On Wednesday, July 8, ARC will hold its first Service of Reflection—a 30-minute worship service that focuses on the previous Sunday's sermon. The service will be from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m.; doors will open at 12:05 p.m.
Please keep in mind the following protocols, which are vitally important as we seek to protect the health and safety of all—especially the most vulnerable among us. Watch the YouTube video at left for a visual tour through the church.
- Doors will be unlocked and held open at 12:05 p.m. to prevent pre-service conversations in the facility. Please do not try to enter the facility before the doors are opened for you.
- Sanitization stations will be provided, and all who attend will be expected to sanitize their hands immediately upon entering.
- Masks will be required for all adults, high school youth, middle school youth, and children who are able to wear them. Please wear your own. Disposable masks will be provided for those who do not have masks. Please keep your mask on your face the entire time you are in the facility. If you use a disposable mask, please wear it out the doors and dispose of it once you arrive home. Do not remove your mask and dispose of it or leave it anywhere at church.
- Seating will be clearly marked to ensure spatial distancing. Families who live together may sit together. Additionally, those who are friends who are sharing the same “contamination circle” may sit together. Those who do not live together or are not a part of the same contamination circle should maintain spatial distancing.
- No physical touching—no hugs, no handshakes, no fist bumps, and no elbow bumps. No exceptions. Please do not ask your neighbor for permission to do so either, as it may put your at-risk neighbor in a difficult position, feeling the pressure to say “yes” when that at-risk neighbor should say “no.”
- Music: We will attempt to have instrumental music (organ, piano, etc.) included in each service. There will be no congregational singing. The science is clear that it simply is not safe to engage in congregational singing at this time.
- The upper-level restrooms will be available for emergency use only. The lower-level restrooms are closed. Please use the restroom before coming to worship.
- The nursery will be closed.
- There will be no bulletins or sharing of items.
- Dismissal: The congregation will be dismissed by row and will be asked to leave the facility immediately. If you wish to talk with your neighbor, please do so outside the facility.
A pastoral note of significant importance: We are fully aware that not all are able to attend the Wednesday reflection services. But that is precisely the point. Before we hold an in-person Sunday worship service where nearly all are able to attend, we want to try a worship service on a smaller scale so that we can learn and adapt. This is similar to what many other congregations in our area have done; nearly every congregation is worshiping on a smaller scale first before returning to a large-scale typical Sunday worship service. This is not meant to be exclusive. Rather, it’s meant to be prudent. Before we can be fully inclusive, we want to have our protocols firmly established so that we can ensure we have best mitigated against the risks of coronavirus transmission, which is more likely at a large-scale Sunday morning worship service.
We appreciate your patience and grace as we continue to experiment and learn. The Wednesday Service of Reflection is yet another step toward in-person Sunday morning worship. If the Wednesday services go smoothly, with all adhering to the protocols established by ARC’s leaders, and there is no spike in coronavirus cases in our region, we will be able to transition to Stage Three of ARC’s consistory-endorsed plan: worshiping in person on Sunday mornings at 9:30 a.m.