(May 20, 2021)
Dear HCC Members and Friends,
Given the recent announcement by Gov. DeWine of the elimination of most COVID health restriction and the CDC’s new guidelines for gathering in person, and after more than a year of worshipping and meeting solely on Zoom, we have decided that we will begin a new phase of “hybrid” worship beginning June 6. This means that our worship will include those who wish to gather in person along with those who desire to continue to worship online.
Our primary aims will be to provide a safe place for those who are ready to return to the sanctuary while also fully including those who, for any number of reasons, choose to worship virtually. To that end we will be continuing many of the health protocols in person and updating the technology in our sanctuary to maintain an excellent online worship experience.
Here is what you can expect if you decide to worship in person:
- We will be following a “two out of three” approach: wearing masks and practicing social distancing indoors, and choosing either masks or distancing as a strategy when gathering outdoors.
- Worship will move a half hour earlier to 10:30 (this is to make sure that we are out of the space before the FaithWorks congregation arrives). We ask that you not arrive any earlier than 10:15 and and please do any pre-service socializing outside the building.
- Entry will be through the main sanctuary doors (preferred) or via the handicap entrance. The Daleford Office door will remain locked.
- Masks will be required for all congregation members. Worship Leaders will not be masked when speaking to insure that they can be clearly heard. They will only speak from the very front of the space.
- We will allow singing, but ask that it be done quietly.
- Please dress for the weather. We will have sanctuary doors and windows open to allow for maximum air circulation.
- Hand sanitizer will be available at all entrances,
- Prepackaged Communion will be provided at the entrances in individual serving cups that will include both bread and grape juice. Those will be picked up as you come in and taken to your seats.
- Offering plates will also be at the entrances so that we do not need to pass them up and down the aisles.
- Seating will be spaced out to maintain social distancing. We ask that you sit only in seats with pew cushions and that anyone who is socializing outside of the church sit together to maximize the number of spaces available.
- Hymnals will be in the pews and a simple bulletin will be available. However, all of the words for songs and readings will also be shown on the screen in the front of the sanctuary.
- Everyone will be asked to leave the sanctuary immediately after the end of the service and move outside to the porch or lawn where socializing is safer. We will not be offering any refreshments at this time.
- If you are feeling sick, especially if you are running a fever, please stay home and enjoy the service from the comfort of your own space.
Here is what you can expect if you decide to worship on Zoom or Facebook Live:
- We will treat you as, and expect you to be, a full participant in the service. We hope that you will sing along (muted of course), respond to the Call to Worship and join in the Prayer of Thanksgiving (still muted). We also hope that you will offer prayers verbally (unmuted) or via chat/comments and gather elements such as a candle and bread and drink to participate in communion.
- From time to time we may display the Zoom gallery view on the screen in the physical sanctuary and online. If you prefer not to be seen, feel free to turn off your camera or you can join via Facebook Live.
- We will continue to tweak technology to provide the best audio and video experience possible. For those who are experiencing technological challenges in signing on (especially via computer), we will work by phone or in person to overcome those difficulties.
One of the great gifts in moving to hybrid worship is that it gives all of us the option to be in worship regardless of where we are, weather conditions, and personal situations. It is another way for us to be part of the Disciples’
“movement for wholeness in a fragmented world” and live into new ways of being inclusive and expansive
Zoom and Facebook Live are also easy ways to invite and include family and friends who may be hesitant to visit us in person or who live out of town.
We are excited by the possibilities of this new era of worship at HCC. Please make plans to join us – online or, beginning June 6, in person.
The HCC Worship Ministry Team
Donita Singerman, Bobbi Phelps, Kate Gillooly, Qin Ying Tan, Irwin Shung, Rev. Roger Osgood