"I was glad when they said to me, let us go into the house of the Lord”
Psalm 122:1

As faithful disciples of Jesus Christ in the midst of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we remain committed to our biblical mandate to “love our neighbors as ourselves” and our Wesleyan call to “Do no harm. Do all the good we can. Follow the ordinances (stay in love) with God.” In doing so, we seek ways to engage faithfully in worship, study, and ministry while ensuring the health and safety of our members and communities as our first priority. 
                                     (From the WNCC Guidelines for In-Person Worship)

What the church does best comes when we gather. It can be in our worship services, our small groups, fellowship meals, serving others… the church is at its best when we gather.  However, for the past three months, we have had to put our gathering on hold. Following the CDC Guidelines and the direction of local, state, and church leadership, we have abstained from meeting together in our sanctuary or inside our buildings since mid-March.   
For the past month, the Church Council, under the leadership of Mike Demos, has been assessing and anticipating the needs and the concerns that require attention towards re-entering our church facilities. We have conducted Zoom call meetings for the purpose of staying safe while conducting the business of the church. At this point, we do not know the date of re-entry or the capacity of attendees to our services. However, there are some things we want to inform you, as our church family, that will be mandatory when the time arrives:

  1. Our initial plan is to gather in Asbury Hall for the first weeks to provide plenty of space for social distancing (6 feet apart). Seating will be pre-arranged, except for families who desire to sit together.

  2. Masks must be worn; you may bring your own mask or receive one upon entering the building. We have some members of the church who are currently making masks. Hand sanitizer will also be provided.

  3. Music will be provided by Kevin and others. While we can have a soloist or small group to sing, there will be no congregational singing. Singers will be safely distanced from the congregation, instrumentalists, etc.

  4. Signage will direct you upon entering the church; i.e. one door for entry and another for exiting (special consideration will be given to those with special needs, wheelchairs, etc.)

  5. We will not use bulletins, hymnals, friendship pads, etc. The offering plate will not be passed; rather, there will be a designated place to leave your offering or you may send it to the church via mail or make on-line contributions.

  6. The worship service will not be a full hour service; when it comes time to depart, ushers will release attendees by rows to avoid congestion upon leaving the building.

  7. Considering our attendance will be limited, we ask that you call and make a reservation for you and your family to attend worship. We will plan on having two services. When making your reservation, please indicate the service you plan to attend and the number of family members or guests attending.


These directives will be modified or re-assessed as we proceed towards in-person worship. It is the intention of the Church Council and your staff to keep everyone informed and aware of the plans so we can come together again. Above all, it is our intention to “love our neighbor” and “do no harm” to keep our church family healthy and safe in these unprecedented days. 

© 2020 Groce UMC. 

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