In-Person Worship this Sunday: What You Need to Know

by The Rev. Daniel P Strandlund on August 27, 2020
The rumors are true: this Sunday we will offer our first in-person (outdoor) worship service at our physical site since Sunday, March 8.  Today, I’m just writing with the details for what that will look like.  (Never fear: our 10am Live Stream service will continue as usual!)  I’ll say it again below, but we’ll be socially distant and wearing masks at all times.
 
What time?  7:30am for outdoor, in-person worship.  This early we avoid the heat.
 
Where?  In the big yard by the Mission Hall.  Being outside minimizes a lot of the risk of aerosol transmission of the coronavirus.  At no point during the service will we be entering the buildings.
 
Where will we sit?  Three options: in the grass in open air, inside your cars, or tailgate style in the beds of trucks, hatchbacks, etc.  If you plan to sit in the grass, please bring a blanket or camping chair.  There will be a square area roped off just for folks who plan to sit on camping chairs or picnic blankets instead of remaining at their cars.
 
Where should we park?  You can park anywhere in the main parking lot or in the grass except for the roped off area mentioned above.  If you plan to picnic it inside the roped off square closest to the porch, please park farther away in order to leave the parking spots closest to the square available for ‘tailgaters’ and folks who will be remaining in automobiles.
 
Will we be able to hear if we’re tailgating or sitting in our cars?  Yep!  We have a gadget that will send audio to car radios.  Tune in to 89.3FM.  We’ve roped off a square close to the porch for folks to sit picnic-style so that they’re close enough to hear.
 
Do we need to bring anything?  To minimize risk, we won’t be handing out physical bulletins or prayer books.  You’ll need either a device where you can pull up the bulletin from the weekly newsletter or a Book of Common Prayer and a bible.  I’ll be preaching on Romans 12:9-21.  This outdoor service will be a bit shorter than our 10am Live Stream but will follow a similar rhythm.  You may also bring camping chairs, picnic blankets, etc.
 
What if it rains?  If it’s thundering and lightening, stay home.  If it’s just drizzling, or ‘might rain,’ we’ll likely go ahead and keep the AV equipment under the porch and use the FM station.  Pay attention to text messages for any weather updates.  (If you don’t get text reminders and updates, text STLIZ to 71441.  Usually only two or three texts per week.)
 
What are the special pandemic rules?  The two big ones are social distancing and masks.  Social distancing means that, other than the folks in our own households, we will not be closer than 6’ to each other at any point.  (To our huggers, I know this will be a struggle, but I believe in you!)  If you remain in your own car throughout and are listening to the radio, then you don’t need a mask.  For everyone else—picnic style folks, tailgate style folks, folks parked close with all the car windows down—masks are required. 
 
How many people will be there?  I have no idea!
 
What if I really want to come, but even being outside I’m still nervous about being around so many folks?  You are welcome to come and remain in your car.  You’re also welcome to come and park on a different, farther away part of our property and tune in via radio from there.  And finally, we will still Live Stream at 10am!
 
Anything else?  If you’ve got Sunshine Mail letters you haven’t brought to the church yet, you can do so!  Also, while we won’t pass an offering basket, one will be available for offerings.
 
 
God’s Peace,
 
 
Daniel+
 
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