To The Good Shepherd Faithful,
Worship will be every Sunday at 9:00 am until the weather changes. There are a number of rules that we have to follow in order to hold outdoor worship.
Again, I want to thank all of you for your patience during these strange times. Every day I give thanks that the people of Good Shepherd have progressed through the pandemic with care and caution. At no point in time have the council or myself felt pressured to return to worship and I can’t begin to express what a blessing your thoughtfulness has been. Moving forward and planning for a return to worship has been easier because of your attitude. So, once again thank you for being an amazing congregation. With that being said I do have some good news to share with you.
We will be gathering on the lawn outside of the Multipurpose Room. You will need to wear a mask. If you don’t have a mask one will be given to you. If you refuse to wear a mask I am afraid you will be asked to leave. If you have health reasons for not wearing a mask then it would be better if you continued to join us through online services. Mask wearing is non-negotiable for now. We have too many vulnerable members and we will not risk their health. We also ask that you bring your own lawn chair.
When you arrive for worship please go to the usher’s table where your temperature will be taken, name recorded and crossed off, you will be handed both a bulletin and an individual communion pack. The ushers will also direct you where you may sit. Family groups may sit together; however all others will have to sit six feet apart. I realize that people are used to sitting with their friends and hopefully we can return to normal soon; however, for now we need to follow the six feet rule. I really wish this wasn’t the rule because it has been so long since we have been together but, it is what it is.
The worship service will be quite different because there will be no congregational singing. Singing creates aerosol which enables the virus to spread further. Therefore, the liturgy will be spoken and not sung and congregational hymns are out of the question at this time. On a more positive note there will be music. Penny will be playing the piano at the services and we are lining up soloists for the services. Granted, it is not a perfect solution, but it is the best we can do.
The sharing of the peace and communion will be done from your personal space. We are creative and fun people and I am sure we can come up with engaging and fun ways to share the peace with one another without shaking hands, or hugging. Personally, I am fond of the good ole’ fashion peace sign from the sixties. The Vulcan sign (Live long and prosper) works too. As for communion, you will be provided a small communion pack and after the Lord’s Prayer I will say “The body and blood of Jesus Christ broken and shed for you.” At which time you may receive communion. It will be simple, sanitary, and more importantly, meaningful. After service is over we ask that you leave with minimal interaction with others. The ushers, altar guild, and COVID Team need to clean the area and prepare for the next worship service.
Peace, Pastor Laura O’Brien