Our council has voted to move forward with opening our sanctuary space to the celebration of in-person worship once again. We will have our first service on October 4th at 10am as it had been in the past. We will not have worship on the 11th as we evaluate how things go the first week, and then we will resume on the 18th and have worship here each week after that. While we are moving forward with hosting in-person worship, the council acknowledges that the pandemic and real danger of spreading Covid-19 are not over and so we will have some changes. Masks will be required in the building for everyone. We have limited seating as we have blocked off rows to ensure that there is at least 6 feet between households. Because of this, we will have ushers to help people find open seats. The congregation will not be singing on site for now, but we will try to have some music performed in house as part of worship in as safe a way as possible. Finally, communion will be distributed to each pew, rather than people getting up during worship to move around. These and other changes will help us worship together as safely as possible, and we will review these policies as time moves on and new best practices are discovered.
We will continue to have worship posted online as it has been since March for those who do not yet feel comfortable attending in person, and we will have that option for the foreseeable future so that everyone knows you have a place with us.
Our education ministries are also changing for the beginning of this year. For now we will be hosting small groups for confirmation and high school youth only, and then we will be providing opportunities for faith development and fellowship several times each month where people of all ages and families of all types can come and serve others, grow in faith, and just have some fun in safe and meaningful ways.
For more information on that, go to our website at www.gracemankato.org and look at the ministries tab, where you will find our family ministry events. We look forward to seeing you soon, whether that be carving pumpkins in the church basement, joining us online, in the pews, or listening on the radio or KTV - you are a part of what makes Grace a living and caring community in Christ. Thank you for all of the ways you have been supportive through these times of change.