As mentioned in an email last week, there will be more details coming regarding opening Sunday worship service to our congregation. Well, here we go …
How to sign up to attend
Because we anticipate there being more folks that will want to attend than we can provide distanced space to accommodate, we think it wise to ask that you sign up to attend by calling the church office after 9:30 AM on Monday morning. You will need to sign up each member of your household that will be attending.
Please make sure to talk to our church secretary, Melissa Baker 919.552.4147. Leaving a voicemail will not be counted as signing up. We will continue to take sign ups until our distanced capacity for the sanctuary is met. You may only sign up for one service at a time.
Once our capacity is met, those who still wish to sign up have two options, (1) they may sign up for a 1:00 PM service, or (2) they may sign up for the next Sunday's service. We will offer a second service at 1:00pm only after our 10:30am service is full. This second service will only be offered as needed to accommodate those who wish to attend in-person, and is intended only to be needed temporarily.
Our Sunday school classes will continue to meet off-campus via Zoom during this transitional phase. We are asking that these classes meet at 9:00am and conclude by 10:00am to allow for extra driving time for those who will be attending in-person.
Before you sign up
Though we are looking forward to seeing each of you, we ask that you do not attend if you are showing any symptoms of sickness, or have tested positive for COVID-19, until you have met the CDC’s criteria to discontinue home isolation.
What to expect upon arrival
We will be using a single entrance into the building which will be at the sanctuary (front doors), as well as designated exits. Ushers will be seating families together, but spaced from others according to CDC guidance.
Once seated, we discourage movement within the building including use of the restroom, though the restrooms nearest the sanctuary will be available if necessary, for use one-person-at-a-time.
We will ask that you sanitize your hands at the door when you arrive and hand sanitizer will be provided. Out of an abundance of caution our ushers will be wearing masks. Wearing a mask is not required, however, there will be disposable masks available to you if you would like one, or you may bring your own.
The service itself will look and feel different than it did before the pandemic. Being mindful of the length of time we are meeting together, we will continue the same simplified order of service that has been used for the past several weeks, with one or two hymns, scripture reading and a message, and few, if any, announcements. As a precaution, we will not pass offering plates (the offering plate will be available at the entry door), our hymnals and pew Bibles will have been removed from the pew racks, and we will not stand for congregational singing.
We also ask that you refrain from shaking hands or hugging.
What we expect of you regarding our safety measures
We understand that everyone's risk tolerance level can be different. And while some of you are raring to go, others in our church body are reluctant to venture out. We have labored long over these safety precautions in a best efforts attempt to make our services as safe as practically possible for all that are involved. That is why we ask that each of you respectfully comply with these measures in the spirit of Paul's teaching in Romans 14.
How to assess the risk between attending in-person and watching from home
Even with our measures in place, we cannot take the risk down to zero. This means there is some measure of risk that you will assume in returning to church.
We ask that you make your decision of whether to return to church based on your own informed understanding of the risks involved against your spiritual needs for gathering with your brothers and sisters in Christ.
If you are at higher risk for illness according to CDC guidance, or if you are still uncomfortable with the thought of higher risk environments, it might be wise for you to wait a while longer before returning to church. Perhaps it might be helpful to say, if you are not yet comfortable eating in a sit-down restaurant, it might not be time to return to church.
We expect these measures to change over the weeks to come as guidance from the State of North Carolina and the CDC dictates. We will keep you informed of any such changes.
Thank you so very much for your faithfulness and patience while we work our way back together again.
Church staff, and Deacons