As you know, our goal since July was to reopen the church for small groups and meetings in August and, with limited attendance and other boundaries, to reopen the sanctuary for Sundays beginning September 12. Because of the rise in positive COVID cases, we were not able to remain open throughout August and are not expecting to be able to open for Sunday services in September. We have taken science and the experts seriously so as to keep one another physically safe. I know it is also important to keep our mental health strong in times such as these.
Honoring that tension, on September 12, the worship team and I will offer two Water Ingathering services, both at 10am. One will be entirely virtual, just like the services we’ve created together since March 2020. The other will be an in-person, outside, brief ritual service* on the church grounds.
Two things to note: Both services will be given the worship team’s full attention; these are different offerings and neither will be more of a water service than the other. Secondly, this does not reflect our model for multi-platform ministry. When we truly reopen, those participating remotely and in-person will be part of the exact same service at the exact same time. Again, we come to this in a spirit of compromise and creativity.
*All safety measures will continue to be in place for the in-person service. Masks and social distancing will be required. We will not provide or invite seating. Unfortunately, we will not offer music during this time, but will enjoy the natural sounds around us. We will gather for a brief time of welcome and meditation and then be invited to participate in six self-directed water rituals at different stations throughout the grounds. These stations will remain set up until 11am on Sunday.
-Rev. Kim Wildszewski