In Person Worship Quick Facts and Frequently Asked Questions

In-Person Worship – Quick Facts           Updated July 10, 2020

Our in-person worship service begins at 8:30 a.m.

No “reservations” necessary.

Please plan to arrive 10-15 minutes early.

We will meet in the Sanctuary, with overflow seating available in room B200-201 and the Building C Great Hall via live-stream as needed.

Please enter the building through entrance A.

Please wear masks while on campus in any instance where a six foot distance cannot be maintained.

The worship service will include no choral or congregational singing.

There will be no in-person nursery care, children’s worship, ABFs, YBFs or Sunday school classes yet.

If you are feeling sick, have a temperature or are otherwise more susceptible to illness, please remain at home for the sake of your own and others’ welfare.

All social distancing protocols / guidance will be observed.

All church gathering spaces will be closed to socialization and serve only as pathways in and out of the facility.

The 8:30 in-person sanctuary service will be livestreamed privately on YouTube. That link will be available on the Saturday before each Sunday service.

The pre-produced video services will continue to be publicly available.

Full Explanation of our Worship Service Protocol and Frequently Asked Questions – Updated July 10

After much discussion among our church staff, medical professionals, the Jessamine County Health Department, and other local church and denominational leaders, the WFMC Board of Administration has approved the following plan for our church returning to in-person worship. We do so primarily because of God’s command that His people continue to meet together, and because of our great need to be together with other Christ-followers, and we feel we can do this now in a way that honors our laws and does not harm our neighbors or ourselves.

In-person worship services began on June 14 and continues with one service at 8:30 a.m.

We will meet in the Sanctuary, accommodating overflow to Room B200-201 and the Building C Great Hall via livestream as space is needed. Seating is first come, first served. No “reservations” necessary.

The worship service will be about 50 minutes long and it will include:
Prelude, Welcome, Prayer, Scripture Reading, Children’s Time, Music Ministry, Message, Benediction, Postlude

There will be no choral or congregational singing.

There will be no greeting time. Please avoid awkwardness by not attempting to shake hands, hug or touch others.

Offerings will be collected at the rear of the sanctuary/room as you exit, so that no plates will be passed.

No nursery or children’s worship of any kind will be available just yet.

All social distancing protocols will be observed, which means:
There will be six feet between the rows of chairs…we’ve removed every other row of seats.
We expect all family units to enter, sit and leave according to distancing guidelines.
Please wear masks while on campus in any instance where a six foot distance cannot be maintained.
We are presuming all who attend will self-examine and use appropriate caution for the sake of others.
All church gathering spaces will be closed to socialization and serve only as pathways in and out, so…and this goes against all that is normally encouraged…please don’t stop to chat with people until you get to the parking lot, and then do so according to protocols.

Staff participation is completely voluntary.

Please note that these precautions in no way guarantee a “safe” environment, and that is because there is always a level of risk in gathering and interacting with other persons. The fact is, information about all this is still unfolding daily. The science is not a clear guide – there are just too many unknowns and may well be for some time.

Please plan to arrive 10-15 minutes early, so all can be seated in an orderly way. Enter through entrance A.

The in-person sanctuary service will be livestreamed privately on YouTube; the pass code will be sent via the e-chain, and that code should not be shared publicly.

A video service, like the YouTube and Facebook ones we’re doing now, will continue to be publicly available for all who are not able or ready to join in person.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why was the 8:30 time chosen? The big reason is that we have a full slate of Youth and Adult Bible Fellowships and children’s Sunday school classes meeting through Zoom on Sunday mornings at various times. The 8:30 worship start time was the least intrusive to the current group meetings and allows most persons to come to in-person worship and return home before their online classes begin.

When are the ABF, YBF and Sunday school classes beginning again in person? We will be working with our ABF leaders individually on this over the next few weeks and will get these going in person as soon as possible.  Timing, space, technology and personal willingness of members and teachers complicate.

Why no congregational singing? For some, this will be the hardest pill to swallow…we get that. This is not to say the in-person services will be music-less. While there will be more than normal instrumental music, and even solo songs in the in-person service, we are avoiding congregational singing due to the exacerbated risk of virus transmission it introduces into the group. Nearly all medical counsel is to not sing in any corporate manner, with or without masks. Besides, have you ever tried to sing in a mask?

You know that we value congregational singing…for many, that is their highest expression of joy, so this is hard, but it’s not forever.

What about Communion? For all who are worshipping from home, pre-packaged communion elements are available in the church foyer every weekday from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

We those participating in in-person worship, please pick up the pre-packaged elements on your way into the sanctuary. We will then partake together.

What about masks?  Masks have become a major point of division in our society, and unfortunately, in the Church. Right now, masks are the proven norm for the protection of others in close contact situations – that’s why doctors wear them in surgeries, etc.

At the same time, the science is in debate about the degree of effectiveness of masks in a setting like corporate worship, especially when all are speaking normally (not shouting or singing) and when social distancing is practiced.

We want to balance science with perception and freedom with care for others.  We want to avoid judgmental attitudes.  We want to follow the law and wishes of our leaders where they do not conflict with Christian principles.  We want to do all we can to control the spread of the virus because we love others as we love ourselves.

Due to all these factors, at this time, we are asking that masks be worn on campus in any instance where a six foot distance cannot be maintained.

Are we providing masks? No. This is a BYOM (bring-your-own-mask) event.

Why will there only be room for 150 in the sanctuary? The present guidance requires six foot distancing (in all directions) between family groups in these sorts of gatherings, and 150 +/- is our maximum seating capacity with that guideline in place.

How can I help? Probably the most helpful thing that anyone can do right now is to remain informed and flexible.

We realize there are many different opinions about all of these things and that we will not all agree. That’s OK. But in our disagreement, we show grace, because that’s what Christ-followers do. We come together not to argue, not to see “who believes in COVID and who doesn’t,” and not to make any political statements. We will come together, as we always do, to worship the true and living God, and to honor Jesus Christ in our gathering in every way.
Maybe more than ever before, in these not-business-as-usual days, the world is watching how the body of Christ handles themselves. That means we have a tremendous Kingdom opportunity.

Maybe more than ever before, the world needs to see Jesus in us.

Church Father, Tertullian, imagined the unbelievers of his day being irresistibly drawn to Jesus because of the Christian’s love for one another such that even unbelievers, noticing that while those without Christ fought and argued, exclaimed of the followers of Jesus, “Look how they love one another!” May we be found guilty of this kind of faith in Jesus.

Blessings,

Pastor Daryl