Letter from Our Elders and Leaders
Midtown Friends and Family--
As many of you are likely already aware, the Midtown staff and elders have decided to offer an in-person worship option on Sunday mornings!
Quick things to know:
1. We will maintain a digital option for attending worship.
2. We recommend mask wearing for those who choose to attend the in-person option.
3. We know different people have different social tolerance during covid and are experimenting with a RED, YELLOW, GREEN system so you can signal your comfort level to others. (more below).
4. Chairs will be distanced. You can move chairs to sit next to people who are comfortable with it.
5. Hand sanitizer will be available.
6. Communion will be in individualized pre-packaged units.
7. There is a “Cry Room” available to parents and young children.
We have come to these decisions through much prayer and dialogue, and we have kept these core principles in mind throughout our deliberation:
A posture of humility in decision making, seeking wisdom from Scripture (Matt. 23:12)
A desire and call to protect the vulnerable within our church community and neighborhood, and provide them ways to remain connected in the process (Psalm 82:3-4, Micah 6:8)
A need to encourage healthy biblical community (Hebrews 10:19-25)
A healthy witness to and service of the needy in our neighborhoods (Matt. 25:31-46)
A thoughtful consideration of the best thinking the scientific community and government agencies have to offer (Proverbs 12:15, Proverbs 19:20)
This being said, we are fully aware that a reopening of an in-person worship service does not mean a “return to normal.” We are living in a challenging time, far from normal, and our worship service will respond to the challenge of our time with specific precautions. This statement serves as an overview of the essential responses we have created to institute the principles above as best we can:
We will maintain a digital option for those who desire to be a part of the service online: The in-person worship service will be live streamed to our YouTube channel, where you can watch the entirety of the liturgy. We will also maintain Digital Welcome Teams for those who attend online, in order to continue building community even when distanced from one another. Remember to those who attend online: if we are your church we will likely ask you
We recommend mask wearing to our in-person service: In accordance with an abundance of research conducted in recent months, and in line with CDC guidelines and ordinances from the state of Arizona, we highly recommend mask-wearing to in-person worship gatherings. In reflecting on Paul’s sentiments in 1 Corinthians 9, we affirm a willingness to give up the ‘right’ not to wear a mask for the sake of the proclamation of the Gospel and the love of our neighbors.
We will be offering a Red, Yellow, and Green Light system for our in-person worship service: Upon entering service, each individual will be required to wear either a red, yellow, or green sticker (provided at the Connect table when entering the building) in order to indicate their comfort level before, during, and after the service. Each light carries clear defining characteristics:
RED - I am keeping my distance and prefer to stay masked
YELLOW - I am okay with being closer than six feet and conversing, but do not wish to have physical contact (hugs, high-fives, handshakes, etc.) and prefer to remain masked
GREEN - I am okay with physical contact (hugs, high-fives, handshakes, etc.) and am willing to converse within six feet
Chairs will be socially distanced for the service: We will ensure that each chair is properly distanced, and we encourage you to keep them distanced throughout the duration of the service. You can move chairs together in order to sit next to people who are comfortable sitting with you.
Hand-sanitizer will be available at our Connect Table: We will maintain a hand-sanitizing station at our Connect table, and will mandate all entrants sanitize as they enter the worship space.
Communion will be served in individualized units: We continue to affirm the importance of both word and sacrament in our gatherings together, and thus have created a system of individualized communion units for our in-person worship gatherings. For online attendees
We have established a ‘Cry Room’ for parents and infants: In a desire to welcome new parents to church, we have established a clean and quiet room outside of the main worship service for parents to care for their infants as needed. The sermon and music will be streamed to this room for the duration of the service.
We hope that these new descriptions help communicate clearly the measures we are taking to ensure the safety of each person who enters our worship space. If you have any further questions related to the reopening of our in-person worship service option, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grace and Peace,
The Spring Midtown, Staff and Elders