In-Person Worship Gatherings Information
We are preparing to have worship outdoors at 200 Barker every other week the first Sunday our region of Michigan has reached Phase 5 of the MI Safe Start Plan, as weather permits.
Our region of Michigan remains in phase 4.
As such, we will continue online worship this Sunday, September 27: 9 AM Bible study and 10:15 AM worship on Zoom and 12 noon Communion at 175 Barker, weather permitting. We continue to be ready to hold in-person worship the first week that we are in Phase 5, weather permitting. We will let you know each and every week where we stand on the Wednesday of that week (i.e., we will let you know by September 30 where we stand for October 4, and so on).
Please continue to pray that our infections begin to decline again, as you continue to pray for the health and safety of our fellow citizens and all of those fighting COVID-19 on the front lines and for wisdom for our elected leadership at a local, state, and federal level.
We also want to encourage you to continue to follow the medical advice - stay home as much as you can, to keep social distance between you and people who aren't members of your household, and to wear masks when you are out in public, etc. - all to do your part in helping stop the spread of the coronavirus and to protect the most vulnerable among us.
If you need a mask, which will be required once we begin in-person worship, please let Laura Bowen know so she can get you one.
Once we do get to Phase 5 and begin to meet every other week outdoors for worship on the lawn south of the garage and west of the driveway at 200 Barker, here is how things will proceed, weather permitting:
- If you decide not to attend outdoor worship in-person for whatever reason (if you're part of the vulnerable population, if you're not comfortable with being outside in the heat, etc.), please tune in to our Facebook page where our service for that morning will be streamed.
- If you've been traveling within 2 weeks to an area with a high prevalence of COVID-19, if you're at a high risk of exposure to COVID-19 due to your job or living situation, or if you've traveled on an airplane within the past 2 weeks, please stay home and join us online.
- If you're feeling sick at all, even with mild, cold-like symptoms (anything including coughs, runny nose, sore throat, fever, to trouble breathing, chills, or a loss of taste or smell), please stay home and join us online. Worship services are things we ordinarily show up to no matter how we feel, but in this season, it is not healthy to do so. Staying home while sick is a way to love your neighbors and the city God has placed us in.
- Outdoor worship will be scheduled every other Sunday and alternate with online worship (9 AM Bible study and 10:15 AM worship on Zoom, with a 12 noon service of Communion at 175 Barker in our cars) so that those who are not attending our outdoor worship are still able to join our community in a fuller way.
What to Bring
Masks that cover your mouth and your nose are required on Sunday mornings for outdoor worship from when you leave your car until you return to it to go home. If you do not have masks for everyone coming to outdoor worship, please let us know and we can get you masks.
- Hand sanitizer
Chairs to sit in/umbrellas for shade
Sunglasses/sunscreen/hats as needed
Water/Coffee/Snacks - bring your own!
- Your own Communion elements/orders of service
- We invite you to park at 175 Barker if you are able to leave closer spaces for those with mobility issues. There will continue to be limited parking at 200 Barker. There will be greeters in both places.
- If you need to drop off someone from your household closer to where worship will be held, you can drive around the building at 200 Barker - slowly!, because there will be foot traffic between the building and the garage - and drop off guests and chairs/umbrellas/etc.
- There will be a table at the base of the garage driveway for health screenings (including a temperature check) that everyone will be required to go through.
- There will be a second table to pick up Communion elements and orders of service if you don't have your own from home.
- Find a spot on the grass at least 6 feet from other families.
Please follow social distancing guidelines. Keep a minimum of 6 feet away from all non-household members, and refrain from hugging, shaking hands, etc. We know it is hard to do as we all miss each other, but out of love for each other, and out of demonstrating a safe and caring environment for any who might be guests, we need to refrain from doing so.
- Service will be located on the grass south of the garage, west of the driveway at 200 Barker.
- There will be music, responsive reading, prayers, singing, a sermon, and self-serve Communion. We will keep it under 1 hour.
- An order of service will be e-mailed to you in advance if you want to print your own copy or if you want to access it electronically.
- Feel free to bring your own Communion elements (bread and grape juice/wine). If not, the self-contained Communion packets that we have been using for Communion in our cars at 175 Barker will be provided to you.
- Offering will be placed in a no-touch box if you want to give in person. Online and mail-in giving remains an option.
- There will be no nursery, children's church, or Bible study at this time. If kids are noisy or restless in this time, it's OK!
- The ushers will help direct everyone to leave in an orderly fashion.
- Please continue to maintain proper distance between households and wear masks as you return to your cars.
- If you want to connect with others safely, please do so elsewhere.
- Only one household will be allowed to use the restroom at a time. Please try to minimize the use of them.
- Please disinfect the toilet, sink, and any other surfaces you touch after using them.
- A greeter will be stationed at the north end of the building at 200 Barker to monitor guests using the restrooms to assure that just one household is using it at a time.
- The vestibule and interior doors will be propped open before, during, and after worship to allow touchless entry into the building.
- The North Wing entrance, the doors to the kitchen, the drinking fountains, the Welcome Center and remainder of the South Wing will be off-limits to keep things clean.
We will continue to evaluate all of these plans and adjust as we go. Thank you for your patience, grace, and good humor as we work through all of this together!