In mid-June, we sent out word that Broadway will resume in-person worship in July, after nearly four months of not gathering together. Below is an expanded version of the letter I sent with this news.
After a great deal of prayer, research and discussion, the Leadership Team has decided that we will re-sume in-person worship Sunday, July 5 at 10:15 a.m. It will be a joy to be together again, and while our worship experience will look a bit different, I am excited that we will soon be praising God as a gathered church body. Based on a number of factors, including a congregational survey, we have decided that having one Sunday morning service is both feasible and preferable. Worship services will also be live-streamed each Sunday through the church website and recordings made available on DVD and CD.
We are also considering how best to resume other ministry gatherings at church. The Tuesday morning prayer group has resumed, and we hope that Sunday School and mid-week Bible studies will be able to meet in the fall. In addition, we are excited that Vida Eterna will begin hosting services on Sunday afternoons, begin-ning July 5.
As you know, Broadway has followed government guidelines for reducing the impact of the corona-virus. Actions taken throughout our community and nation have helped slow the spread of the virus, but at the same time, canceling in-person worship has been a heavy burden for Broadway and many other churches. The most recent guidance from our state, published at the end of May, allows churches to move back to in-person ministry with recommendations that we follow social distancing procedures similar to what we have become accustomed to in other public spaces.
Several weeks ago, the Leadership Team appointed a committee to develop guidelines for church gath-erings based on resources from county, state and federal health agencies. These guidelines will help us meet together safely and include new cleaning procedures and modifications to how we interact with one another, especially during worship. For example, we will close off every other pew and remove hymnals and Bibles. Ushers will collect the offering from the aisles and we will use prepackaged Communion bread and juice, so trays will not be passed from person to person.
We want everyone’s time at Broadway to be joyful and welcoming, and we will need to work together to care for each other. So, please wear a facemask and refrain from handshakes and hugs. Also, we will limit congregational singing for now, as current research indicates singing may pose a heightened risk of virus spread. And of course, if you are not feeling well, please don’t come to church. We will provide a live-stream of worship through the website to help those who can’t attend or who don’t yet feel comfortable being around other people. Whether you worship with us in-person or connect from home, we want our whole church family to experience worship and fellowship.
As we have seen with many issues related to the coronavirus, conditions and guidance from health experts will likely change in the coming weeks, hopefully in positive ways. We will continue to communicate any changes and do our best to make your experience at Broadway both safe and welcoming. Thank you to our Leadership Team and the health committee for their wisdom and diligence. And a special thank you to Nancy Norman and Kent Drews for their hard work during our online worship services. Our church is blessed with many talented and dedicated people, and I know we will rely heavily on your efforts as we resume meeting together for worship and other ministries in the coming weeks. I look forward to seeing you again! May God continue to bless and protect our church family