Getting back to church for in-person worship and communion is important. At the same time, I understand that the way we are worshipping in the sanctuary right now (without mandatory social distancing, mask-wearing optional and with congregational singing), may just seem like a bridge too far for some of us.
This coming Sunday, Nov. 21, we will be opening a new worship space in the fellowship hall during the 10:15 service to address that. This new area will use our comfortable sanctuary chairs spaced out into family groups and divided from the rest of the fellowship hall by stanchions. Worship will be shown on the large screen at the back of the fellowship hall. Masks will be required in this worship space. Communion will be brought to those worshipping here by one of Epiphany’s deacons. During the service, everyone at Epiphany will need to remember that the fellowship hall is being used for worship and not loiter or have conversations there. After the service concludes, the fellowship hall will return to its normal post-church use as a place for all to gather for coffee and conversation.
One of the things I deeply appreciate about the Epiphany community is how we have treated each other with respect during this challenging time. This is just another way to do that. We all have different comfort levels, health needs, and concepts of what is “reasonable” when it comes to protecting ourselves and each other from COVID-19. At the same time, we are one church, Christ’s body in this place. My hope is that this new space encourages those who are venturing out in public for other purposes but have not yet returned to church to give it a try.
The Rev. Peter Frank, rector