Friends,

We're pleased that we are returning to indoor, in-person worship starting Sunday, August 15. You'll find many details about what to expect below, and we're sharing lots of good information, so please read carefully.

For those who are not planning to return to in-person worship now, our online worship videos will be available on our YouTube channel. See the information below for details about our modified plans for online worship.

Our indoor, in-person worship schedule was prepared by the Scheduling Task Force:

  • 9:30 La Mesa (our bilingual worship service) with communion in the Fellowship Hall
  • 9:45 Festival Worship with communion in the Sanctuary
  • Outdoor fellowship time follows the services on the portico and the lawn
  • Outdoor childcare is available on the playground

Masking is required for all who attend. We highly recommend and respectfully request that you be fully vaccinated, if eligible, before returning for in-person services. Please weigh your risk accordingly before deciding whether to participate.

Our indoor, in-person services are open to all. Registration for these services is not required. Please let us know that you are attending worship by signing the friendship pad passed to you during Festival Worship or the sign-in sheet at La Mesa.

Modified online worship services will continue. As we return to in-person activities, it's important for us to maintain our digital presence knowing some families will be unable to join us indoors. Online viewers will notice some changes in content and format. Beginning August 15, our services will be offered on demand on our YouTube channel. The Facebook Premiere streaming experiences at 9:30 and 11:00 will be discontinued. The services featured on YouTube will include scripture readings, a sermon, and music. You'll find Sermon text on our website and in the worship email sent on Sunday morning. The prayer list will continue to be included in the worship email sent on Sunday morning.

Our eventual goal is to livestream our worship services so that online viewers can participate in our worship services in real time. This will require updates to our recording equipment, sound system, and internet service. At the July 27 Church Council meeting, Council commissioned a task force to evaluate our readiness to livestream our services. A report on the investments needed to show our services live on Sunday mornings is expected by the end of August.

We will strive for a contact-free experience in the beginning. We encourage you to share a “peace” hand symbol or other distanced gesture during the Passing of the Peace. Physical distancing is encouraged during worship and gathering outdoors, so greeting one another with a handshake or hug is discouraged. If you do shake hands with others, please be sure to wash or sanitize your hands frequently. Communion elements will be blessed during the service, and you will safely receive your bread and cup after worship as you exit the building. As always, online giving is encouraged and appreciated.

Our Faith Formation activities may resume in September according to schedules developed by the directors of those programs and their supporting boards. This includes the Adult Forum, Sunday School, and youth activities.

Childcare will be offered on the playground for children up to 7 years of age. If your family anticipates needing childcare during the first few indoor services, please contact Director for Children’s Ministry Anitra Grove in advance so that we can appropriately staff the "nursery."

We want to offer special thanks to the United staff for adapting quickly and professionally to new platforms of ministry and worship. And many thanks to our church family. This has been an unusual time and we are grateful for your continued patience as we learn how to be church to each other in this new season.

The first month of indoor, in-person services will be used by Church Council as a period of assessment and evaluation for the new worship schedule. We want to reflect on what we are learning about the new schedule and what adjustments are necessary to be most welcoming and inclusive of all our communities.

Please offer us constructive feedback on how we can improve the experience. Send your feedback to Church Council.

Read more on our website including answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). If you have a question that isn't answered here email Kati Ruark.

We can't wait to see you. Thanks be to God!
United Church of Chapel Hill