On Returning to Worship in the Sanctuary
Rev. William Bills
October 21, 2020
***RSVP to attend our in-person worship service on Sunday, November 8, 10:00 a.m. on our Facebook event – https://www.facebook.com/events/352418102646565/
or send a message to email@example.com to let us know how many people are in your party.
On Monday, October 19, the Policy Governance Board voted to open the church on Sundays for worship. We will begin the process of transitioning to a “mostly live” worship service on Sunday, November 8 at 10:00 a.m.
On Sunday, November 8, the church will open for a viewing of our online worship service. This will be the first step in the transition. As we move through the Sundays of November, parts of the service, such as music for centering and music for going forth, will be done live. The call to worship, opening prayer, scripture reading, sermon, and congregational prayers will all transition to live as well. The REACH Band, hymns, and special music will be shown on the sanctuary screens and played through the sound system. We will also be asking you to refrain from singing along with those parts of the service in the interest of keeping the congregation safe.
Please consider the month of November a transition time for worship. Each week we will move more of the service to live in the sanctuary, but we also need time to transition our technology for live streaming to our at-home worshipers. People who prefer to remain at home for worship will still have access to the worship services on Facebook and YouTube.
We can safely accommodate 60 worshipers in the sanctuary. If it turns out that more than 60 people want to come to the sanctuary for worship, we will add another service. We are asking that you RSVP on Facebook or by contacting Kim Depew (firstname.lastname@example.org) to let us know that you are planning to attend. It is very important that we know how many are coming so that we can plan properly.
If you choose to come to the church for worship beginning on November 8, please remember that you must wear a mask. We will also take your temperature on entering the building. You must sign in for possible contact tracing purposes. Individuals or family groups must remain socially distanced at six feet separation or more. Seating will be in designated pews only. You will need to follow directional signs on coming into the building. Hand sanitizing stations must also be used. There will not be any greeting time in the service. We will not have fellowship time after the service, either. Offering plates will be placed in the back of the church, and we will not have bulletins or hymnals.
Returning to the sanctuary for worship will not be returning to normal worship, but this is what I am willing to do at this time. I encourage everyone to do what is best for their own health and peace of mind. If you don’t feel the need to come to the sanctuary, by all means, continue to worship using the online services. If you do choose to come into the sanctuary, by all means, please observe all of the safety protocols. Worshiping as a community in the building is important. So too is your health.
Rev. William C. Bills
At University United Methodist Church, we affirm that as disciples of Jesus Christ, we are an open and inclusive congregation and welcome all persons into full participation regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic situation, age, ability, education, background and whether single or partnered.