As the local and regional COVID-19 situation improves and as government recommendations and medical guidelines loosen, we are excited to continue gradually turning up the dimmer switch on our in-person worship services, keeping in mind our goals of care, flexibility, and transparency. As described in the May 25 "Family Meeting," our next step in this process will be the return to indoor worship services starting on July 4, assuming there is no change in the COVID-19 situation. Read below for more information about our current state, our next steps, and some FAQs. As always, if you have any questions or comments about the reopening process, please contact us or fill out the Reopening Questions Form.
As more individuals are vaccinated and guidelines on indoor gatherings continue to loosen, we look forward to the next step of returning to indoor worship services starting on Sunday, July 4. As we proceed through the summer and re-staff our volunteer teams, we will gradually reintroduce hospitality and other ministries to the Sunday morning experience. The online service viewings will continue indefinitely, so everyone can stay connected to the church from home or elsewhere.
Click the button below for all the latest details on the indoor services starting on July 4:
Why are we continuing to worship outside for now? Why not just move inside immediately? Other than vaccination, being outdoors remains the most significant and effective mitigation against the spread of COVID-19. While we continue to watch COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations decrease overall and hope for that trend to continue, people from our church family are still testing positive for COVID-19. We're not completely out of the woods yet. Keeping our Sunday morning worship services outside into early summer while the weather is often quite pleasant allows us to enjoy the beauty of that space, offers time for more of our people to reach full vaccination, accommodates those who are just beginning to gather with groups of people, and provides more time for our media, worship, and children's ministry teams to prepare for the next and presumably final pivot. We will continue to offer three alternative means of worshiping with us (in cars, in the Sanctuary, online) for those who are unable to join us on the lawn.
Why are we moving our worship services inside this summer? Why not stay outdoors until the cold weather in the fall? We are delighted to watch COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations decrease nationally and locally. We are encouraged to see many folks from our church family reach full vaccination and receive its accompanying protection. And we are excited by the CDC update removing most mitigation efforts for fully vaccinated people, even indoors. And worshipping outdoors does require extra effort each week from volunteers, introduces an extra layer of angst as we watch daily weather forecasts and consider last-minute inclement weather adjustments, and provides challenges for some folks who have physical limitations with sitting outside for extended periods of time. Therefore, we are planning an early July return to live, indoor worship, before the hottest weeks of the summer are upon us. We will evaluate the status of CDC and local health guidelines and communicate expectations on masks and other COVID-19 mitigations. And we plan to continue to stream the services online for anyone who remains uncomfortable to move indoors with us.