not have a firm date or details on times and locations for that yet, but we will be getting details out soon.
In the meantime, we will be resuming outdoor services for the spring. Our next outdoor worship services will be on Sunday, April 25th and Sunday, May 9 (Mother’s Day) at 11:30 am at St. Andrew’s. There will still be a livestream that morning with the full service including all the music at 10 am.
Regardless of how we proceed with in person activities - online participation will continue to be an option for the long term. While we know many are ready to begin gathering in some way again, others are not. As a church, it’s our responsibility to one another to be as inclusive and loving of our entire church family as possible.
We have once again included a copy of our phased reopening plan with adjustments and clarifications that the session has made. We want to be transparent with our plan so that everyone knows where we stand. We have also included a survey to assess how many people are interested in which worship opportunities right now. This will help church leadership determine the best plan forward as we phase into “green”.
We do still have spots open to serve as part of the leadership team at the livestream for those who would like to be a part of things in person in April and May. We need prayer representatives from each congregation whose job it is to be in the sanctuary during worship and pray for the success of the current worship service and for discernment on how to proceed in the future.. An individual or a household may service ths capacity. We also need lay readers each Sunday. Lay readers may read in person in the sanctuary on Sunday morning or pre-record their portion of the service. We would like as many people as possible to feel comfortable with attending and leading worship wherever they are on the vaccination and re-entry into “regular life” scale they are.
You can sign up for Sunday morning leadership one of two ways: online at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70a0e48a8af2ca1fe3-worship or by calling or texting Pastor Charissa directly. You must sign up ahead of time to attend.
Please remember that Volunteers and staff will still be required to wear masks at all times (including when outdoors and except when speaking on camera), remain more than 6 feet apart at all times, and have their temperature taken via thermal forehead thermometer before entering the building. Those running a fever will be asked to go home immediately.
Please call if you have any questions or if you would like to sign up to be on the leadership team for an upcoming Sunday.
Stay safe and healthy, friends.
The sessions of Emsworth and St. Andrew's
We will meet on the lawn at St. Andrew's at 11:30 am on Easter Sunday for an in person service. If you are still uncomfortable gathering in person or you would like to see he full service with all the music, you can watch the livestream at 10 am or later in the day. Livestreams are always available after the service as well to re-watch or catch up on a Sunday you missed.