Church Reopening Announcement
Greetings Church Family! It is with great joy that I can announce the resumption of in-person worship at St. Mary’s.
Over the past several months, we have prayed about and discussed how we might gather again for worship and what restrictions might be included when we do. We thank all those who responded to our recent survey. As you might expect, responders expressed a wide range of health and risk tolerance levels. While many folks have relatively few concerns about gathering together again, several responders conveyed deep concerns due to health-related issues or other needs such as caring for others who are at risk or compromised. We love and respect all of you and have worked to consider the needs and risk tolerance levels of everyone in crafting our reopening plan. I am pleased to share it with you here.
In designing this plan, our first consideration has been the health and safety of our church family. But whatever this plan includes, your decision, when to attend church again, is something each person must make individually. Attending church, of course, is voluntary and, even with every conceivable precaution taken, we know some will still feel uncomfortable attending again for some time. We fully understand and respect that decision, and for those folks, we will continue to offer our current on-line worship broadcasts. And as always, we ask those who are sick, caring for someone who is ill, immuno-compromised, or otherwise at higher risk to stay home and join in on-line services.
Beginning Sunday, October 11th, we will return to the sanctuary.
The worship service will start at 10:00 AM and will be broadcast live.
Here are the additional precautions that are taken:
- Seating capacity is limited to 30 percent.
- All attendees must pre-register using the link on our website: (www.saintmarysfwb.org)
- Face masks will be required for everyone attending worship service.
- A temperature check will be conducted on everyone before entering the building.
- Some pews will be blocked to maintain social distancing;
- When the worship service ends, attendees will be dismissed by section to avoid congestion;
- The Sanctuary will be cleaned by our cleaning staff during the week;
- If we reach the seating limit, you will be moved into the Fellowship Hall to view the live broadcast.
- Sitting will be designated to achieve proper social distancing. The worship service format will include: music to reflect on, a message from the Lord, and the opportunity to worship together again. In the return to live worship, we want to do so carefully, respecting both CDC guidelines and individual attendees’ specific concerns. So several aspects of our worship service will be different from the normal. As the environment changes and restrictions are eased, we will reevaluate these procedures, but for now, our services will include the following:
- Worship service will be about 60 minutes long to limit exposure and reflect the fact that we have a little less to do until more restrictions are lifted;
- For the time being, worship will not include the ministry of kindness or communion;
- Out of respect for others, we ask that everyone help us maintain a “touchless” worship environment. So no handshakes, hugs, or touching.
- We will not have bulletins during the services, but service information and announcements will continue to be provided on the website;
- We will not walk around for the offering but will provide baskets by the exit where you may place your gifts. You may also continue to simply give on-line through PayPal, Cash App, Givelify.
- We will not have children church available.
- The only common area being used by will be the restrooms, which will be cleaned between services. Other areas of the church used on Sunday will be cleaned by our cleaning staff during the week.
**Please see the guidelines for the IN-Person Worship Service for more details.
I am excited about meeting together again, despite the challenges some of the restrictions place on us. I am hopeful that restrictions can be lifted as the risk of infection decreases. As always, your feedback is appreciated as we move forward.
We are hopeful our approach to reopening will be pleasing to God while best meeting the spiritual and health needs of our faith community. I am looking forward with great anticipation to this new chapter in the life of the church. While we do not know all God has planned for the future, we know He will continue to guide and protect us through these most unusual times.
May God Bless you and yours. We look forward to seeing you in person or on-line! No matter what, God is present, and He is worthy of all praise!
In His Service
IN-PERSON WORSHIP SERVICE GUIDELINES
- Limited capacity of 30% = 60 people
- Pre-registration is required for entry to the sanctuary- visit the website and follow the link to register.
- All attendees will be required to have a temperature check before entering the building.
- A face mask is required by everyone attending the service and must remain on while inside the building.
Procedure once on site:
- Proceed to the checkpoint- All attendees must use the main entrance to the church. *(exceptions will be made for the disabled and elderly members.)
- Wait on the sidewalk at 6 feet social distancing while temperature checks are being done. If you arrive together as a family, please stay together during the temperature checkpoint and the entire worship service. Once you have been cleared to enter the building, proceed through the vestibule area into the sanctuary. Please take care of any restroom needs before going to your seat, as there will be limited movement during the service. If you exit after being checked in, you will not be allowed to re-enter.
- An usher will direct to an available seat. Pews have been blocked, spaces are marked to maintain social distancing. Families who arrive together will be encouraged to sit together. Once in your seating area, please remain there until dismissal. Changing seats is prohibited.
- The service will be “touchless” worship- so please no handshakes, hugs, or touching.
- We will not have bulletins during the service, but the service information will be given during the announcements and provided on the website.
- We will not walk around for the offering but will provide the baskets by the exit where you place your offering as you are dismissed.
- You are encouraged to give using our website- on-line: Paypal, Cash App, and Givelify.
- We will not have children church available. If you have young children, please sit with them and plan to remain in the sanctuary for the entire service (1 Hour).
- Each attendee will be dismissed by pew, so please wait to exit. Once out of the building, please do not socialize after the service, but return to your vehicles.
- If you need to have a conversation, please maintain 6 feet of social distancing.
Our on-line service will still be available to all.
1 – SUNDAY SCHOOL: Beginning at 9:00 AM (EST),
- Join by Computer, Smartphone, or Tablet with Zoom App: https://unc.zoom.us/j/98558526614
- Join by Mobile Phone:+19294362866,,93096596351#
- Join by Phone: Dial 855-880-1246, enter the meeting ID 930 9659 6351
NOTE: This is a new meeting ID, and it will also require the password stmfwb.
2 – WORSHIP SERVICE: At 10:00 AM (EST), join us for another powerful message from Pastor Hunter. Tune in for the broadcast here: LIVE WORSHIP SERVICE.
Also check out our YPCL AT HOME page for resources and parenting advice for our youth.
We are blessed to be able to have access to technology that will allow us to remain connected during this time! We encourage those who will join us to gather around a TV, laptop, or mobile device, and participate in worship.
GIVING OPPORTUNITIES: We also encourage you to continue giving to the Lord. We are offering two ways to give this weekend.
- Give online at https://www.saintmarysfwb.org/give/. If you do not have a PayPal account, then select the Give with Credit/Debit card option.
- Give in person at the church on Sunday from 9:30 – 11:00 AM (EST).
Our next steps will be guided by our local government and health authorities. Please pay special attention to our social media posts and our website for further updates.
Our African American community is in need of blood. Please do your part and donate. Current location expecting donations:
Cary Blood Donation 3700 Regency Pkwy. Ste. 150 Cary, NC
Thursday 9am – 5pm, Friday – Monday 7am – 3pm.
Free Hot Meals
Western Regional Food Security Action group along with Boston Market provide free hot meals to those in need during the COVID-19 crisis. Curbside pick-up is available at Holly Springs United Methodist Church, located at 108 Avent Ferry Road, Holly Springs, NC 27540, Monday – Thursday from 6:30 – 7:30pm. For more information, please contact Emily Mosely at 919-530-0916 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to call @ 919.322.8943 or email us here.
Until then, keep the faith, for great things are still happening!