Your four ministers met yesterday to explore the current meeting arrangements of our local congregation and have prayerfully decided to move forward, Lord willing, in the following way:
For those who are comfortable doing so, we hope to start meeting in small home groups for Sunday morning worship, starting tomorrow (May 3).
- In compliance with the current health guidelines, these home groups should not exceed 10 people.
- All those present are asked to practice social distancing (6+ ft) and other CDC guidelines. As much we may want to embrace each other, it is important to respect each other’s space at this time.
- Hosts will ensure adequate space for the meeting.
- Regardless of this change, our whole service (from 10:15 AM to 12:15 PM) will still be available to anyone who logs in to the Zoom call via the link on the home page of our church website (woosteracc.org). Non-locals are still warmly welcomed to join us via the Zoom link, and will get plugged in to one of the small house groups.
- The schedule is as follows (note the earlier start time):
- 10:15 – people arrive at their designated small house group location and begin with small group visiting (no food or beverages, please), praying, and songs. Non-locals can zoom in at this time and will initially get plugged into Judah’s small house group.
- 10:40 – all groups will log into the Zoom call for the sermon.
- 11:20 – all groups will stay logged in to Zoom for a time of open sharing and announcements.
- 11:45 – groups will break into their own Bible classes to explore the themes of the sermon further, but they will stay logged in to the Zoom call so the non-locals can be split up amongst the small groups through Zoom’s “breakout room” feature.
- 12:15 – everyone logs off and departs back to their own homes.
Again, if anyone does not feel it wise or safe to join one of these in-person house gatherings, there is absolutely no pressure to do so; you can still participate in the full schedule via Zoom!
This new format is open to adjustments and refinements along the way, but you can hopefully expect this new format to be in place through the month of May, as the ministers will meet to reappraise the situation on or before Friday, May 29.
Regarding the baptism: after discussion with TJ, his parents, and our current consulting elders, the decision was made to postpone TJ’s scheduled May 10 baptism. Although no future date has been selected, we thought it important for the local congregation and family members to witness and partake in this joyful sacrament as soon as we can all be back together in-person. As part of the process, we will continue to monitor developing information and guidelines in the coming months before a decision on a new date is determined. Following the end of Legacy on May 9, TJ plans to return to Phoenix to and spend the rest of this “lock-down” with family, and then return when we resume our full in-person meetings. We encourage all to reach out to him during this time and support him as he awaits reunion with us and his rescheduled baptism.
In addition, the large festivities for the Legacy graduation have also been canceled. There will be a closed, in-person graduation ceremony for the students and a select few of the Legacy/UBY staff. All others are invited to join virtually via Zoom (details to follow).
Please let me know if you have any questions about these details as well as any suggestions for improvement. We love you all and are keeping you in our prayers.
Judah, Richard, Thad, and Adam