Dear Church Family,
I have looked forward to sharing this letter with you, and the time is finally here! On Sunday, September 6, we will hold in-person worship in the Sanctuary for the first time since March. Things will look different, and we want to do our best to prepare you for this exciting step forward.
Thank you for calling in your reservation for worship. We already have enough to need two worship services! These will be at 8:30 and 10:00, and the services will be identical. The buffer of at least 30 minutes between will give us time to allow our 8:30 congregation to exit and get ready for the arrival of our 10:00 congregation. If you have not called to make a reservation and desire to attend either service, please call (251) 947-4602 and let us know how many from your household desire to attend which service.
Parking and Entering:
All parking will be available along our church campus. We will have three places you may enter:
1) The north door under the portico,
2) The south door between the back of the Sanctuary and the Chapel, and
3) The front doors to the Sanctuary.
All three of these entrances have a handicap ramp, and all three provide access to a restroom. When you arrive at any of these entrances, the door will be propped open for your convenience, and a greeter will be there to welcome you. The greeter will offer you a mask if you don’t already have one. Since Sept. 6 is a Communion Sunday, the door greeter will also offer you prepackaged Communion elements inside of a Ziploc bag. There will be a hand sanitizing station at each entrance and other convenient locations throughout the church. We ask that all who enter sanitize your hands and wear a mask except for those with a medical condition or disability which prevents a facial covering and children age 6 years old and younger. In addition to being greeted at the door, another usher will take you to your seat (6 feet apart) to ensure that we can have adequate social distancing. Every other pew will be roped off, and our ushers and greeters will alternate the ropes between services, so that each pew will only be used once a week.
We’re going to sing! Since we will be wearing masks, we welcome you to sing with us as we worship together. Because we are alternating pews between services, Bibles and Hymnals will remain in the pews. You are welcome to use them during the service with the knowledge that you will be the only one touching that book in a 7-day period.
We will offer Communion on September 6, since it is the first Sunday of the month. Online worshippers will be able to share with us from home. For those who come in-person, you will be offered a prepackaged set of elements that have been sealed in a Ziploc bag. When you arrive for worship, the door greeter (with sanitized hands) will invite you to hold out your hands as they give you the bag with elements. Once you have your Communion elements, they are yours to hold onto until we take Communion at the end of the service. After use, the packaging can be placed in the Ziploc bag for convenience and then dropped in the trash can provided by the exit doors.
Tithes and Offerings:
On your way into the Sanctuary, you will have an opportunity to put a tithe or offering in one of our offering plates. Two will be setup on the side walls of the Sanctuary near the stage and another in the narthex (lobby) in the front of the Sanctuary. This will be in lieu of passing the offering plates during the service. And please note: we will also not have offering envelopes, so feel free to bring cash in an envelope with your name if you would like it to be attributed to your pledge and/or giving statement. We will continue to offer online giving through our website at www.robertsdaleumc.com/give, and financial contributions can be brought to the office during the week, Monday-Thursday between 8AM-3PM.
We are so excited that online worship has been one good thing out of this hard season. We have new live stream equipment that will allow online worship to continue. Those who are not yet ready to come in person will still be able to worship with us online at our 10:00 service via Facebook Live at www.Facebook.com/RoberstdaleUMC or our website at www.robertsdaleumc.com/live.
Children’s Church, Nursery, and Sunday School:
We will continue to offer the Fellowship Hall to Sunday School classes and groups who want to reserve it one at a time throughout the week until we are able to have Sunday School on Sunday mornings again. We are also working on how and when we will add in-person Children’s Ministry and Nursery, but for now, our first step is worship in the Sanctuary for all who are able to attend. The Cry Room will be available on a first come, first serve basis as only one family will be able to utilize it per service.
After each worship service, the tops of the pews will be disinfected and the ropes moved to alternate which pews are used, so that a pew will only be used once a week. Bathroom handles and door handles will be also be disinfected. If the Cry Room is used, it will be sanitized.
All bathrooms on campus will be accessible. Doors will be propped open for your convenience, and disinfecting wipes have been provided. You can help us by wiping down any handles you touch upon leaving, so it is clean for the next person.
Before You Come:
We want to spread the love of heaven, not the germs of earth! Before you come to worship, please ask yourself the following:
Have I been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19?
Am I experiencing a cough, shortness of breath or sore throat?
Have I had a fever in the last 48 hours?
Have I experienced new loss of taste or smell?
Have I experienced vomiting or diarrhea in the last 24 hours?
If the answer to any of these is, “yes,” please worship with us online and return in person when you are feeling better.
We are so looking forward to getting to be together for worship. Blessings on your weekend.
Grace and peace,