Return to Worship – Phase One

Return to Worship – Phase One

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We will gather for worship in a limited format beginning Sunday, May 31.  Initially, we will have one service, at 10:30 AM outdoors on the lawn.  The service will also be live streamed.

There will be no Children’s Ministry, 9AM classes, or coffee and donuts. But we’re going to sing.  We’re going to pray.  And, we’re going to listen to the Word of God. Together.

We are eager to welcome all of you who have taken the risks into account and are prepared to join us again, but allow me to say this clearly: if you have any concerns about coming for worship please stay home and join us via the live stream. 

Most importantly, if you have any symptoms, or suspect you may have COVID-19: do not come to worship.

We understand there are many factors affecting your decision and want you to know that we respect both you and them. If you have any hesitation, we suggest you stay home initially while we try this out and learn some lessons.  No one will be judged for their choice to worship in person or at home. 

Our plans have been made in accordance with the Interim Guidance for Communities of Faith published by the CDC, a source recommended by both state and local authorities. 

We invite any helpful comments and questions you may have – please direct them to any of the pastors, elders, or Office@TheCityGatesChurch.org.  Be assured we are continually monitoring the process and making adjustments as necessary or as guidance changes.

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During our outdoor services, we take the following precautions:

Seating – We will be out on the lawn and ask you to bring your own sheet or blanket and chairs.  Placing a sheet or blanket down clearly signals your distance from others.  We strongly suggest you arrive at least 10 minutes early to set up your spot.  Those with little ones in attendance should leave time to also visit the bathroom(s) before service starts.

Masks – The governor’s recent announcement makes masks mandatory indoors in public spaces.  We are holding our service outdoors, with appropriate distancing, and therefore are not requiring masks. If you are not comfortable being around people who are not wearing masks, please continue to worship with us through our live stream service or find a distant spot from the patio.

Singing – We will not be using projection for the service.  The words for the worship songs will be included with the e-bulletin and we encourage you to view them on your phone or tablet or print a copy before leaving the house.

In light of recent research suggesting there may be some higher degree of risk of spreading infection during singing in close quarters, you might consider wearing a mask for that portion of the service only. 

Hygiene – We will have several commercial hand sanitizer dispensers available on site.  However, you are encouraged to bring your own sanitizer and are reminded that washing your hands with warm water and soap is preferred.  As a result, we have taken steps to ensure we have additional soap and paper towels stocked in our bathrooms.

Building – The front doors of the building will be open so you can access the bathrooms.  The nursery and nursing mothers room will be open for self-service use and we will live stream the service into both spaces.  Other than these spaces, sitting inside is not an option. 

You may wish to consider bringing a mask if you are going to use these indoor spaces.

After the service – you are welcome to leave or linger.  We have been blessed with a beautiful property giving us plenty of room to be together safely.  You are welcome to pack a lunch and catch up with friends, tailgate in the parking lot, or use one of several seating areas we have set up using six-foot tables.  Be smart, be safe, but enjoy each other.

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This has been hard for many reasons, but it will not be this way forever.  So let us endure with patience, learn to love, and be the light our community desperately needs to see as we gather for worship, grow in Christ, and go into all the world reflecting His love.

Grace and Peace to you,

Pastor Jeff

On Sunday morning, don’t forget to bring:

Bible and note taking material

Sermon note pages or other options for kids (if applicable)

Blanket, sheet, or towels

Chairs (optional)

Snacks, coffee, & water

Sunscreen & bug repellant


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