Pastoral Letter: September 14, 2020

Pastoral Letter: September 14, 2020

Cancelled indoor service.

Now outdoor @ 10am on Sunday, September 20th.

Indoor cancelled but outdoor still at 10am

Posted by Strathroy United Church on Saturday, September 19, 2020

Pastoral Letter
September 14 2020
Return to Sanctuary
Dear friends,

This Sunday marks 196 days — 27 Sundays — since we last gathered in the sanctuary for worship. This Sunday, September 20th, we return to the sanctuary for worship.

I am excited, and I am cautious. A team of volunteers and staff have worked countless hours to plan and prepare for a return that prioritizes safety and provincial standards. We need your help to ensure safety.

Please arrive at the Maria St. entrance between 9:30 – 9:50 a.m. on Sunday morning. Ida will collect your contact information (in case the health unit does contact tracing), and Marjorie will ask screening questions (symptoms, fever, travel, COVID contact). You’ll walk upstairs to the front sanctuary entrance (keeping 2 metre distancing in line), where an usher will take you to an assigned pew.

Unfortunately, seating is assigned and most likely not where you usually sit. I apologize that we’re unable at this point to accommodate seating preferences — except for wheelchairs and walkers. Please follow the usher’s lead. I’ll give instructions for exiting the sanctuary on Sunday morning.

The elevator is available, but the elevator attendant cannot travel with you in the elevator. Instead, you’ll push the internal elevator buttons. If needed, the elevator attendant can use the exterior call button to summon the elevator upstairs (and down following the service).

Masks are mandatory for all worshippers without exception at all times in the building and sanctuary. If you’re unable to wear a mask for any reason, a livestream of the worship service is available for you to watch at home. I apologize in advance for anyone excluded by this requirement, and I appreciate your support and cooperation as we strive for these safety standards.

So far, about 30 people have indicated an interest in attending worship in the sanctuary. Because this number is less than our 35 household (bubble) limit, pre-registration is not required for the Sept 20th service. However, seating this Sunday is on a first-come basis. I apologize if you’re required to return home because of capacity, but I hope you’ll join our Facebook livestream starting at 10:00 a.m.

From 9:30 – 10:00 a.m. while people are being seated, we’ll have a contemplative pre-service with music, prayers, and readings. At 10:00 am our formal worship service begins, lasting about 35 minutes.

We need your help to reduce transmission and increase safety. In addition to mandatory masks, we need worshippers to refrain from conversations and singing before, during, and after the worship service. I know this is a big ask and changes the worship experience. As the weeks unfold, and we do our part to prevent second wave outbreaks, we’ll slowly be able to resume these fundamental worship practices.

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ inspire us to be grace-filled with one another during this change. May the love of God inspire us to prioritize the safety and well-being of one another. May the communion of the Holy Spirit inspire us to remember God’s presence in worship — whatever the form and location.

Yours faithfully,
Rev. Dr. Brad Morrison