Returning to In-Person Worship—Outdoors

Dear Sisters & Brothers in Christ,

We are pleased to announce that on Sunday, July 12, New Joy Lutheran Church is returning to in-person, outdoor worship at our new pavilion. Services will continue to be streamed online via YouTube for those not attending in person: New Joy YouTube Channel

We are committed to making our worship experience safe to help "stop the spread" of COVID-19 in our community. We know that COVID-19 has spread at churches around the country, and we do not want our worship to be a vector for disease. As such, we are adhering the following protocols for worship:

Worship Protocols

We are wearing masks at worship, removing them only if necessary when beyond six feet from someone else.

All attendees will bring their own folding chairs. Seating will be arranged with at least six feet of distance between household groups.

We are not singing in worship at this time, to avoid extended projection of aerosols that carry the coronavirus. Music for meditation and reflection will be played throughout the service.

Worship is a "no touch" experience. We are not receiving holy communion, passing offering plates, distributing bulletins, or greeting one another with handshakes or hugs.

The bathroom is not available for use, except for emergency needs only. Please use the restroom at home before coming to church. We want to all but eliminate the touching of shared surfaces (door handles, toilet seats, etc.) inside our church building.

Following worship we will depart to our own cars, avoiding extended conversation and fellowship.

We recommend that people bring water to drink, as it can get warm outside in the sun. Tailgate-style tents and umbrellas are welcome to be set up further back from the pavilion to provide additional shade.

Worship is at the heart of our life together as a church. It is at the foot of the cross and the opening to the empty grave that our Lord comes to us both in our sorrow and in our joy. In sorrow and in joy we gather to give praise, to lift up our prayers, to receive God's many blessings, and to be renewed in the Living Word for our mission in the world.

Worship will look and feel different during this pandemic, but God's grace is unwavering. Let us embrace the difference of this time, experience the promise of our Lord's presence in new ways, and engage the complexity of this moment with the gift of faith.

Dear friends, the church still gathers. By God's grace, we remain connected in faith, hope, and in love. I'll see you at church.

Pastor Chris


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