After much consideration, planning, and preparation – and with much joy – we announced the re-opening of our sanctuary for worship services beginning on Sunday, June 21.
In light of COVID-19 concerns and in accordance with God’s commandment that we love one another, our in-person worship will be conducted pursuant to guidelines based on national, state, and city restrictions and Gulf Coast Synod recommendations.
For our brothers and sisters who are 65 years of age or older or who have underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk, we urge you to consider worshipping with us online for the time being. And we would love to see you on Zoom fellowship after the service. We love you and miss you, but your health and safety are our first priority.
To protect all who come to worship, no one should attend in-person services if they have had a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher in the last 2 days; have a cough, shortness of breath, or other typical COVID symptoms; or have had known exposure to someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days. But please join us in online worship and Zoom fellowship on Sunday mornings!
The following guidelines for in-person worship will apply for the foreseeable future:
- Masks must be worn at all times in the building. If you do not have a mask or forget your mask, masks will be available outside the door to the building.
- Social distancing must be maintained between individuals/family units as you enter and exit the building, and for seating in the sanctuary. Ushers will guide you.
- Attendance is limited to 50 people per service and reservations must be made so that seating can be arranged in advance. See reservation making directions below.
- There will be no gathering for fellowship and no physical contact between individuals (except within a family group). Greeting and sharing of the peace will be done verbally.
- Hand sanitizer will be available for your use as you enter and exit the sanctuary.
- No bulletins or hymnals will be used for service; everything will be on the projection screen.
- Although we will have music, we will practice “safe singing”: humming into your mask!
- Collection plates will not be passed but will be available in designated areas of the sanctuary for dropping off your offering – or you can simply use mail or online giving.
- All rooms except the sanctuary and the single bathroom behind the sanctuary will be closed. Instructions for using the bathroom will be posted.
- There will be no children’s bags or children’s church; children will remain with their families for the duration of the service.
If you would like to join us, we ask that you register your attendance by filling out the form linked below. If you have technical difficulties accessing the form, please call Tina Guillot at 504-338-7927. If for some other reason you are not able to complete the form online, you are welcomed to contact Karen Häzlaris at 504-738-5757 and she will take your reservation over the phone.
Although worship will certainly feel different under these restrictions, we will once again be together as a church family in God’s house. We will offer communion in a safe manner. And we will have the joy of seeing each other. John wrote to members of the early church: “…I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.” 2 John 1:12.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we re-open for services under ever-changing health circumstances. It has been a blessing to have worship online for the past several weeks, and we will continue offering that option to all who cannot attend in person.
Other than worship, no other events are scheduled to restart, including Sunday School, Bible study, or team meetings. We encourage those groups to meet online or by phone pending approval for in-person meeting. Our Grace Infant Child Care (GICC) program has reopened. In order to keep that space sanitary, the fellowship hall, the bathrooms and the classrooms on the first floor will be limited to GICC use. Any requests for baptisms, weddings or funeral/memorial services will be considered on an individual basis.
We are so thankful for your continued faithfulness during these challenging times. As children of God, we have a message of peace and hope and love that the world needs to hear, and that Grace can spread.
In His Service,
Pastor Chris and Grace Leadership