I have sorely missed seeing each of you since our last in-person worship service on March 15! I have been grateful to God that our prayers for our congregation have been effective, and we’ve had no positive cases among our membership.
Fortunately, our church leadership is planning on re-opening our sanctuary for in-person services beginning on Sunday, June 7. What can you expect when you return to worship at GUMC? Here are some guidelines:
1. Everyone is encouraged to wear a face mask, but these will not be required. If wearing a mask, you must bring one from home; the church will not be providing these.
2. An usher will be assigned to open and close the doors, both before service and after service. Our goal is for the usher to be the only person touching the doors.
3. Families will sit on alternating sides of each pew if sitting in the center section, or in alternating pews if sitting in a side section.
4. Pews will be dismissed from the service one pew at a time by the pastor.
5. Offering plates will be available at each door. Please place your offering in a plate either before the service or after.
6. We will have no printed bulletins; please follow the order of worship on the projector. An email copy of the bulletin can be requested from Karen Watson.
7. When we receive Holy Communion together – as will be the case on June 7 – we will be using single-serve, sealed communion elements. Families will be invited up to receive the elements from the pastor. After receiving the elements, families will then be dismissed from the service. There will be trash receptacles at each entrance for you to dispose of the communion container. Our ushers will be prepared to assist you.
8. Hand sanitizer is available at each door for those who wish to use it.
9. Participants are encouraged to use the restroom at home before attending. If you must use the restroom, please use one of the provided wipes to wipe down all fixtures that you touched.
10. The nursery will remain closed at this time. We encourage all families to worship together in our sanctuary.
11. We will continue to stream our services live on the Gurley United Methodist Church page on Facebook, for anyone who does not feel comfortable returning to worship in person.
12. Please contact your Sunday school teacher for specific instructions on attending their classes.
13. Remember: if you are not feeling well or exhibiting any symptoms of being sick, we are asking you to stay home for your own health and the safety of others.
I know that this is a lot to process, and that we are all going to forget a rule or two, especially in the first few weeks after returning to in-person worship. Let’s show love and grace to one another during this time. Gently remind your fellow worshippers to follow the rules, and be sure that you are following them yourself!