First Church Family:
Much has changed in regard to COVID 19 in the past months. Infection rates are down; vaccines are being given to a much larger number of persons across our community; and it is being reported that all three of the vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson) will prevent 100% of possible
hospitalizations from the virus.
Our leadership has sought to move wisely and cautiously over the many months that we have dealt with the pandemic. And we have been blessed that there have been no major outbreaks in our congregation.
During this challenging time, we have developed the capability of live streaming worship, a gift that will “keep on giving” as we move forward. We believe it is time to begin to move back to in person worship.
This past week, I worked with our staff to make ready a proposal to bring to our Safety/Re-opening Committee, detailing a way to begin the process of safely coming back to in person worship. Sunday after church, our Safety/Re-opening Committee met to work through the proposal, and agreed to bring the proposal to our Church Council, which made additional suggestions for re-opening.
The proposal follows. Please look it over closely. It is meant to be cautious and protective of members of our congregation. Though it may sound quite restrictive, it is a beginning, that no doubt will be eased when conditions
continue to improve.
I can’t wait to see you in church!
FIRST UMC, LENOIR, N.C.
2021 In-Person Worship Re-Start
One service per Sunday at 10:00 a.m. (on a trial basis) beginning March 21.
These are the expectations/guiding rules for in-person worship:
- For now, maximum of 50 persons, with correctly worn masks and socially distanced at all times.
- Every other row/pew will be blocked off with painter’s tape.
- Worshipers pre-register by calling the Church Office (828 754 4922).
Registrations can be made each week by leaving a message on Ivey’s extension (#10), beginning after church on Sundays or by calling anytime Monday through Thursday, 9 until noon. Each week new registration will be required before noon on Thursdays.
- Sunday, March 21, worship service held in the Sanctuary at 10 a.m.
- Sunday, March 28, worship service held in the CLC at 10 a.m.
Our Safety Committee will meet and the Church Council will receive a report after these two Sundays to re-assess before planning for Easter and beyond.
- correctly worn masks and social distancing required;
- worship spaces will be taped off (every other row/pew, etc.);
- there will be no full choir or congregational singing;
- we will not be able to pass the offering plate or greet one another at the door;
- ushers will seat individuals/families in seating areas and will release pews/rows one by one at the end of service;
- and special weekly announcements and details on entering will be shared each week.
A number of fully vaccinated ushers will be directing us into and out of our
seats on March 21 and 28.
When registering, please be ready to share:
- your name,
- phone number,
- and total number of persons with you for worship.