Greetings, Bay Shore!
This Sunday, we thankfully return to in-person worship at 9:30 a.m. followed by our 2021 Annual Congregational Meeting. Both will be in the sanctuary, and masks continue to be required when you are in any part of the building.
I am truly excited to begin in-person worship again because we have some more things to share—we will return to singing.
Yep, you read that correctly. We are returning to singing hymns in church. But to do this, we are asking for your continued help and support of being safe as we worship together.
Please wear a tight-fitting mask, preferably the N95/K95s that the CDC recommends. We will keep our masks on the entire service except when you partake Holy Communion in your pew. To keep our services still short, we will not sing every verse in the hymns or have a postlude. We will have a prelude, and it will begin promptly 5 minutes before the start of our services.
We will also continue sitting every other pew in our sanctuary. This allows social distancing, especially as we add singing. Please do space yourselves out in the sanctuary and remember if you arrive a little late—there is an expanded aisle halfway back that allows access to the other side’s pews.
We will continue to use the packaged communion cups and wafers. Like before, please come forward to receive communion, and then return to your seats where you can open it and complete communion in the pew. Also remember, Pastor and the Assisting Minister will hold the trays out, but will not touch the communion packages. If you or your child would like communion, please take it from the trays. We will say the words when you take the package.
It goes without saying, if you have recently tested positive for COVID, been closely exposed to COVID, or simply do not feel well for ANY reason—please stay home and watch our service online. We are asking our members to monitor this themselves, and we thank you for doing so.
I feel that this Sunday we are one more step closer to “normal.” In truth, I believe we will continue to have some changes that stay, and others that we will all be glad are over in our communities and places we visit. I am grateful for the infection and hospital numbers going down, a new vaccine for children in the pipeline, and more. I continue to pray for our healthcare workers, the National Guard deployed, and all who serve front line during this long pandemic. Council will continue to watch the best practices of mask wearing in our schools, communities and the guidelines we have available. Please join me in thanking our Council for their thoughtful leadership during these challenging times.
Blessings and peace,