FCC Set to Open on June 14
Our elders and council leaders have prayerfully established procedures — using CDC recommended guidelines — for opening the church to worship on Sunday, June 14 (UNLESS there is a big spike in CoviD-19 cases or a related health concern). It will be different, but we hope to come together as a family in a way that responsibly and lovingly minimizes risk. However, please feel free to stay at home with our blessing if you feel you should!
If you come, individuals or folks sheltering together need to allow six feet of social distance from others when entering, leaving, or using the building; and EVERYONE should wear a mask. (We’ll happily give a mask to anybody who needs one.)
Hard surfaces will be disinfected before you come, but to give our cleaning team a break, the education wing, faith connection center, library, and office will not be open.
Taped arrows on the floor will help you know which doors we’d like you to enter and leave by, or how to get to the bathroom if necessary. The goal will be to have one way traffic at all times so worshippers can maintain (you guessed it) social distancing.
9:30 Indoor Worship
1. All people entering the sanctuary must ADHERE TO SOCIAL DISTANCING GUIDELINES of six-foot distance, unless you are a family unit living together.
2. All people entering the sanctuary MUST WEAR A MASK before, during, and after the service
3. We ask that NO PHYSICAL CONTACT be made before, during, and after the service
4. Offering boxes will be available at the different stations inside the sanctuary for you to drop off your offering (we won’t be passing a plate during the service).
5. Communion will be available at four different stations in the sanctuary with separate cups containing bread and juice for each individual to handle and discard in the trash container near the communion station. (The elders will demonstrate how this will work during the service.) To help the congregation practice social distancing, the ushers will help direct you to a communion station in your area. (Note: communion will be prepared by a masked and gloved elder.)
6. At the end of the service the ushers will help the congregation practice social distancing by inviting the back rows of people to leave first. Please remain in your area until the usher comes by.
7. Use the main “A” entrance (under the rain-shelter portico).
7:30 Outdoor Worship
1. Bring your own lawn chair if you can, but outdoor disinfected chairs will be available.
2. We will be set up in the large grass area north of the education building (between the scout building and the large, bean-shaped, brick planter).
3. The 6 guidelines above will be followed, except that communion will be in the form of a pre-filled cup that has a wafer sealed in plastic on the top.
4. In case of rain, we will worship in the Faith Connection Center in the same (sigh) socially-distanced way.
When using the bathrooms, please:
1. Follow the arrows to get there and leave to maintain a one-way traffic flow.
2. Use wipes furnished outside of the bathroom to wipe the door handle before entering
3. Use the spray furnished inside to disinfect all the surfaces you may use while in the bathroom, both before and after you use them. This includes the toilet, sink, and sink handles (before and after use), and the door handle before you leave.
If it all starts to feel like a bit much, please remember: we’re doing it for the safety of our brothers and sisters. God wants us to love them, and we look forward to being proud of how our church family does it with patience, good humor, and NO whining!
Do you remember how The Wizard of Oz starts? It’s a typical colorless day. Suddenly, clouds darken and a ferocious wind blows in from the east! Auntie Em and Uncle Henry shout for everyone to get to the storm cellar, but Dorothy and Toto only make it as far as the house. A terrifying gust rips off some siding that knocks Dorothy out. Nightmare images fly by as the tornado spins everything. Finally, the house lands and Dorothy stumbles into a beautiful technicolor world.
Does it feel that way for you just a bit? We’ve been living in cramped, gray, sometimes frightening circum-stances, and suddenly we get to step out into a world exploding with spring and populated by — if not Munchkins, at least — other people! I notice the simplest things feel like blessings: a traffic circle crowded with cars, diners eating at tables outside a restaurant, a road crew directing vehicles around a work zone. I felt relieved to return a three-month-overdue book to the
library, and privileged to walk into a doctor’s office for my twice-postponed yearly checkup. (The good news: I’m very healthy for a 66-year-old. The bad news: I’m a 66-year-old.)
I realize it’s not over — we’re probably a year away from a vaccine, and at least that far from repairing the economic damage. But there IS ample reason to rejoice. God has brought us this far and will take us the rest of the way. Isaiah expressed something similar in the midst of the Babylonian captivity. He knew God was assuring us: “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” (Isaiah 43:2)
While we can’t complain to our grandparents who lived through The Great Depression or WWII (nor to our Biblical ancestors who endured slavery in Egypt or occupation by Rome), we’ve been through a lot.
Yes, like Dorothy, there are challenges ahead. But it’s a great time to rejoice in the blessings of everyday life: a first responder, a job, a flower, a food pantry worker, a field, a friend, an “open” sign.
As the psalmist would say: “I will give thanks to You, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” (Psalm 9:1) — Dave