First Church Family,
I pray you are enjoying some of the signals that spring is coming: blooming daffodils and jonquils (what we used to call “March flowers”), budding and flowering trees, Hostas breaking the surface of the ground, and the like.
Spring will officially arrive before we worship together for the first time in a year this coming Sunday. And after a cold, dark, wet winter it couldn’t be a more anticipated arrival.
As we announced last week, we are giving in-person worship a trial run over the next couple of weeks. We will allow a limited number of worshipers in the Sanctuary this week. Call the church office if you would like to be with us this Sunday. (As of now, we still have space available.)
We will honor COVID protocols when we gather: requiring social distancing, correctly worn masks, and the like. We will not be shaking hands or hugging one another. And though I know it seems unusual, there will not be congregational singing.
We will have well-trained ushers to greet you, and then seat you when you arrive. Offering plates will be placed near the entrance for you to make an offering when arriving or departing.
And at the close of worship, individual rows will be released one at a time to continue the protocols.
The following Sunday, March 28, we will follow the same procedures with our first in-person worship service in the Christian Life Center. Registration for that service will begin following the end of Sanctuary worship this Sunday.
After assessing our first in-person services, we will announce plans for moving forward.
We are close to being able to worship together. Let’s continue to be vigilant in practicing safety, so that can be accomplished as soon as possible.
Blessings on you!
RE-OPENING FOR IN-PERSON WORSHIP
We will be holding one service per Sunday at 10:00am (on a trial basis) beginning this week, 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 Thursday.
- Sunday, March 21, worship service held in the Sanctuary at 10:00am
- Sunday, March 28, worship service held in the CLC at 10:00am
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,
- total number of persons with you for worship.
- and arrival time of either 9:40, 9:45, or 9:50.