Thank you for your continued patience, flexibility and willingness to sacrifice for others as we navigate life together in the midst of a pandemic. I realize that we are now going on some 10 months since the start of COVID-19. It is my sincere hope and prayer that with the start of the vaccination process that we are starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel.
I’m pleased to say that currently we are able to have our sanctuary and activity center open for worship services at both 9:15 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., but at reduced capacity. The other option for worship is to participate via our livestream on FaceBook Live, YouTube, or the church website for those who are unable or prefer to worship from home during this season.
Common areas of the building continue to be closed. I’m sorry, but yes, that includes the coffee bar. However, feel free to bring your own cup of coffee or doughnut with you if you desire. We look forward to the day we can resume refreshments. Please know that we continue with the practice of social distancing, cleaning measures, and other precautions.
Several of our Adult Sunday School Classes have resumed meeting in person, but only at 50% of the capacity of the assigned room, much like people are able to do at restaurants. Some classes are more comfortable continuing to meet via phone, Zoom, or other technology, which we completely understand.
Our nursery, children’s ministry, and student ministry have also resumed. However, this too looks a little bit different. These ministries take place at 50% of the capacity of the room they use. Following the same guidance our local school districts have adopted, adults will wear masks except when giving direct instruction, and students will wear masks as appropriate.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, if you are at high-risk because of your age or underlying health conditions, I encourage you to stay home and continue watching online. While I would love to see you in person, I love you, and I want you to stay healthy. My hope and prayer is that the vaccine will be available to all of us soon so that we might all be able to return to worship and other church activities together.
There continues to be a lot of tension in our country. Some want to open fully, others passionately believe in keeping everything closed. Here’s how we’re going to continue to approach it. We will respect the thoughts and intentions of others. We will not make anyone feel lesser or non-spiritual because they have a different approach. Listen to me, attending in person is not a sign that you are more mature, or more godly, or more committed than the person who chooses to stay at home. Staying at home does not make you smarter or more caring than the person who chooses to attend in person. You’ve always done a beautiful job of loving and caring for others in the past, let’s keep that same attitude of love and concern as we find our way forward together.
However, I do feel compelled to say this. If you have been out consistently shopping in stores, eating in local restaurants, or attending children’s sporting events, I want to encourage you to come worship with us in person. I can promise you that our staff and volunteers are going to great lengths to provide you with a safe environment in which to worship.
As your pastor, please know that I love all of you. Until the day when we can remove all restrictions, please know that my prayer for all of us is that we would know and experience the peace of God which passes all understanding.
God’s best to you,
-Pastor Lyndol Loyd