March 24, 2021
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.
On Sunday, April 11, we will worship online with the North Carolina Synod of the ELCA. That service will be premiere at 11:45 a.m. on Zoom and Facebook and the Reverend CeCee Mills will be preaching. Bible study will meet at its regular time, but we will not have drive-in worship that day.
The following week, on Sunday, April 18, we will resume indoor worship with one worship service at 10:30 a.m. Here is the regathering policy (.pdf) as revised by congregation council on Tuesday.
Following public health guidelines, the sanctuary capacity will be limited to 50 people including me and our musician. Pew cushions, Bibles and hymnals have been removed and some pews are blocked off.
Medical masks are required inside the building and will be provided. You are asked to maintain physical distance between households and wear masks that covers your nose and mouth, even if you have been vaccinated. If you would like to greet one another, please do that outdoors, maintaining social distancing and wearing masks. The small chapel will be available for one household. We will continue to broadcast worship on Facebook Live and Zoom for anyone who does not attend in person.
Advance sign up for in person worship is requested; you may use the link in the weekly e-news or on the website, or you may call the office to sign up. (704-487-5679) Signing up ahead of time helps us plan responsibly for the number of participants and keep records in case there is a need for contact tracing. We also use the sign-up record for our communion record-keeping.
Regular ushers and tabulators will not resume responsibilities yet. Council members will serve as ushers, wearing a mask to greet worshipers and attend to the lift. An usher will open the doors to the building and the sanctuary and monitor security. For the offering, we will continue the process that has been used since March 15, 2020 to count and deposit receipts.
Notably, worship will not include congregation singing, the passing of the peace, processions or recessions, or worship assistants. The font will remain empty, and Holy Communion will continue to be taken with prepackaged elements that you pick up before worship and consume seated in a pew. There will be an offering plate in the narthex and online and mobile giving options remain in place.
Weeknight prayer will end on March 31.
Bible study and congregation council will continue to meet online for now. The classrooms, meeting rooms and nursery and the sacristy also remain closed. However, beginning April 18, the fellowship hall will be available to groups of 50 or fewer with physical distancing and masks still required and no food or beverages are allowed. The kitchen remains closed.
If you have questions about these plans, please call or email me or one of your congregation council members.
May God’s peace be with you all.
The Rev. Christina L. Auch, Pastor
cell 704-472-7783 / 828-275-8444