Worship in the Park Details
In-Person Worship Gatherings Are Back!
After months of worshipping online, we are excited to be able to gather physically. Your input proved incredibly helpful in crafting a plan that will let us come together in a way that allows for broader group participation while offering a full worship experience (including singing). As with everything else right now, we need to stay flexible and hold our plans loosely. But at least we're getting started! Here are the specifics:
When & Where?
We will meet in the church park (4007 Winchester Rd. Lexington, KY) under the pavilion on Sundays at 9am. While it has a few challenges, being out in the open air does offer a higher degree of felt safety for many (94% of our church said they would worship outdoors!). We hope the early start time will allow us to beat the heat. In the event that heavy rain or thunderstorms are inevitable, we may shift to either Saturday, Sunday or Monday evening. If we are going to move away from Sunday at 9am, we will send out a mass email (be sure we have your email address!) and post on our website and Facebook group.
Our time together will include a time of prayer, teaching, singing, communion and offering- all while maintaining safety guidelines (see below). We understand that singing in a group (even outside) may press some of our comfort levels, so we will sing all the songs at once so that those who aren't comfortable can back up and get even more space if they prefer. Additionally, we will be transmitting on FM 89.5 for those who might want to listen from the comfort of their cars. We will be using sealed, single-serving communion packs that will be placed on each chair and available for pick up if you bring your own chair. In lieu of passing an offering plate, offerings can be placed in a bucket before or after the service. You can still give online or through the mail as well.
We will abide by the safety guidelines required by the state of Kentucky. These will include appropriate social distancing, the wearing of masks by all participants and a no-touch service. While we understand that we may have different personal opinions on the need for or effectiveness of these steps, we are following them for 2 reasons:
1. As believers, we are called to cooperate with those in government- even when we disagree with them. This is a piece of our corporate witness as Jesus' Church to the world around us. (See Romans 13:1-7 & Titus 3:1-2)
2. We want to show love and care for those in our church family who are high risk (over 35% of our church body) or are concerned about passing illness to those who are high risk in their families. If you aren't overly worried about contracting COVID19- we ask that out of love for those in your church family who are- you abide by the guidelines and not compromise their ability to attend worship safely. (1 Corinthians 8 offers applicable instruction about forgoing our preferences to meet the needs of others.) If you have a fever, are unwell or don't feel like you can attend safely yet, please stay home and continue to worship with us online as we will continue recording our teachings each week.
To increase our capacity to see and hear what is happening, we will have a stage, sound system and screen set up under the pavilion. We will have 3 seating areas: 1. Plastic chairs from the church set up under the pavilion, with 6 feet of spacing between rows. As you sit, please leave 3 empty seats between yourself and anyone not in your family. 2. Picnic tables outside the pavilion under shade trees. These might appeal to those who want a place to set their beverage from home or a firm surface to allow their children to color. 3. Open space under 2 tents on the basketball court side of the pavilion. If you want to bring your chairs from home- or grab an extra we have on hand- feel free to spread out here. Beyond these options, the park allows you to spread out as far as you'd like to feel comfortable. Finally, please dress comfortably- keeping in mind that we are meeting outside and walking through the grass.
Although we are not offering kids' ministry yet, children are welcome to attend and sit with their parents. Will we be offering activity bags for the children who attend. The picnic tables on the side of the pavilion offer shade, a place for kids to color or draw and a little space to get up and move if they need to do so.
Please park as you have for other church events at this property (ex. Trunk or Treat, Church Picnic). We should have plenty of room. If you are highly mobile, please park further away to leave the closer spaces for those who might not move as easily. Have trouble walking on the grass? Feel free to park close or even pull up to the pavilion and we'll park your car for you.
In the end, no plan is perfect or suits everyone. Thanks for continuing to be flexible and supportive as we try to serve as many folks as possible.
We look forward to seeing your face in person soon!