Sisters and Brothers,
After a very long time of not having in-person worship, the church council believes that we are ready to move into “Phase 2” of our COVID-19 plan and resume in-person worship at Custer Community Church. We’ll be restarting in-person worship this Sunday, September 20th.
As we resume in-person worship, you’ll find that there will be some changes to our service compared to pre-COVID. During this “Phase 2” reopening, we’ll be doing shorter services – around 40 minutes in length. There won’t be any congregational hymns – only solo, duet, and small group musical performances. There won’t be any bulletins – everything will be on the projector. There won’t be an passing of the offering – instead, a plate will be available for you to drop off your offering as you enter or depart. There won’t be a passing of the peace. There won’t be a coffee hour. Masks and social distancing will be required.
It’s our hope that these changes will significantly reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus. However, COVID-19 is still present in our community. Until there is a vaccine that is widely available and widely administered, there will continue to be some risk associated with large, indoor gatherings. For that reason, we’re asking people to stay home if you aren’t feeling well, or if you know that you have been exposed to someone who is COVID-19 positive in the last two weeks. Please do what you can to protect your neighbors.
If you are someone who is at high risk for developing COVID-19 complications, you may want to stay home as well. But don’t worry. We will continue recording the worship services in their entirety and posting them on Facebook and on the website. If you’d like, we can also mail copies of the order of service, complete with a sermon manuscript, to you at your home. If you would be more comfortable worshipping with us online, you can continue to do so.
Finally, I want to mention a special “Easter in October” event that will happen in worship on October 4th. You might recall that, in my Easter message this year, I talked about how it didn’t “feel like Easter” because we weren’t together, worshipping in-person. We didn’t experience the rituals and celebrations of Easter. One of the rituals that this church celebrates on Easter Sunday is an open invitation to baptism, to a renewal of baptismal vows, and to receiving new members of the church. We will have a fun, celebratory, and socially distanced version of that happening in conjunction with Holy Communion on October 4th. So, if you want to be baptized, renew your baptism, or become an official member of the church, please plan to attend the service on October 4th.
And if you want to do one of those things but aren’t comfortable with being at in-person worship just yet, let me know and we’ll arrange something that works for you.