This coming Sunday - June 14, 2020 - will mark the beginning of our return to worship at our beautiful Christ Church. Over the past several weeks, I have wondered about what the future might look like, what our common life might look like, what worship might look like, and what fellowship might look like, among many other thoughts.
In all my wondering, I haven’t figured out a landing spot, but I believe that this Sunday will begin for us a process of having to figure out, both individually and in community, what our life will look like.
Our plan is to begin a gradual process towards returning to worship in New Brick, and so for the rest of the month of June - weather depending - we will worship outside. Our service will begin at 10:00 a.m. each Sunday, and last about 45 minutes. We highly encourage all who desire to worship in-person to register with us either on our website, by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, by calling 410-381-9365, or by texting 410-844-1850. This is to ensure that we have the contact tracing mechanism necessary to support any future inquiry.
We will have a limited number of chairs available for those who might need them, but we ask you to please bring your own. Hand sanitizer and Offertory stations will be in several locations throughout the worship area. We will also have a canopy for those who might need some shade, but you may bring your own canopy or umbrella, if you wish. Each and every one of us will be required to wear a mask at all times, and although we ask that you bring your own mask we have been blessed by two parishioners who have donated masks for those who may not bring a mask to church. There will be very limited contact between Rector and parishioners. There will not be any handshakes or hugs. All will be encouraged to wave during the peace.
Special thanks to the Buildings and Grounds Committee, who have worked extremely hard to help with our regathering. They will be marking the grounds between New Brick and Parish Hall, to help maintain our social distancing policy.
We will offer printed service bulletins to everyone. In it will be an insert from the diocese, a Covenant for Regathering. The Covenant is meant to assure each of us that the safety and health of each worshipper is of prime importance to us, and by adhering to the Covenant we will not only be ensuring our own safety, but also the safety of others. We will also require that you take home with you the printed bulletins that will be given to you at church. Our worship will be brief, and limited to Spiritual Communion. It is our prayer that we will be able to offer Communion very soon.
So far, it has been quite a journey for all of us. Each of us have been blessed by all of our collective prayers. I have been blessed by the support and counsel of the Wardens, Vestry, Staff, and many parishioners.
We will livestream our worship this Sunday, and all Sunday worship moving forward. We will also continue to offer Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer until further notice.
We are not out of the woods yet, but I want to thank each and every one of you for your continued support and prayers for our beloved Christ Church. For additional details about our COVID-19 response and any other information, please check our new website page regularly - www.christchurchcolumbia.org/renew.