Homecoming Celebration on Sunday, September 12th
The past six weeks have been quite a roller coaster. Just after the Fourth of July, very few cases of COVID were present in Lake County. Over the weeks that followed, the Delta variant spread rapidly. At first, it was in places with low vaccination rates. Then, it continued to spread and occasionally result in breakthrough infections in the fully vaccinated. All of this happened as we were prepared to return to indoor gathered worship on August 8th.
As you may recall, the air conditioners failed last summer (thankfully while we were not able to use the building). The new units have been installed and, while some work remains incomplete, they are operational and include ozone-free ionizers to control the spread of airborne germs. In addition, the Trustees have purchased and installed four air purifiers in the worship space that run throughout the week.
From the survey feedback we received, we knew that we wanted to continue livestreaming our services when we eventually returned to indoor gathered worship. What congregants couldn’t see at home was that our sanctuary looked more like a TV studio than a church – it didn’t need to because there wasn’t anyone behind the equipment! Equipment would have to be moved and reconfigured. A new camera capable of doing the work of several was donated and the production booth was moved to the sacristy. Future expansion plans will allow for those gathered in the building and those online to share the same experience and interact with each other.
The Deacons evaluated several options for distanced seating and ultimately decided to seat worshippers at the ends of alternating pews. You may not get ‘your’ favorite spot, but there’s likely a space nearby that will feel right. Those who prefer additional isolation may wish to choose an individual, widely-spaced chair in the narthex.
What else is different?
First, the service will remain somewhat shorter – around 45 minutes – in order to limit exposure. Second, some high-contact activities like passing the peace and the offertory collection have been suspended. A collection box is available at both sanctuary entrances should you wish to donate. Also, we’ve been experimenting with dismissing worshippers by pews to keep clusters from forming. No coffee hour fellowship is being held for now, but plans are being made to host a simplified version outdoors while the weather remains good. Also, the nursery will remain closed until further notice.
What is being asked of those who attend in person?
While community transmission rates for Lake County remain ‘substantial’ or ‘high,’ the council has deliberated and decided that for the sake of the most vulnerable among us (especially our children), we will require all people who enter our facilities to agree to the following conditions on their honor:
- You do not currently have COVID-19 nor related symptoms
- You have no reason to quarantine according to CDC guidelines
- You will wear a face mask at all times and practice social distancing
Masks will be provided for those who need one. Members of the worship team may remove their masks in the performance of their duties. Please do your part to keep our community safe. If you feel sick, please stay home and join us online. If you haven’t done so already, please get vaccinated as soon as possible. Doing so can prevent you or someone you love from getting seriously sick or worse.
On Sunday, September 12th, CPC will be hosting a Homecoming Celebration and we invite you, our church family, to join us for this opportunity to reconnect with God and each other.
We are aware that the pandemic is still very much with us and remains a threat to be reckoned with. With all due precautions being observed, we believe that it is reasonably safe for those who wish to worship with us in-person to do so. We are also aware that there are those who, for various reasons, are not yet ready to be a part of a stationary group indoors. We are planning this celebration with both groups in mind, in the hopes that a well-distanced, completely outdoor celebration and picnic with box lunches provided by Panera would appeal to the more risk-averse among us. We will provide ample travel time (30 minutes) from the end of the service before any formal programming begins in order to allow our online worshippers time to arrive, so please do make the effort.
Schedule for Sunday, September 12th
9:30 AM – Worship (in-person or online here)
10:45 AM – Homecoming Celebration on the church grounds
We’ll have distanced and fun games for adults and kids, a milestone to celebrate, a memorial to dedicate, and the Panera-provided lunch free of charge to anyone who would like one. (Donations always welcome.)
Please make your sandwich selection(s) online at tiny.cc/cpcpicnic (case-sensitive). Make sure you’ve ordered for everyone in your party.
In the event of inclement weather, we will hand out the meals “drive-in” style and postpone the outdoor portion of the celebration to the following Sunday.
Please mark your calendars now and make plans to join us for a special day of faith, fellowship, and fun!