In-Person Worship to Resume July 5th
The church council met on Tuesday, June 16th to consider a full agenda. The top item for consideration was the matter of opening the church for worship on July 5th.
That date is important as our new pastor, the Rev. Christy Suffecool, will officially begin her appointment here at Mount Tabor United Methodist Church and will lead in worship. Obviously, because of the COVID-19 crisis, our building has been closed for safety reasons for about three months. Re-opening the church for it’s main purpose, worship, is not a declaration that the crisis is over. This Coronavirus is a tough adversary and will continue to be for at least a full year ahead of us. But we have learned ways that we believe can help us provide a margin of safety, because safety is critically important - your safety and everyone else’s safety for those in the building.
So if we are going to do this right, here is what we believe we must be committed to do:
1. As you enter the building - and we are limiting entrance (the downstairs entrance to the kitchen and fellowship hall will remain locked; the doors off the parking lot and the door directly across from the gas station will be open.) Sanitizer for your hands and Clorox wipes will be available for those who enter. While we encourage you to wear your own personal mask, additional masks will be available at no cost.
2. Please wear a mask and keep it on while in the building. You are asked to do this not only for the safety of others, but for yourself as well. If wearing a mask is not something you are willing to do, then we will politely ask you to make your way to the fellowship hall instead of the sanctuary.
3. Please be prepared to be seated by the ushers in pews where you may never have sat before. The sanctuary will be cordoned off to provide proper social distancing. Family units will sit together. When the service is concluded, please wait to exit at the direction of the ushers.
4. We plan on singing our hymns with our masks on. We think this can be done without discomfort. And you can easily hum along if that seems best for you.
5. There will be no passing of the offering plates during the worship service. There will be offering plates where you can drop your tithes and gifts to the church either before you are seated or after the service is finished. We hope you’ll appreciate that.
6. All of this is new to us, and new to you, and for that reason alone we will need to practice kindness toward one another. We don’t have it all worked out. We will need to figure best practices as we move along. But if everyone keeps their heads and is determined to be patient with the new arrangements, we should get along swimmingly.
So far as is known at this moment, we have had no fatalities due to the pandemic. But this is not a moment to drop our guard. Let’s do our best to be safe.