Return: Rules and Postludes
Many of us have watched a meme where worshipers coming back to church after the pandemic are behaving hysterically due to the excitement of it all. And, typically, these memes have a caption that says, “What worship will be like when we get back.” A friend of mine in Singapore texted me this week to say that because of this fear, Singapore authorities have allowed groups of only 50 to meet in church, but they will not be permitted to sing. No First Amendment concern in Singapore!
Our re-entry will not be what these memes suggest, but we are no less enthusiastic about the re-entry. In over four decades of ministry, these last 15 weeks have been the strangest. As I wrote in the letter I sent to you last week and underlined in the video about re-entry, the rules may seem excessive. However, they represent what almost every church has been doing. And even if you don’t agree with this or that part of it, let us, in the interests of unity, play our part until we can get to the other side of this season. I fully expect that we will evolve as weeks and months go by.
In the meantime, many of our brothers and sisters will remain online for a season, some longer than others. I refer to those with medical conditions, especially the seniors. One of our seniors wrote suggesting I refer to them as the “silver volunteers” who choose to give their seats so that others may use them instead and continue to worship virtually (all three services will be streamed at 8:30, 11:00, and 6:00). So, I want you to reach out to our “silver volunteers” and thank them for their generous and compassionate care for the rest of the church family.
One feature of our on-line streaming service over the last 15 weeks has stood out to me — the ability to listen to Thomas Russell’s postlude without the added chatter that often drowns it out. Due to the manner of egress (row by row), we will be asking the congregation to sit until the postlude is over before exiting the building. Good things come out of trials!