You may have seen the news. October 25th, St. Philip’s is re-opening!
So, what does that mean?
In this week’s post, I will answer many of your questions about what church will look/feel like in just a few short weeks!
First, I want to clarify something that is hopefully obvious: we never closed. Yes, we had to close our campus for a time, but we never truly closed. From day 1 of the shutdown, St. Philip’s has continued to be the church in a variety of ways. Obviously, our worship services moved on-line. What you may not know is that our small groups, Bible studies and classes moved on-line as well. In fact, small group participation has increased significantly during the time of COVID-19! You may also be aware that our mission to feed the hungry in our community has expanded from weekends, to 7 days a week, and plans are currently under way to provide nourishment for many more families right here in our neighborhood. In addition, children’s and student programming has continued, both in person and on-line, welcoming new families over the summer. Last Sunday, we gifted a Bible to all of our 3rd graders, celebrating with a petting zoo, fun games and songs.
So, yes, the church is open! So, what does it mean to say that we are “re-opening”?
Most significantly, October 25th will bring the return of two styles of worship. The contemporary service is moving up to 9:00 a.m., but the traditional remains at 11:00. This slight change in scheduling allows our cleaning and set-up crew time to disinfect the room and reset the chancel area for the traditional service. Unfortunately, the 8:15 service is not returning at this time, but we look forward to being able to offer it again in the future. Family groups will be seated six feet apart, masks are required, and temperature checks will be taken at the door.
At 10:00, we will host Sunday school for our children and adults who have made arrangements to meet on campus. Jacquelyn Rybczynski will be leading our children in creative Bible lessons and activities in a way that maintains social distancing both out and indoors. Middle and High School students will also have Sunday School through a hybrid model incorporating both in person and virtual participation. Parents, check your inbox for information from Jacob regarding schedule.
Nursery will be open soon! Due to a lack of available childcare workers, we are not able to open the nursery on the 25th. However, we are actively seeking qualified applicants so that we can provide this service again as soon as possible. In the meantime, family tables are set in the back of the FLC, along with kid-friendly activities to keep your little ones occupied during worship. As always, we love children, and they are ALWAYS welcome in our worship services!
Lastly, we need YOU to make this work! Many of our “regular” volunteers are unable to fill their role due to health concerns, which means that we have gaps in the areas of hospitality, A/V, and children’s Sunday School teachers. If you can help, please e-mail any of the following staff team members:
Hospitality/Ushers & Greeters: firstname.lastname@example.org
We can’t wait to see everyone again. We also understand that it may be too soon for you or your family. There is no rush or pressure. We will continue to maintain an online presence, so you can continue to watch our services on-line at 9:00 and 11:00 on our YouTube channel. Regardless of how you choose to worship, I thank you for staying connected and keeping the body of Christ that is St. Philip’s strong.