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
Dear Members & Friends–
This week we begin outdoor worship, and we can’t wait! We can’t wait to see more of you, to lift our voices together in worship of the Triune God, and continue to walk in faith together. We wanted to share a few details for those that are able to attend worship in-person this summer:
- Summer worship time: We’ve moved the time to 9:30 AM to avoid some of the noonday heat as we move through summer. (Note: no sign up needed for outdoor worship)
- What to bring:
- A lawn chair or blanket
- A water bottle
- A mask: With singing happening throughout our service and a number of unvaccinated people among us (mostly children), we are recommending masking during the service to continue to show care to the most vulnerable. After the service, please abide by CDC guidelines for outdoor gatherings based on your comfort and vaccination status. The med team and staff will review this policy at the end of June
- Parking: Worship will be happening in the upper parking lot. Please park in the lower lot and walk up the stairs. There will be limited parking available in the upper lot for those for whom stairs are difficult.
- Streaming: Our stream will continue for those not able to come in person with links provided in Connections and on our website. Both at-home and in-person participants will be helped by pulling up the weekly liturgy on their phones or tablets, as we will not be projecting lyrics outdoors. Folks at 1717 will also have the option of picking up a paper copy of the liturgy.
- Can I help? Yes, moving worship outdoors will take all of us working together! In the coming weeks we’d love to be able to use the gifts of the church to help with the following:
- Communion servers
- Set tear down immediately following worship
- Coffee helpers: set up, serve, and clean up
- Weather plan: In the event we need to move worship inside, that decision will be made by 5 PM on Saturday evening and communicated through a special Connections email as well as posted on our church website and social media. If we do go inside, there will be a sign up open to 100 individual spots.
One more thing: outdoor worship is the perfect opportunity to invite your friends and neighbors. That person you’ve been meaning to ask for years would probably be even more comfortable showing up in an outdoor setting! So let’s make the most of this shift in worship to invite others into the life God is giving us together.
Together in Christ,
The staff of the Ann Arbor Christian Reformed Church