Last year, the congregation decided to suspend in-person worship in light of national and local leadership and consultation with our COVID-19 task force and ministry staff. This was not done out of fear or panic, but as part of our Christian service to our fellowship and our community to help prevent spread of a virus that is targeting so many. With the widespread adoption of the vaccine and drop in new infections we are now able to revise our worship to include in-person services again.
This is an exciting week for us as we begin hybrid worship services this Sunday! We’re calling them "hybrid" because the big idea is that this is one worship service in two environments (in-person and online).
It should feel both a little familiar and a little different from what we might expect in both environments. This message is to help us all set expectations and help you make your plans about which environment you’d like to worship in this Sunday.
- We encourage you to log-in or arrive before 9:30am. We will be starting on time to make sure we’re being considerate to worshippers on-line and in-person.
- The order and flow of our worship service will be very similar to recent on-line worship services.
- Worship leaders will be both in-person and remote. If you’re online, those in-person will be on a video feed from the worship center. If you’re in-person, those online will be projected at the front of the worship center.
- This week, we will not have an Adult Bible Class after services. Starting next week, May 30, we will begin having a class in the worship center immediately following the worship service. Starting in June, we plan to have one class in-person and another on-line - both immediately following the worship service.
- On-line Kids Zoom will meet this Sunday at 10:45am. They are taking a break for Memorial Day weekend on May 30.
- Online worshippers, please continue to prepare communion at home.
- In-person worshippers, you are invited to bring communion from home or single serve communion kits will be provided on a table as you enter the worship center. Please also pick up a plastic baggie, on the same table, to collect your trash.
- Our elders will continue leading a congregational prayer after communion each week.
- For those online, any requests for prayer can be shared on chat.
- For those in-person, there’s a table as you enter the worship center - across from the table with communion supplies - where you can write prayer requests to share. You’re encouraged to write those requests before worship begins, during the song between communion and prayer, or any time during the worship service.
- Requests submitted onilne and in-person will be collected and shared with the elder leading prayer during the song before the prayer begins.
- We won’t have a song leader or song team in these first weeks, our hope is to reintroduce these into our worship over time.
- We will continue singing along to pre-recorded music this Sunday both on-line and in-person.
- We understand our song service right now is less than ideal in a number of ways. We want you to know we’re doing the best we can. I invite and encourage you to share any constructive feedback with me or other members of the worship committee.
- For those in-person, a contribution plate will be on the tables in the back of the Worship Center, if you’d like to leave a donation that way.
- Everyone is encouraged to continue making use of our other options for giving: on our website, setting up an automatic bank draft (call Pam at the office for instructions), mailing a check, or bringing a check or cash to the office.
- If you are feeling sick, we ask you to stay home and worship on-line.
- We ask that everyone entering the Worship Center wear a mask, at least during this time of transition back to the building. We recognize there are some new recommendations for community mask use but ask that you consider others during this time, especially children younger than 12 and members their households, since no vaccine is authorized for this population. As Tim Wood recently told me, “We need to treat these children like they’re all of our children.” That’s a very God-honoring attitude to carry at all times, but we have a special opportunity to do that for each other right now.
- We are asking everyone in the worship center to maintain physical distancing from other groups. In addition, you’ll notice tape on some of our pews. Please do not sit in a pew with tape on it.
As I said last Sunday, this is all going to be different AND it’s going to be good. It’s going to be good to be together - physically and remotely. It’s going to be good to praise and worship our good and holy God. I’m looking forward to seeing some of you in-person and others online this Sunday.As always if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the office. After a long year with many transitions, this is another one. We’ll get through it together by loving one another as well as we can, as we’ve done many times before.
Cole Mill Road Church of Christ
Joining God’s Work of New Creation