This Sunday, July 12, is almost here. We are gathering at 10:30 a.m. for “Worship on the Green” behind the church building (or remaining in our vehicles and using FM radios if there is poor weather). The post explains how to register for worship in advance as well as worship procedures that seek to increase our safety, hospitality, and comfort. Please note that online worship is still continuing in its current form.
In this post, you will find:
Recommendations for Improvement?
How to Register
Ways to Help
Recommendations for Improvement?
Nothing is permanent about these worship procedures even as we work to stay consistent week-by-week so that people know what to expect when they arrive for worship. We are an entrepreneurial congregation made up of entrepreneurial people. We remember that this next phase is a step, and not a destination. While our Regathering Task Force continues to review medical opinions, scientific understandings, reflections of Beautiful Savior members, and the Holy Scriptures, we most likely will adapt as our plans are lived out through our experiences. As Proverbs 16:9 reminds us:
The human mind plans the way, but the Lord directs the steps.
Please continue to share your reflections and ideas by contacting Deborah in the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 248-646-5041. She will share your thoughts with the Task Force.
How to Register:
We will register for “Worship on the Green” online. We ask that people register in advance, since that allows us to accommodate as many people as safely possible. If you cannot access the church website, or you are having challenges doing so, please contact Deborah in the church office at 248-646-5041 and she will be happy to register you and your household.
Then, read the information about worship.
Next, click on the “I’LL ATTEND” link.
Finally, complete and submit the requested information.
Registration: We ask that people register in advance, since that allows us to accommodate as many people as safely possible.
When You Arrive: You will be greeted by an usher for parking and directed to our check-in station. A greeter will request your name(s) for a touch free check-in for worship. An usher will help you find a place to sit.
The Green: The specific area we will worship will be behind the parsonage on the shady area under the trees. We hope this will keep things cooler for you during the hotter summer months.
Length: Worship will be shorter than usual, probably between 30 and 40 minutes, because for the time being singing is not advised. If you would like to sing, please join our online worship experience.
Masks: We will all be wearing masks. Masks are required. They should cover not only the mouth, but the nose too. It may seem burdensome, but this practice will open the door of peace and hospitality for more of our neighbors, and our goal is to regather people for worshiping God. The brief exception to wearing a mask is if we are participating in Holy Communion, as explained in a moment. We will have extra masks on hand if someone forgets one or doesn’t have one.
Chairs: We will bring our own chairs or blankets. This minimizes any type of physical contact.
Distance: We will sit in household groups, but at least six feet from other households. Lines on the grass will assist with the distancing.
Holy Communion: We will bring our own bread (and grape juice as well if you wish). This also minimizes any physical contact. We teach that we have fully received Holy Communion even if we only receive the bread or wine (or grape juice), so only one element is necessary. We will be welcomed to briefly adjust our masks to receive Holy Communion at this one point during worship if we are comfortable doing so. You may also wish to take the bread and/or grape juice home to consume it/them there.
Offerings: Offerings may be left in monitored baskets as we enter or depart the grass.
Sharing of the Peace: We are going to be very excited when we all see each other again after such a long time. Please resist the urge to shake hands or hug someone. A wave may not feel quite as good, but it will keep everyone extra safe and comfortable. It’ll help us to remember that this is only a step for now and not a destination.
Dismissal: When worship concludes, ushers will take just a few extra minutes to exit everyone by row, starting with the row closest to the parking lot.
Children: We recommend that you bring crayons, coloring sheets, or muted devices if your children are used to that option being available. This will assist with providing a more contact-free environment.
Bulletins: If you wish to use a bulletin, please print the one at the top of this blog, or follow this link to view online. This assists with keeping things more contact-free.
Poor Weather Contingency: If the weather is poor, we have a plan. Outdoor worship will still happen, simply in our vehicles. Just as we did during the May 31 congregational meeting when a huge number of us gathered in the parking lot and took part in worship through our FM radios, we will be ready to do this again. And you won’t even have to guess if we’ll be staying in our vehicles. When you pull into the parking lot, ushers will direct your vehicles to a different position than where you would park for worshiping on the green.
Bathrooms: We ask that people do everything possible not to need the bathrooms while taking part in “Worship on the Green.” However, if it becomes a necessity, we will have one location in the building available. These bathrooms will be specially sanitized for Sunday mornings, which is why we want to be sure to use those. Please ask the usher stationed at the check-in station for assistance and please follow all sanitation procedures shared by the usher.
Ways to Help:
Your help supporting outdoor worship with setting up, tearing down, learning about FM radio transmission, running a sound system, greeting people, ushering people, and so much more would help immensely. Please contact Deborah in the church office at email@example.com or 248-646-5041 to find how you can take part in this special ministry.
St. Paul wrote in Galatians 6:2
“Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
The law of Christ is for us to love one another (John 13:34-35). Therefore, our Regathering Task Force has made recommendations for outdoor worship based on a desire to accommodate and be hospitable for as many people as possible, being attentive to everyone’s safety and concerns. The task force reviewed medical opinions, scientific understandings, opinions of Beautiful Savior members, and of course the Holy Scriptures. It is part of how we will bend without breaking.
We opted to add an outdoor worship experience before an indoor worship experience for a few reasons. First, more people expressed comfort with gathering outdoors, since a great deal of the science around Covid-19 tells us that this is a safer thing to do. Second, waiting a few weeks before adding the indoor worship experience gives us time to prepare the building for indoor worship (sanitation, etc.). Third, the logistical matters around indoor worship versus outdoor worship are significantly greater. Fourth, it gives us time to catch our breath as we leap from one to three very different worship services. Fifth, in the unfortunate event that there is a resurgence of Covid-19, outdoor worship would be the most doable way to continue to worship in person safely.
Thankfully, in Christ’s Service,