“I was glad when they said unto me, “let us go into the house of the Lord.” Psalm 122:1
Dear Central Church Family,
Wow, we’re finally there! On September 13th, unless some new COVID restrictions arise, we’ll resume in-person worship! While it’s been nearly six months since we last met together for worship at Central, I have to say it feels even longer. And, on top of it all, we missed Church-in-the Park! I’m guessing many of you have also felt a sense of loss because of this.
Our re-gathering is a silver lining in this season of COVID gloom and small victory on the way to a better future. We’ve waited to do this safely; we have all the necessary protocols in place, and we’re one step closer to the day when we are able to come and go into God’s house freely!
I know many of you will choose to stay home and safely worship there. That’s OK; Christ is everywhere with us! When we gather on Sunday mornings we’ll be intentional about remembering all who worship with us, whether in house, online or by radio.
If you do come, here are the highlights of what you can expect. The detailed explanation will be available on the church website at www.tccentalumc.org in the coming week. We’ll also post a fun “What to Expect When You Return” video there.
We’ll begin with two worship opportunities: the 9 am Well service and the 11 am Traditional worship. Changes to worship include:
- Masks are required at all times
- A physical-distancing seating plan and worship attendance limited to 100 persons per service
- 45 minute worship program
- Vocal music will be limited to the worship team
For the time being we are suspending:
- Church bus transportation
- Handshaking and passing the peace
- All printed materials
- Fellowship time before and after services
- Congregational singing
- Sanctuary communion and baptism
- Outside food or drink
- Child care and in-person children’s programs. Children who come will receive worship bags they can take home.
Pre-registration for worship is requested. We’re asking that you pre-register for the service you plan on attending to help streamline the health and wellness check-in process. A link to registration will be emailed Friday morning in the CUMC newsletter. Registration will close at midnight on Saturday to allow time to prepare for Sunday morning screening. Pre-Registration can also be called into the office before 1 pm on Friday.
When you arrive, come in through the Cass Street entryway doors where you will be greeted by one of our friendly Service Guides. After your brief health screening, you’ll move upstairs where a Guide will assist you to a seat in the sanctuary. Guides will also assist you out of the sanctuary at the close of the service. Following the 9 am service the sanctuary will be sanitized for the 11 am service. Again, a more detailed description of this process will be posted on the church website. I encourage you to read these protocols and come ready to worship safely together.
This has been a long time coming. I thank you for your patience and understanding. I also want to thank the members of our Worship Team who have worked many extra hours to bring you a quality video worship service. We’ve learned a lot in the process that will help us going forward. Thanks to our Re-Gathering Team as well for their hard work on our re-gathering process and protocols.
Pastor Chris and I look forward to greeting those of you who do return on the 13th, even as we picture and pray for those of your who are unable to return at this time. We are the body of Christ together: in-person or at home, out–of-state and locally, healthy and at health risk, connected and isolated, we are the church together!
In hope for God’s good future,