Drive-in Worship is back! If you are still not comfortable coming into the building and do not have access to our live-stream, we will be resuming our Drive-In Worship this coming Sunday. Our FM transmitter stopped working but we now have a replacement. If you drive under the portico, the door usher can provide you with a bulletin and the pre-packaged communion cups. The best location to listen to the service will be parked in the spaces in front of the American flag to the south of the portico. Contact Pastor Tom if you have any questions.
Many of you are anxious to return to in-person worship and other gatherings in the life of Aldersgate. While we have offered a variety of ways to continue worship through technology, it is not a substitute for the gatherings of God's people. Worship and fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ feeds our souls and strengthens us for the journey of life in a unique way. It is with a mix of excitement and reservation that I am looking forward to resuming worship.
With that in mind, we have been working to prayerfully develop these guidelines to begin a slow and wise return to in-person worship on June 14. We believe that the steps listed in the following guidelines reflect our best efforts to minimize the potential exposures to COVID-19. As much as we all long to worship together, we can offer no certainties, and attendance is a voluntary activity. Please read and prayerfully consider the following guidelines before making your decisions whether it is the appropriate time for you to return to in-person worship at Aldergate.
REQUIRED SAFETY MEASURES (for everyone attending in-person worship)
Masks are required for everyone. We have a limited quantity of masks available if you do not have your own. The exception is that anyone participating in leading worship will not be required to wear a mask while in the chancel area. Once they leave the chancel they will put a mask on.
Hand sanitizer stations are available in the Connection. Frequent handwashing or use of hand sanitizer and not touching our faces are recommendations to minimize potential exposure.
Social distancing. To the best of your ability maintain 6 feet or more of separation between you and anyone not living in your household. This includes not shaking hands, hugging, or other physical contact with others.
Socializing should take place outdoors. We need to keep access clear for people to enter and exit unobstructed. Socializing in the building is discouraged. Please be sensitive and respectful of others who may not want to be approached even though we all miss each other.
Entering/Exiting the building will only be through Door 4 (wooden doors under the covered entry). Doors will be propped open when possible to minimize contact. We will dismiss row by row at the conclusion of the worship service. There will be no valet parking at this time.
Coffee Fellowship. No food or drink will be served. Drinking fountains have been covered to prevent use.
Seating. Every other pew has been marked off with blue tape. Sit in an open pew but please observe the 6 feet of separation from others. Only those from the same household should sit less than 6 feet apart.
Offering. We will not be passing offering plates. Offering boxes are located inside the three rear sanctuary entrances. Contributions can be placed in one of these boxes when you enter or leave the sanctuary.
Communion. Pre-packaged communion cups will be provided to you by the ushers when you enter the sanctuary. You will partake of the communion elements in your seats when instructed.
Printed bulletins will not be distributed. The liturgy and other worship information will be on the screens.
Nursery. There will be no nursery care offered at this time.
Higher risk. Please strongly consider not attending at this time if you or someone in your family is at higher risk for illness. We encourage you to continue worshiping with us online.
Symptoms. Please do not attend if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 including fever (100 or above), coughing, shortness of breath, loss of sense of taste or smell, or any other symptoms.
When you decide that it is the right time for you to attend in-person worship, please respect these guidelines for the safety of everyone. As each person considers her/his best options, please do not be critical of the decisions that others make. Always be loving and gracious to others in our church family who may have different opinions and concerns.
The COVID-19 virus is here to stay, but the degree to which it will continue to affect how we move forward remains uncertain. As we prepare to return to in-person worship, the news reports indicate an increase in the number of cases in our community because some of the restrictions have been loosening over the past few weeks. We will continue to monitor and follow the recommendations of government and health officials, but the guidelines above represent our new normal until further notice.
If you are not ready to return to in-person worship, please know that we understand. You are missed, but you are also loved and your safety is important. We will continue to offer our live-streamed service and encourage you to continue worshiping with us from home until you feel comfortable returning. We previously announced that other ministries of Aldersgate would resume at the beginning of July. This is still tentative and leaders of those various ministries will need to determine when their groups will begin again.
Welcome to Aldersgate United Methodist Church where love reaches all! We hope that you find you belong here at the church of the warm heart. Join us for worship on Sunday mornings at 9:30a or at many of our opportunities to connect throughout the week!
"I felt my heart strangely warmed."