“I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go up to the House of the Lord.’”  Psalm 122

Dear Members and Friends,

After more than a year of worshipping online only, of putting our congregation and community’s health and safety first, we are so excited to announce that we will reopen for in-person worship beginning on Sunday, June 6, at 9:30 AM. Guided by the new CDC guidelines and the invaluable input of our Medical Advisory Team, we are confident that we can resume in-person worship safely.

  • As we reopen, we will ask everyone to mask, both to err on the side of health/caution and to honor our unity as a Body of Christ. There are some among us who cannot receive the vaccine due to health concerns, some who have declined for personal reasons and many who have been ineligible because of their youth. We look forward to a time when a vaccine is available to the young and others are confident that they can be safely vaccinated.
  • We ask you to let us know that you are coming by registering on REALM, emailing ([email protected]) or calling the office at 920-733-7393. This is not about taking attendance but simply to help us in our preparations so that folks can socially distance if desired. We would encourage those who haven’t been vaccinated to remain six feet apart during worship while understanding that many of those who HAVE been vaccinated would also prefer the same. We will make the Chapel available if space becomes limited in the Sanctuary.
  • We will continue to livestream our worship – a commitment that began prior to the pandemic and will continue into the future.
  • If your answer is “yes” to any of the following three questions on a Sunday morning, we ask that you refrain from attending worship.
    1. Within the last 14 days, were you required to follow quarantine related to
      COVID-19 as a result of your business or personal travel?
    2. Have you been in close contact with anyone who is COVID-19 positive or presumptive positive within the last 14 days?
    3. Are you feeling ill or having flu-like or new allergy-like symptoms?
  • We will utilize these steps to keep our worship service “low/no touch”:
    • Bulletins will be handed out by gloved ushers.
    • Offering plates will be located at the entrance to the Sanctuary for you to place your offering. As always, we are also grateful for those who make their offering online, by mail or through auto-giving.
    • We will not share hymnbooks or pew bibles outside our “bubble” during worship.
    • You are encouraged to use the restroom before coming to church. If the restroom is needed, please wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Our fellowship will be held outdoors where folks can safely unmask as they gather in small groups. You are more than welcome to join us for fellowship even if you are unable to attend the worship service. To avoid crowding in the Narthex, people will be asked to seat themselves in the Sanctuary after arriving and we will excuse folks by sections at the conclusion of worship.
  • Children are encouraged to attend and sit with their families. While we will continue to postpone access to the Nursery and will not share communal toys or books, “Busy Bags” will be distributed to children ages 3-10 to help involve them in our worship time. Children will take the bags home with them after the service.
  • This is not a reopening of the church building for all other groups but a limited reopening under the circumstances we can best control and review worship. We will be evaluating our plan week-by-week and authorize its continuation or its expansion month-by-month for the time being. Please be assured that we will continue to put the health and safety of our congregation and community first.

We look forward to worshipping in-person with one another. Thank you again for contacting the office by phone or email, or registering on REALM to help us in our preparations. Praise God for the wonderful work of our community health care providers in distributing vaccines. Praise God for the members of our church for their continuing support and involvement in our church and for the neighborliness shown in getting vaccinated for the health and safety of themselves, their families, our church family and our community. We look forward to a safe and joy-filled return to in-person worship!

Yours in Christ,

First Congregational UCC Church Council and Rev. Steve Savides, Senior Pastor

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