Restarting Indoor Worship
Dear Church Family and Friends,
Over a year ago our world came to a screeching halt. The announcement of a worldwide pandemic broke our reality. It brought disruption, uncertainty, and big changes to our way of life. Since then we have experienced loss and pain. We have also experienced and seen the creativity, ingenuity, and resiliency of the human spirit.
As a people of God, we had to adapt to online gatherings: from worship, Bible studies, prayer meetings to youth meet-ups, all through Zoom. We offered outdoor services that brought some semblance of ‘normal’ life. We even came back for in-person services for a short time during the fall season of 2020. Overall, we did well. We continued to move forward with our mission. You remained faithful and committed as always.
Fast-forward to today. We have three vaccines and the number of infections is going down in general. Things look different, feel different. And like you, I’m ready for things to return back to something approaching “normal.” With this in mind, I am happy to let you know that we have resumed in-person services.
Scott Marcks, our Communication Director, will be sending you all the information you need to register for a worship service. We have a limit of 75 people in attendance, total of congregants and leaders, per our Illinois state regulations. And because the pandemic is still a long way from over, we will continue with the practices of wearing masks/face coverings, social distancing, sanitizing high traffic areas, and taking temperatures. I know many have received their vaccines and they feel encouraged by the new CDC guidelines that allow people to gather without masks; however, there are many of us who have yet to get the vaccine. Thus, we must continue to be cautious and take extra measures to protect and keep everyone safe. And, as I have said before, we will do no harm. (Wesley’s Three General Rules – “Do no harm, do good, and stay in love with God.”)
For those who are not ready to return to in-person services, we will continue to offer online worship services and Bible Studies, prayer meetings, Sermon Studies, etc.
Folks, the end is near (the signs are there). I don’t mean the end of the world (which many have predicted and have utterly failed), but the end of this pandemic. The signs are there; we are going in the right direction, but we will continue to be careful, wise, and responsible.
I am hopeful that when we reopen the church this time, it will be for a long, long, long time.
In Christ’s service and yours,
Plan for Reopening Our Church
Dear Brothers and Sisters In Christ,
Greetings to you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. It is my hope and prayer that you are staying healthy and well, and encouraged during these uncertain times.
In the past few weeks, the Relaunch Team, the Single Board and the Staff developed a plan/protocol required by our Conference in order to resume indoor in-person worship and gatherings. It was approved by our District Superintendent, Rev. Heath. Our reopening date is set for October 17/18, if and when everything is in place and ready to do so.
While we are eager to worship together, we want to be diligent in implementing a thoughtful, wise, responsible, and safe plan to reopen our church.
Our plan is grounded in our sense of responsibility for our neighbor and our confidence in the love and grace of God.
Our first imperative is to not endanger the common good (“Do no harm.”)
We value life and are our neighbors’ keepers.
Our priority is safety and health.
Reframe our understanding of extravagant welcome to be extravagant care and protection.
I know that the stress and anxiety of the moment can be a daily struggle. It certainly is for just about everyone. It’s a good time to remember that we need each other. Our call as People of God is to love and take care of each other. I bring this up because in our own community we will have differing ideas of what can or should be done in the country, the state, or even our own church. The truth is, none of us have been through this before. So we need to walk gently with each other, demonstrating kindness, patience, love and humility as we seek to worship and praise our God and serve our community.
Re-opening our church will inevitably be a time of mixed emotions – joy at being able to come together to worship in our church building after many months in lockdown; sadness for the absence of some members. Many of us will be able to attend services and activities as fully healthy, low-risk individuals. Others, though, will come out of a deep love for and obligation to their church, deciding to take a risk in order to be back with their church family. And still others won’t be ready or won’t be able to join us yet.
The reopening will take place in two phases. Phase One: Worship and Youth Ministry (October 17/18). Phase Two: Other Ministries and Outside Groups (November 15). The in-person gatherings will look different and feel different. There won’t be singing and coffee hour and hugs and fellowship. We will continue the online Sunday worship service and online discipleship opportunities.
Friends, this pandemic has disrupted our lives. Life has changed. And the future of the church will be different. But, as I have expressed before, one thing will remain the same: our mission to make disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Our mission to profess Christ to everyone we meet; our mission to serve the community. We will continue to do this whether online or in-person.
Friends, I believe we are blessed to have people (leaders and volunteers) with the wisdom and skills necessary to get us to the “new normal” stronger and better. We will prevail in facing these difficult times. For God is with us. God is our rock and our unwavering foundation under our feet. (Psalm 18:2). Please, keep us all in your prayers.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach me at
In Christ’s service and yours.
Guidelines for Attending In-Person Worship
Before You Arrive
Check for symptoms like fever of 100.4, cough, runny nose, loss of taste or smell. If symptoms are present, please stay at home and/or seek medical help.
Use the booking system in advance to reserve your attendance. (50 people capacity limit)
Make sure you have a face mask to bring and wear.
When You Arrive
Doors will be opened 10 minutes prior to the start of worship.
Enter only in marked doorways. Pews and floors will be marked as well.
Contactless infrared temperature checks upon entering the building.
Wear a face mask at all times. Make sure it covers both nose & mouth. (Everyone over the age of 2)
Maintain 6 ft. physical distancing from others. If accompanied, remain with your group.
Wash your hands and use sanitizer often. (Hand sanitizer available at entrance and exit)
Follow all one way traffic patterns and the guidance of the ushers.
No hugs or handshakes or high fives or fist bumps.
No congregational singing.
Leave your offering in the offertory plates located at the back of the sanctuary or mail it to the church.
After The Service
You will be dismissed by pews. Please follow the instructions of ushers.
Use only designated exit doors.
Practice physical distancing and continue to wear your face mask.
No congregating in the parking lot or church.
To download a PDF of the opening guidelines click the button below