Happy Friday, Bay Shore!
As I announced last Sunday, the Council met on Zoom this past Tuesday and agreed to begin opening our building in June and to have our first in-person worship on June 6. We also agreed that, due to the risks to vulnerable adults and children who cannot be vaccinated at this time, we will wear masks for our worship services until further notice.
The above is simply 2 sentences, but behind it—a lot of prayer, patience, work, research, discussions, patience, frustration and hope. I am grateful we will be returning to worship on the 6th of June. We will gather at 9:30 a.m. since this is also our summer tradition. This is truly a blessing.
In the meantime, I will be working with the staff now on the next steps. How will we gather? What will we do? What restrictions may there be? We are consulting with the Wisconsin Council of Churches, our local church neighbors and more. We also know, and I hope you do too, that worship will change every week as more people get vaccinated and as vaccines open up for children below 12 years of age. Think of it as a soft roll-out—not a blunt return to how we were on Sunday, March 8, 2020—our last time together. But also remember, on that Sunday, we refrained from Passing the Peace physically, and we discussed how we may have to worship on the 15th—not knowing that we would be closing for so long. Frankly, I am so grateful to be in-person, I would gladly wear a hazmat suit at this point to do it.
For those of you who decide to continue distancing from others, I understand. The livestream service option will continue on YouTube. But instead of me looking straight at the camera, you will see me looking around and seeing others—praying for the day you too will return.
Please watch your email inbox over the next two weeks. We will share a lot of news with you all about our re-opening, our first Sunday back and more. This is an exciting time at Bay Shore—I feel like the Israelites with Joshua, after 40 years in the desert. The future may be uncertain, it may even be hard, but the promise of something new and better? It is enough to fuel our spirits.
God’s blessings to you and your loved ones,
I’ll see you on the 6th.