Outdoor Worship Guidelines & Registration

We are so excited to announce that we will be able to gather in-person for outdoor worship on the first and third Sundays at 11:30 a.m.!  As with all new opportunities, there are things we all need to know and do in order to create a safe and joyful experience for everyone.  So, we have prepared some answers to the most frequently asked questions.  Of course, if you have other questions, feel free to email Pastor Donna or Nicole Timms

Where Will the Service Take Place?

The outdoor in-person worship gathering will take place outdoors in the church parking lot.  Parking will be along the curb on Westover Hills Blvd., King William or New Kent, just like it used to be before we had a parking lot, or if you live close by, we invite you to put on those walking shoes and walk on over.  Please plan to arrive a few minutes early to allow time to get settled.

What Do I Need To Do Before I Get There?

We ask that you register if you plan to attend.  Registration can be done here or by using the button below, and will include a brief health form that you will be asked to complete.   Please complete the online registration by noon on Saturday, September 19 if possible.

Safety is our number one concern, so when worship day arrives, we ask that you check your temperature and take notice of any symptoms that may indicate illness.  If you feel ill in any way, we invite you to stay at home until you are better.  If you are well, come on over to the church, remembering to physically distance from other guests when you arrive. 

What Should I Bring?

We ask that everyone wear a face covering while on the church grounds.  We will have some available if you forget yours.  You will also want to bring a lawn chair to sit on, and perhaps a water bottle in case you get thirsty.  And don’t forget your own bottle of hand sanitizer

What Do We Do When We Arrive at the Church?

When you arrive at the church, proceed to the parking lot entrance where our talented greeters will be there to check you off the pre-registration list.  Or, if you weren’t able to register online, a greeter will ask you to review the health guidelines to affirm that you are well, and will record your name on our attendance sheet.   You will then be guided by our amazing ushers to a pre-marked spot in the parking lot where you and any family members who accompany you will be asked to remain for the duration of the service. 

How should we great each other?

We know you will be excited to see your church friends after such a long absence.  Greeting each other by waving, bowing slightly and talking in a normal voice are welcomed and appreciated!  But please remember – no handshakes, hugs, fist or elbow bumps!

What Will the Service Look Like?

Worship will look at little bit different!  You won’t need a bulletin – the service will be simple and any congregational responses will be shared at the time they are needed.  Everyone leading worship, even the pastor, will be wearing a mask.  We will have a sound system to help everyone to hear.  Our song leader will sing, and we will be invited to hum along, and maybe even stomp or clap a little.  Singing by the congregation is not recommended because singing tends to spread droplets. There will be a very brief homily at this service.  We will still have our weekly online worship service each Sunday morning where you can listen to a full-length sermon. Outdoor services are scheduled so that you can participate online and then make your way to the church for the “live” portion.  At the outdoor service, we will enjoy some music, pray together and celebrate Holy Communion, which will be shared in pre-packaged units.  They will be prepared by the pastor who will be wearing gloves and a mask.  Ushers will distribute them on plates, so no one else will touch the packaging.  When the plate of pre-packaged elements is placed at the station near you, one person from your family group will be invited to pick up the pre-packaged containers for your group.  When everyone has their elements, we will open and receive them at the same time.  A loaf of bread and cup of juice will be present on the worship table for the pastor to use during the liturgy, but no one will eat or drink from that loaf or cup.  The packaging from the communion elements can be placed in a trash container as you leave the service.   At some outdoor services (including the one on September 20) we will celebrate baptism and the reception of new members as well. 

Is There Childcare?

There is no childcare for this service, and the Tot Lot is not open.  All children who attend will need to wear a face covering, so we regret that this outdoor service may not be a good environment for our youngest children who are unable to wear a face covering. 

When the Service is Over…

After we say our last Amen, ushers will direct worshippers to exit on the sidewalk between the garage and the church building.  In other words, there will be one way in and a different way out.  Front rows will exit first.  As we move to our cars or walk home, we will all remember to keep our distance from other family groups. 

Whew!  That is a lot!  We are grateful for our volunteers who will be at church on Sunday, ready and eager to direct you to the right place.  This is new for all of us, so let’s all remember to laugh a little and be prepared for a mistake or two (likely to be carried out by your pastor!). Thanks, and we look forward to seeing your masked faces this Sunday at 11:30 a.m.! 

Blessings,

Pastor Donna