Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Along with so many of you, I was filled with gratitude and joy to be able to worship together this past weekend. We celebrated in-person, inside our church building for the Saturday 5pm and Sunday 9am services, while continuing the livestream for the Sunday service.
The Grace Re-gathering Ministry team has decided to move forward with some more changes for our weekend services which will further open our space to all who wish to worship together in-person.
New guidelines, beginning this weekend…
- We will no longer have reservations or seating charts for our weekend services. Everyone who would like to attend on Saturday and Sunday is warmly welcomed to do so, without RSVP. Please spread the word!
- Both services will be held inside. After checking in with an usher, you may seat yourself or ask an usher for assistance.
- You may sit by yourself or with your household or ‘pod’. We ask that you remain spaced 6 feet apart from other individuals or households not in your ‘pod’.
- Through the summer, look for hymnals, Books of Common Prayer, and pew cushions to return to the nave.
As we did this past weekend…
- Please enter through the main church doors on County Street and check in with an usher. We will continue to maintain a list for contact tracing.
- With attention to the needs of the most vulnerable and with respect for the most cautious, our team continues to feel that everyone without a medical exemption should stay masked while worshiping inside, regardless of vaccination status.
- Hand sanitizer and extra masks will be available.
- For the time being, we will refrain from congregational singing to limit spread of aerosols.
- Please contact the clergy by phone or email if you, a household member, or close personal contact experiences symptoms of COVID-19 or tests positive for COVID-19 in the two weeks after attending this worship service.
- We will continue to offer our Sunday livestream of the service for those who do not feel ready to return to inside worship and those who cannot be with us in person.
A word about finances…
Through June of this year, we have begun to notice a decline in pledge payments. I am sensitive to the fact that the pandemic has had different financial impacts on each one of us. For some, our financial situation remains stable. I realize, though, that for others, our financial situation has been strained. Some have felt called to increase their pledge, or make an extraordinary donation to help Grace during this time, while others have found themselves in a position where they need to reduce their giving.
I encourage you to keep up your pledge payments as best you can and given your particular financial situation. Your continued donations are greatly appreciated. Regardless of your financial ability, please know that I am deeply grateful for each one here at Grace Church.
Though you may tire of me saying it, even as we had been unable to gather in our church building since March 2020, we have continued to “be the church”. Throughout this time, we have continued life-giving ministry in many ways, as so many have reached out and stepped up to continue to extend God’s love in concrete ways through Grace Church.
Along with this, it feels especially good now to open our doors wider to in-person worship, one important part of our life together which nourishes us to continue to care for one another and be Jesus’ hands and feet within both our parish and the wider community of which we are a part.
For those who are able to attend, I look forward to seeing you this summer! As always, if you are unable to attend weekend services and would like to receive Holy Communion, please contact Grace’s clergy.
We have been and will continue to be in this together!
Faithfully, and with thanksgiving,
Photo courtesy of Zelinda Douhan