As our nation moves forward with vaccinations and hopefully towards a time when we can once again meet in person safely I am inviting you to join in a new team that will re-imagine worship in the future and plan for the gradual re-opening of our in-person worship services. Here are a few questions to stimulate your thinking.
What are the thresholds of safety we must meet to have in-person worship?
How will we help those who are struggling to find vaccination appointments?
Will people be required to be vaccinated to attend in-person worship? How do we continue to open our doors to everyone if we do this?
What about those who now worship online with us? How will we provide both levels of service?
Can we hold services outside safely? If so, what is required to do that?
Currently the Conference recommendations suggest even if we meet outdoors we refrain from singing together. How else might we celebrate?
Is there something we should change in our worship services that we’ve been wanting to change for a long time? Is now the time to do this? How do we do it?
I am sure there are a thousand other things to think about and plan for. So, you are invited to this table to discuss, plan, pray, and implement! I am asking anyone and everyone to step forward and help us plan the future of worship at WSUMC. Send me an email if you’d like to join in. Our meetings will be online and over the phone for now. Go to the Contact US page and send me a note if you are interested in joining in the planning.
Here’s an excellent article about what other churches have experienced as they reopen and what things we really need to think about.
And a comment from another church leader to the site above by Rev. Heather
I’ve been pondering verses like Amos 5:21-24,
“I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals I will not look upon. Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an everflowing stream.”
My church is in an area where we still need to worship online, have been since last March, and we are doing pretty well. We’re reaching new people online, giving is up, and we’re engaging with our community through various service projects and relief efforts. Our only in-person groups are doing acts of neighbor-love: making sack lunches for the houseless, delivering food, collecting items for those in need, handing out Christmas boxes to local families, etc.
I’m not worried about how many people come back to worship, because what God is showing me through this pandemic is that when we do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God, our community sees Jesus through us. Then we get to talk about our why. Our why is Jesus.