Will County has moved back to Phase 4, so we are now able to worship in-person with up to 50 people. We resumed in-person worship at Cross of Glory on Sunday, February 14. Online worship will continue, so those feeling more comfortable staying home can do so.
Because we’ll be limiting the number of worshippers and taking other COVID precautions to make our worship experience as safe as possible, things won’t look exactly like they did last March. (Who remembers what things looked like last March anyway.) However, we can be certain of this – God will continue to show up big time! And, of course, that’s true regardless of whether you’re in the building or watching via Facebook or YouTube live. God always shows up!
While we’ll have to be flexible so we can adjust to changes in CDC and Illinois guidance, here’s an overview of what to expect:
- In order to reflect our love and care for each other, we will all be wearing masks. (Please put them on as you are leaving your car, and make sure they cover both your mouth and nose.)
- The maximum number of people we can have in the worship space is 50. Band, tech people, and helpers total about 15, so we can have 35 additional people for worship each Sunday. I don’t think that will be a problem long-term, but to make sure we don’t exceed the 35 person limit at the start, we’ll ask people to RSVP for the first few weeks. I was going to try something fancy, but it’s easiest to just email Pastor Dana O’Brien. Your email needs to include how many people will be worshipping in your group. The first 35 people who respond can attend in-person that Sunday. (I’ll send out a list later in the week.)
- If you have any COVID symptoms or have been recently exposed to anyone diagnosed with COVID, please take care of yourself and others by staying home and participating online.
- When you enter the building, we’ll have hospitality volunteers taking temperatures and escorting you to your socially distanced seats. (The plan is to have households sit together, but distanced from others. The worship space will be filled starting farthest from the doors and dismissed with those closest to the doors first.)
- You are invited to bring your own bread and wine for communion. (We’ll also have those little combined wafer and juice containers available – just like we used outside during the summer.)
- You can leave your offering in an offering box near the door of the worship space.
- I know lots of us want to hang around and chat after worship. But please do not do that in the building. Please wait until you are outside (and keep your masks on).
In order to make this work, we need 2-3 volunteers each Sunday to help welcome everyone, direct them to seats and take temperatures. This is a wonderful way to get back involved in worship. Don’t worry it’s easy. We’ll tell you everything you need to know and provide you with everything you’ll need. Please contact Dana O’Brien if you’d like to help. Remember, having enough hospitality volunteers is key if we’re going to worship in the building.
In addition to worshiping inside, we will continue to worship online via Facebook and YouTube every Sunday. These online options are great for anyone who for any reason can’t (or just isn’t ready to) come back to the building. (And given this really cold weather, staying at home and participating online may be the first choice for lots of people.)
These are still very challenging times, but I think we’re beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully, as more and more people get vaccinated, we’ll get this pandemic under control. And remember, this is also a great time to live as God’s church in this place. Let’s all take this opportunity to show God’s love to each other and to all those in our community who so need to hear about the God of grace and hope that we follow.
As always, please contact Pastor Dana O’Brien if you have any questions.