September 3 | Update – Fall Ministries and Safety Measures

September 3 | Update – Fall Ministries and Safety Measures

Dear Friends,

We look forward to church life this fall, in which we will be scaling up some of our ministries.  At the same time, we need to take reasonable measures to protect the vulnerable from the Covid delta variant.

Below is an update on how selected ministries will function this fall, together with a reminder of the measures we will take to protect those at risk.  Generally, the church will exercise some safeguards at an institutional level, but many safety decisions will fall to individuals.  Tracking with guidance from our government authorities, masking and distancing are recommended but not required at Grace this fall, unless the leadership decides otherwise in certain instances.

Fall Ministries

Worship services.  Our worship services will continue in their current format.  Note that the 9:00 a.m. morning service is more lightly attended and can provide more distancing.  On September 12, the presumptive date Sunday school will resume, the start time of the later service will move to 11:15 a.m.

Adult Sunday school.  One adult class will be held in the sanctuary from 10:15 – 11:00 a.m.  The aimed-for start date is September 12.

Children’s Sunday school.  We also aim to resume children’s Sunday school on September 12.  Discussions continue about how to navigate safety issues.  Please pray for clarity as we settle on procedure.

Coffee fellowship.  We will continue holding coffee fellowship in the fellowship hall after each morning service.

Nursery.  We will continue with a limited-capacity nursery after the second morning service, and add nursery care during the Adult Sunday School.

Membership class.  The membership class will start on a date in September and will be held in an outdoor venue and/or via Zoom.

Fellowship lunches.  Our fellowship lunches will remain on hold for now.  It seems best not to hold lunches in crowded indoor spaces, and our normal outdoor venue is not currently available to large groups.

Safety Measures

Air quality.  We continue to enjoy the benefits of the HVAC improvements made at the beginning of the pandemic– ionization, greater filtration, and increased flow of outside air.

Alerts about Covid cases.  When we become aware of Covid cases related to persons recently in attendance at Grace, we will seek the permission of those involved to inform the congregation.

Other best practices.  We encourage those who lead meetings of ministry teams or small groups to evaluate the needs of their group and consider adopting common-sense measures such as meeting outdoors or improving ventilation.

In Christ,

The Session and Covid Task Force