By Rev. Don Brammer
All of us are tired of this pandemic. The changes that have been required in our personal lives, professional lives, and trying to do such a simple thing as shopping has been challenging. Not being able to see family and friends has been painful and for some of us, heartbreaking.
Some of us have been blessed these last several months to be able to read the newsletter online, worship online, listen to Bible Studies online, watch the Fireside Chats online, to be able to give our offerings online and to receive a stand-alone communion worship online during this pandemic.
But not all of our members have been so blessed. Many of our members lack the technology to be able to make use of these online opportunities. Many of our members have not had any contact except a phone call with their church family. They have not been able to worship or study or receive encouragement. They are not even able to receive the newsletter. They have felt terribly isolated and alone. To not be able to meet socially with friends has been hard and to not be able to sit in the Sanctuary has been difficult. They feel disconnected from God.
We are blessed now with an opportunity to minister to more of our members by offering In Person Worship on Sunday, September 20 at 10:15. Obviously we want to make sure we are opening safely and responsibly. The Elders and I have been examining data and positivity rates to make sure our opening is based on data and not just on a date. Below you will see the Ten Safety Protocol Commandments that we feel can help insure us a safe and responsible opening and we are blessed knowing that anyone who chooses to come to worship will respect them.
But In Person Worship is not for everyone. Some have been following quarantine since the pandemic began. They have kept themselves as much out of risk as possible. If someone is worried about catching the virus, or, if someone is concerned they could give the virus, they should not come to In Person Worship. How could you possibly be fully devoted and focused on God, which is the whole point of worship, if you are pre-occupied with your concerns about the virus?
Finally, I will be out of town Thurs. 9/3 and back in the office on Tues. 9/8. If you have a need please contact your Elder or Deacon.
Thank you and God Bless
The Ten Safety Protocol Commandments
1. Masks must be on at all times.
2. Only the front doors will be unlocked, entry must be made at the front door.
3. Temperature Check with standard interview questions at the front door:
a. In the last 14 days have you had a headache or temperature over 100.6?
b. Have you been around anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19?
c. Have you been tested for COVID-19?
d. Was the test negative?
4. Contract Tracing will be in place, you will be asked to confirm best contact phone number.
5. Proper social distancing of at least 6 feet will be in place. There will be blue tape on the floor of the
center aisle to make sure proper safety distance is kept when coming forward for communion. Pews will
also be appropriately marked to insure proper social distancing.
6. No handouts of any kind.
7. No singing, No choir, No Children’s Sermon or Worship and Wonder, and no Fellowship Table.
8. We will keep the service as brief as possible. The recordings are usually around 30 minutes or less but
in person worship will probably be closer to 45 minutes due to coming forward for communion, etc.
9. Only one (1) person at a time in the front restrooms.
10. Communion will be by intinction. Worshippers will be invited to come forward (6 feet apart), the
emblems will only be handled by myself (masked and gloved), I will tear a piece of bread, dip it into the cup, place the emblem on a plate (Styrofoam until we use up the million that we have) and I will hand the plate to the worshiper who will partake at the Table, and then drop the plate in the wastebasket, and then if they have an offering they will place it in the offering plate and then return to their seat.