Edinburg FUMC Returns to In-Person Worship This Easter!!
Friends – it has been a long year. We have done more than survive. We have grown and thrived. We have lived more fully into our identity and calling as a people of God and community of faith. I’m so grateful, humbled, and proud to serve this church as your pastor.
I am excited to share, that after meeting with the Board last night, we will resume in person worship starting Good Friday in the Prayer Garden and Easter Sunday in the sanctuary. For now, we are limiting the number of people in attendance to 40. You will need to RSVP via the online link that will be given at the end of this article. It will also be emailed out. If you are not an “online” person, email the church office (email@example.com) leave a message on the church phone, or email me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org). We will continue to live stream the services. This has become a vital part of our worship life and extended community. We will be working to more deeply connect with our online community as we reimagine in person worship and “church life.”
We will continue to abide and uphold the CDC requirements for in person gatherings. This means we will require all attendees to wear a mask, keep social distancing of 6 feet, immediate families may sit together, but otherwise, at least 2 chairs distance within a row for seating. We will have ushers at the door to greet you, offer hand sanitizer, scan your temperature, and ask about any symptoms, public travel and transport. If you have any symptoms or think you may have been exposed, we ask that you stay home to ensure everyone’s continued good health.
We will continue with our one service model meeting at 10:30am. The doors will be opened at 10:15am and closed when the service/live stream begins. We will continue to show the children’s time as a prerecorded lesson before the start of service. Everything else will be “live.”
Omar, our praise band, and the scholarship singers will lead us in worship, but we will not have congregational singing or have corporate prayers/responses. What I know will be the most difficult aspect is that we not be able to physically “pass the peace.” We will take time to turn and wave, but we not be able to shake hands or hug as is our habit. It is important that we not congregate, particularly inside. After the service is concluded, we ask that you move outside without lingering to chat.
I know this will be hard. Some of what we miss most about in person worship is being with each other. As the COVID numbers regarding active cases/hospitalizations and number of people vaccinated improve, we will be able to increase our attendance numbers and slowly incorporate more or our “normal” activities. The Board and I will continue to monitor the COVID numbers for our county and specifically for Edinburg. If there are significant spikes or related issues that cause the concern, the Board and I will prayerfully consider the necessity of returning to online worship only.
To RSVP for in person worship please go to: https://rsvp.church/r/Rp7LvnL7 . It will tell you how many spaces are available. Currently, you will see spots available for March 21 and March 28th. These are not open for attendance, but are a test run of our system and soft opening to work out some details.
There will be a lot of challenges, missteps, and hiccups along the way as we resume in person worship and continue to live stream. Please be prayerful and patient. We’re doing our very best to honor God and care for our church family.
Last year, our Lenten theme was about God taking our broken pieces and making them beautiful. I look at the picture of our empty frame next to our now completed and hung cross. I bless and thank God for all God has done in this past year, even for the struggle and frustrations, because God created something beautiful in us along the way that will be a testimony of God’s goodness and our faithfulness. Here’s to letting go of the broken pieces and embracing the beauty.