Pastor’s Ponderings

CLAYBANKS UNITED METHODIST CHURCH-August 2020
Returning to Worship Outdoor at Claybanks United Methodist Church

We have been blessed to worship with Mears and Shelby United Methodist Churches on the radio and on the web these past few months. It is believed now is the time for all three church to once again to gather with in person worship. Weather permitting August 9th into September we will worship outdoors at Claybanks United Methodist Church.

This is an alternative to returning to worshiping in the sanctuary during the present level of Covid-19. It is felt that with caution we can meet and worship outdoors. Worship will begin at 10:30 AM.

The drive between the building and lawn on the south side of the church will be where we are placing our Cross, candles, equipment, keyboard and podium.

Face coverings will be required all the time as we gather. When we arrive please keep physical safe distance. Please sit-down using lawn chairs that you have brought with you or folding chairs from our building will be made available. Look for markings for safe distancing.

Bulletins and music will be placed on tables to be picked up by those attending and wishing to do so. We would request those doing this maintain a minimum of 6-foot physical distance from those ahead of you as you pick up bulletins and music. Hand sanitizer, wipes and extra face coverings will also be available in the bulletin table areas.

Using the green space between our parking lot and the drive that goes along next to the building we will identify areas in which groups can sit keeping a six-foot interval between groups.

We can sing during worship temporary as we remain outside and given the particle airborne danger singing creates for spreading droplets beyond 6 feet even outside, face coverings need to be worn during singing. John Wesley normally encourages us to, “Sing with good courage” but he would be amendable for us during this time to sing with softer voices.

There will be offering plates placed in the area adjacent to the parking area on tables. Also baskets for prayer concerns will be on the tables.

The double doors of church will be propped open for those needing to use the restrooms.

Parking spaces along the north edge of the parking lot will be reserved for those wanting to stay in their vehicles and for those with physical limitations. We now have a limited distance FM Radio Transmitter so you will be able to tune your car radio to listen to the worship service. A station selection will be communicated to you at worship time.

Following worship those attending are asked to wear their face coverings as they leave the area.

These items of caution that we will be following are to help us have a safer worship experience and haven been determined and selected using an abundance of caution. The steps that we take now are being done to acknowledge that we care for one another. Because of the errors that have been previously made by opening too soon or not taking the correct cautionary steps have led us to places where we have unknowingly and unwittingly allowed the Covid-19 virus to spread. We are learning and planning not to repeat them. If you have any other possible concerns or ideas for safe gathering and worship, please bring them forward so that we can evaluate and place them within our structure to worship outdoors or when we move indoors.

Please be in prayer as you consider whether to return to group worship. I am praying for all in this matter. Health concerns, comfort levels and your personal wellbeing are our concern. We will not make any judgement nor pressure anyone to return to worship until they are ready to do so. Know that we will pray for all our Claybanks Family each and every Sunday.
Pastor Gary

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