Dear members and friends,
After significant discussion, and in consultation with the Medical Advisory Team, the Shepherding Elders have decided to move Sunday morning worship back indoors starting July 11. Although the 9:30 am worship start time was originally chosen to avoid late-morning heat, Council has decided that worship will remain at 9:30 am throughout the summer. Given current COVID conditions, we will continue to ask unvaccinated people over the age of 2 to mask at all times while in the building.
The Shepherding Elders realize that the move indoors will be a significant relief to some, while for others, it brings new concerns and challenges. In order to make as much room as possible, the service will be streamed to the Fellowship Hall and Room 24. Room 24 will be a fully-masked space. The YouTube stream will, of course, also remain an option.
As always, if you have any thoughts, questions, or concerns, please reach out to your Shepherding Elder or one of the pastors.
-Jill Fenske, Council President
Sunday, June 20, 2021 @ 10:45 am
Our annual congregational meeting will take place on Sunday, June 20 following morning worship (10:45 AM). The congregational meeting will be held in the sanctuary; additionally, there will also be a streaming option for those who cannot attend in person.
We hope you will join us as we share some of the wonderful things that have been going on in the life of the church over the last 12 months as well as a presentation on the budget. We will also be affirming a new group of shepherding elders and deacons. The shepherding elder nominees are: Kellie Steen, Anita Lautenbach, and Marilyn McLaughlin. The nominees for deacon are: Mark Doorlag and John Bush.
So please mark your calendars, we are looking forward to gathering together with many of you.
On behalf of Council,
Our church Council is taking January 2021 to work on unpacking the CRC Report on Human Sexuality. This is work that Council does not take lightly. Council is using the following questions to help frame their time of sharing and listening:
- What about the report do you affirm? What did you appreciate?
- What resistance do you feel? Where do you feel disappointment, anger, or anxiety?
- Who is affected? In what ways?
- What are the main issues for us as a congregation?
- What needs to be done to move forward? What are you prepared to do to help move things forward?
The Shepherding elders are happy to report that, beginning October 4th, we will begin to welcome a limited number of people back to 1717 Broadway for in-person worship. This will be our practice as long as we can continue it. The AACRC Council and pastors are continuing to put the safety of our people first and gain wisdom from our medical professionals. Whether streaming or a return to 1717 Broadway remains your best option, we are committed to living as one body. There is no expectation that you return to in-person worship until your situation allows it. Wherever you find yourself, we are bound together by the Triune God. We know that God covers us all with grace as we work to figure this out, and we appreciate your prayers and patience as we walk this road together.
For Sunday, October 4 (and following Sundays) we will have a limited SIGN UP for those who wish to be present for in-person worship. That number will be capped at 30. The sign up will close at 8pm on Saturday, October 3. If there is a waiting list, those who are on the list will have first priority for the next available Sunday morning worship opportunity. As we begin to welcome people back into the building on Sunday mornings for in-person worship, here are a few policies and procedures you should know:
Before You Arrive:
- We encourage those who are in vulnerable populations (elderly, immuno-compromised, those that have traveled in the last two weeks) to stay home. We will see you on the live stream!
- Check your temperature. If you are running a fever (Temperature 100.4 or greater) or are feeling ill in any way, please stay home and help protect one another. THESE are the symptoms of COVID-19 provided by the CDC. Please also stay home if you have had close or household contact in the last 14 days with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 (Close contact is being within 6 feet for >15 minutes, excluding those in a healthcare setting wearing proper PPE.)
- Bring your mask. Masks are required in the building. If you do not have one, we have disposable masks at the site entrance for you. Per CDC guidelines, children under 2 years of age are not required to wear a mask.
When You Arrive:
- Please enter the building through the Narthex entrance only, right off the upper parking lot. We will have the doors open for you. Please leave the upper parking lot available for those who may need to navigate our building without the use of stairs.
- There will be no printed bulletin for the time being. The order of worship will be projected and you are welcome to download the liturgy from the website or print it at home and bring your own copy.
- We will be color coding the pews in order to make sure that we can maintain social distancing. We will be filling our sanctuary from the center aisle by using the pews marked with green paper. We will have people on hand to make sure you can find a seat.
- We will removing everything from the pews, including bibles and hymnals. So, if you desire to follow along the sermon with a bible, plan to bring yours from home.
During the Service:
- Wear your mask.
- Offering will be taken during our coming forward for communion. There will be a plate at the front of the sanctuary by the communion table.
- Communion-We will celebrate the sacrament of Holy Communion by coming forward as a family or individuals. We will make sure we keep distance from one another as we come forward with the help of an usher. Each person or family will receive a piece of bread from a pastor or elder and take that bread and individual cup and eat, and drink. They will place their cup in a receptacle. Hand sanitizer will be made available by the receptacle.
Other helpful reminders:
- In order to help our custodian with sanitation processes, we ask that you please limit your movements to the sanctuary and, if necessary, the upstairs restrooms.
- There will be no nursery or Children & Worship ministry during this time.
- There will be no coffee hour during this time.
- We will have multiple hand sanitizing stations throughout the building.
When you Leave:
- We will dismiss you from the back of the sanctuary to the front of the sanctuary by row. Please exit the building through the doors in the narthex only.
Please don’t linger for fellowship in the building. If you desire to connect with others, please do so outside, while practicing social distance.