Dear Church Family,
We worshiped online for the first time on March 15. We gathered in this manner for eight weeks. Then, on Mothers’ Day, May 10, we met outside on the back lawn and in our cars at 11:00 AM. We gathered in this manner for four weeks. Last Sunday, in an attempt to beat the heat, we gathered outside at 9:00 AM. It looks like we will only do this for one Sunday.
As we consider our next options, it is good to repeat what we have said multiple times over the last several weeks. Our goal is not simply to be able to worship indoors. Our goal all along has been to worship together. This is something the world does not seem to understand. Some do not understand our desire is not centered on a building to be in but a people to be with. This will remain our goal and will continue to guide our plans, as far as that is possible. We realize moving inside will reduce our ability to gather as one body but we have reached that time, knowing the heat is only going to increase as we move further into the summer months.
This Sunday, June 14, we will have two services. The first service will be indoors at 11:00 AM. We will meet in the Worship Center with overflow options in the Fellowship Hall and the Multi-Purpose Room. This service will also be livestreamed on our website, Facebook, YouTube, and broadcast live on local radio (1400 AM; 100.7 FM). We will observe distancing guidelines in all three locations, which are as follows (and will be explained in a video later in the week):
1)To ensure a distance of six feet between all family units, we will mark off every other row and ensure there are four empty seats between family units.
2)As you arrive, please wait to be seated by one of our ushers. He will find a row with enough seats for you or your family to sit together and then mark off four seats between you and the next worshiper(s). The balcony is also open.
3)When the sanctuary reaches capacity, you may participate in the worship service in the Fellowship Hall or in the Multi-Purpose Room. Chairs will be arranged to meet social distancing requirements.
4)We will dismiss by rows. You may place your offerings in the brown buckets as you depart through the foyer. We ask you not to congregate in the foyer but to continue outside to fellowship.
We will also hold a second worship service at 7:30 PM on Sunday on the back lawn (as we have the last few weeks). As long as it does not rain, the late evening is a wonderful time to meet outdoors. If it does rain, we will not meet at 7:30 PM (indoors or outdoors). This service will not be livestreamed. If it does rain, the morning service will be available online.
Worship at Western Avenue has been very different these past thirteen weeks. It appears it will continue to be different for at least the next three weeks. At the same time, the worship services have been wonderful with a beautiful unity among the body as we gathered in God’s glorious creation. As your pastor, I greatly appreciate your patience and understanding as we do our best to make wise decisions for the good of this church body and our community. May God continue to bless us as we work and plan to honor him in how we worship and live our lives to his glory alone.