May 21 | Important Re-Opening News

May 21 | Important Re-Opening News

Dear Friends,

We are very grateful that church life will soon take a big step back toward normal, as Governor Northam has now acted to lift most COVID restrictions after May 28. Here is how church life will look once the restrictions are lifted. All changes mentioned are effective Sunday, May 30 unless otherwise noted.

Sunday Schedule

  • Worship services will continue to be held at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., and 6 p.m. throughout the summer.
  • Sunday School will resume in September.
  • Coffee Fellowship will continue after 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. services.
  • Nursery service will begin at 11 a.m. on June 6, adding in more services gradually as we have volunteer support.
  • Drive In Lord’s Supper will be discontinued.

Ending Most COVID Mitigation Measures

  • Sanitization: No special sanitizing between services will take place. We are grateful to those who served on our sanitizing teams over the past year!
  • Masks: Fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks indoors.
  • Seating: Physical distancing requirements will be removed and all seats will be available.
  • Fellowship Hall Seating: Four rows of overflow seating will continue to be provided in the fellowship hall.
  • Dismissal after services: Congregants will no longer have to wait to be dismissed to leave.
  • Worship Guides: These will be handed out by ushers.
  • Bibles, hymnals, songbooks, pencils, and deacons offering envelopes: They will be returned to the pews.
  • Offering: Offering plates will be passed during the morning worship services.
  • Lord’s Supper: We will continue to celebrate the Lord’s Supper weekly during morning worship services. Pre-packaged elements will continue being used until arrangements are made for a team to prepare the elements, after which time the elders will distribute them during the service.  In the fall, we will explore the reasons for moving to weekly communion in adult Sunday School.
  • Live Streaming: All worship services will continue being live streamed for now.
  • Coffee Fellowship: Self-serve beverages will be available in the Fellowship Hall, as was done pre-COVID.
  • Tent Team: Our volunteer tent teams will no longer be needed after Sunday, May 23.  Much thanks to those who helped out!
  • Fellowship Groups and Bible Studies: Attendees will follow the guidance of their group leaders.

Some Additional Encouragement

While the last fourteen months have been difficult, we still have many reasons for praise. The Lord has sustained us through these trying times, providing the strength we needed. COVID continues to decline in our communities, and restrictions are being lifted. The Lord is still building his church. Let us praise God for these answers to prayer!  

This final phase does create some challenges that call for special grace. We now have visible differences in the congregation as some remain masked. Let us continue to show thoughtfulness toward one another in differing circumstances. As we honor each other, we will get through this final season in a way that honors Christ.  We greatly appreciate the way our members have shown grace to one another, despite differences of opinion, throughout the pandemic.  

As the ministries of the church resume, please consider how the Lord may have equipped you to serve. We have immediate need for volunteers for coffee fellowship, communion setup, and fellowship hall chair setup. Also, if you are approached to help with ushering, Sunday School, or nursery, please consider whether the Lord has enabled you to help in one of these ways. As we join together in serving, let’s also pray for, and anticipate, a season rich in gospel growth.

In Christ,

The Elders of Grace