Thursday, July 1, 2021

Worship Updates beginning in July

 Dear Friends,

We pray this message finds all of you doing well as we move into the first hot and muggy days of summer. It is a joy to worship with so many of you in-person and online on Sunday mornings. We opened up the sanctuary a little over a month ago with many restrictions (i.e., masks, social distancing, no singing, etc.), and we promised to continue to monitor the situation and to adjust as appropriate. We made small changes like inviting the young ones to come forward for our time with children and inviting spoken prayer requests from the pews. The question on many minds is when can we get back to normal.

The St. Mark Session met on Monday evening to discuss next steps in reopening, and we approved a resolution to allow for more freedom in worship beginning the first weekend in July.

  • Mask wearing inside the building is not required for those who are vaccinated. We strongly recommend unvaccinated members and guests to continue to wear masks for their safety and that of others.
    • Following guidance from Parkway Schools, we encourage children under 12 to continue to wear their masks
  • We are removing the taped off areas from most of the sanctuary pews, and worshippers are free to sit where they would like.
  • Two sections on the far right (pulpit side) of the sanctuary will remain taped off for those who prefer to keep socially distant.
  • We are returning the hymnals, Bibles, and friendship pads to the pews, and the singing of hymns is now allowed.
  • The narthex is open for coffee and fellowship for those who are comfortable congregating before and after the service.
  • We will continue to celebrate communion with the prepackaged elements from our individual pews.
  • We will not pass the plates during the offering, but there will be a plate in the back of the sanctuary to drop off gifts.
  • In-person church related meetings are allowed, but we ask everyone to please contact the office to schedule the time and space.

When we discussed reopening, we knew the way forward would involve a hybrid model for our worship, education, and meetings. The session believes this plan allows all of our members and guests a chance to worship in a way they are most comfortable through our general seating area, our socially distant section, and our livestream service on YouTube. We understand there is not a plan that will satisfy everyone, but we hope this model will help us expand our ministries through the summer and beyond. Please feel free to contact the pastors if you have any questions or concerns.

In Hope and Confidence,

Pastor Dave and Pastor MP  

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