On May 29, the state of Illinois changed its rules when it comes to places of worship. Certain things that were “laws”, like no gatherings of more than ten people, became instead “strongly recommended guidelines”. This allowed our Session to begin discussing whether to re-open our building for worship, rather than needing to wait for our region of the state to enter “Phase 4”, as had been the case before the rule change. After careful deliberation of when and how to re-open, Session has voted to hold our first service back in the building at 10:30 Sunday morning June 14, for those who wish to attend.
We will be reminding those who gather of the “strongly recommended guidelines” the county, state, and CDC still advise:
– Our sanctuary is measured and marked so that people who do not live together can easily sit at least six feet apart
– We will ask you to bring and wear masks, at least for entering and exiting, when we are more likely to be closer together. You may be able to remove masks during the service, if no one from outside your household is sitting close-by
– We will not sing hymns for at least our first couple services back together, as medical officials and Associations of Musicians both advise that singing projects germs much farther than speaking, and much farther than our six feet social distancing. Hymns will be played instrumentally, with words available on our screens and in our hymnals, for those who would like to follow along and “sing to themselves”
– We will ask you to pick up your own bulletin from a table at the back of the sanctuary, and after the service to deposit it in the wastebasket there or take it home with you
– Offering plates will also be in the back of the sanctuary instead of being passed
– We will not have Fellowship Times following the services, for at least the first couple services back together.
So things may feel a little different, but the bottom line is that those who wish to will be able to worship with their church family on Sunday morning again! We also plan to continue videotaping and posting the services on our Facebook page, for those who do not feel comfortable returning yet.
Looking forward to seeing you soon, when you are ready!