Wednesday, March 17, 2021
I write today to announce that last week the ReGathering team met and has made some decisions related to worship and the life of the church moving forward. Given the current circumstances related to COVID-19 in Cecil County, and in the nation as a whole, the ReGathering team has decided to move back to in-person, indoor worship beginning the Sunday after Easter. Beginning Sunday April 11th, we will have two in-person, indoor worship services. The current plan is to resume the Traditional worship service at 9:00 am, in-person Sunday School at 10:15, and the Jacobs Well Contemporary Service at 11:00 am.
This decision is not made lightly, and a considerable amount of prayer and thought has gone into it. While we are very excited to make this announcement, we also understand many folks are not yet ready to return to in-person, indoor worship. As such, we will be live-streaming both the 9:00 and 11:00 services.
In order to facilitate this format for worship services in the safest possible way, we will require everyone to check-in upon entering the building for contact tracing, wear masks at all times while indoors, and socially-distance between family groups. There will be no congregational singing, and hand sanitizer and other cleaning products will be used between services. At this time, we will not be requiring folks to reserve seats in their selected service, but this is a possibility for the future if it is deemed necessary. In addition, we are asking everyone to fill out the attached survey, so we can more adequately prepare for each service. Please follow this link to complete the survey:
I would like to reiterate that Palm Sunday (March 28th) and Easter Sunday (April 4th) will be in-person, outdoors on the Town Point lawn. Both of these services were planned over several months to take place outdoors in order to accommodate as many people as possible, and to allow the fullest participation of our church family for these important holy days. The ReGathering team considered moving to outdoor worship beginning the Sunday after Easter but given how unpredictable spring temperatures and weather typically are, it seems impractical at this point. We will consider moving to in-person, outdoor worship, or having an outdoor service of some kind later in the spring or early summer, but at this point all worship after Easter will continue in-person & indoors and online.
For our Palm and Easter Sunday services outdoors, we encourage everyone to bring their own seating and communion elements, however prepackaged elements will be provided. Once indoors after Easter Sunday, we will continue the serve Holy Communion and will provide prepackaged elements for all who wish to partake. At that point, those worshiping in-person/indoors need not bring their own elements or seating to worship. If Palm or Easter Sunday outdoor services must be cancelled due to inclement weather, they will be live-streamed on the church’s Facebook page. These services will only be moved online in cases of severe weather, so all are encouraged to bring a raincoat, umbrella, or extra jacket just in case. In the unfortunate case that Easter Sunday must be moved online, the families of all those being baptized are invited to participate in the live-stream by attending worship indoors at Trinity church.
We will proceed with this plan for worship for the month of April, after which the ReGathering team will reassess how in-person, indoor worship has gone and make recommendations for worship going forward after that based upon the latest information available. I would personally like to thank the ReGathering team and all others who have worked hard to make online and in-person worship possible for our church family, it is truly a team effort. Additionally, I extend my thanks to our entire church family for your continued patience and flexibility with the ever-evolving situation we find ourselves in. If you have any questions on this change or any other matter feel free to contact me directly.
It is a blessing to be able to look forward to in-person worship, but it is also a blessing to simply know that we are a part of such a wonderful family of God in Chesapeake City. I ask that we all continue to pray for our church family and our Chesapeake City community as we and other local organizations continue to make difficult decisions in this strange time.
Grace and Peace,
Pastor Sam Mitchell