PROVIDING SENSITIVITY TO THE ISSUE AT PEACE CHURCH
February 23, 2021
Your Peace Church Council and Staff have been prayerfully discerning the best process and timing for us to begin IN-PERSON worship and engage fully in ministry. It has been a hard process to determine how to provide a safe place to gather and worship. The safety of the members of our community has always been the number one focus of our decision making. We are thankful that there has not been an outcry to open for IN-PERSON worship, and greatly appreciate your patience and support of the decisions that have been made thus far. We do, however, feel that the members of our community deserve to have a guideline/time-line of our expected plan to again worship and gather IN-PERSON. The schedule below is our current plan and we are hoping that it does not have to change. We constantly monitor the COVID numbers and seek continued guidance from the medical professionals at Mayo Clinic. If there is a need to alter this schedule, we will advise all as quickly as possible. We realize that there are/will be members of our community who will not feel comfortable (nor able) to meet in person, and we will continue to provide video worship via our website and Facebook page.
Easter Sunday, April 4 @ 9 - Outdoor Service
If we have poor weather, we will move the service into the Sanctuary (with no in-person attendance) and LIVESTREAM from there. We will make the decision on the Friday before and let everyone know.
Summer Outdoor Services
We have scheduled 3 outdoor services for:
- May 9 @ 9a
- June 13 @ 9a
- July 11 @ 9a
(If we have poor weather, we will move inside and provide a LIVESTREAM from the Sanctuary; there will be no in-person worship inside).
IN-PERSON worship services will be held each Sunday, August 1 through September 5 @ 9a
These services will also be LIVESTREAMED. RSVPs for attending will need to be made. Details will be forth coming.
Rally Day, September 12 - Full Schedule Begins
We plan to kick off our new program year with our annual Rally Day Celebration and our full IN-PERSON ministry (no RSVP will be needed) schedule will begin (see below). We will continue to LIVESTREAM both worship services.
8:30a Traditional Worship 10:00a ONEVOICE Rehearsal
9:30a Fellowship Time 11:00a Contemporary Service
9:45a Faith Formation (children and adults) 12:00p Community Fellowship Meal
July 15, 2020
The Church Council has made the decision to suspend in-person worship indefinitely. We will continue to monitor the situation, along with on-going communications with Mayo Healthcare Professionals. Our services will be available for viewing every Sunday at 9a via our web site, Facebook page, and our YouTube channel.
July 8, 2020
The Church Council Leaders have had a lot of discussion about starting our IN-PERSON worship. After evaluating the information, and talking with Mayo Healthcare Professionals, we feel that it is best to continue having our services streamed/recorded. We are now targeting August 2 as our potential in-person worship start date. We want to have time to see what the COVID numbers are looking like (especially after the July 4 weekend numbers come in).
So, we will postpone our reopening until August 2... and we will continue discerning if this new date is possible. We will also be doing the LIVE STREAM and RECORDING on Sundays at 9a with no congregation.
June 1, 2020
It is with cautious optimism that Peace United Church of Christ leadership has made a plan for the gradual reopening of the church, including in-person worship. The schedule will be live worship on June 28 with no attendees. On Friday, July 3, our Associate Pastor candidate will record a worship service with search team and council members and families. Immediately following worship on Sunday, July 5, we will hold an in-person congregational meeting at 10a; the attendance at this meeting will be limited to advanced RSVPs of 70 people. Details on making reservations to attend will be communicated. Finally we will have our first in-person worship service on Sunday July 12 at 9a; same rules apply with limited attendance of 70 people in the sanctuary, seated in every other row, with some overflow allowed in the fellowship hall. Additionally we will begin to
allow small groups to meet at church, but limited to 20 people.
Here is a list of accommodations we are making to keep everyone safe and healthy during reopening.
First, we will be limiting attendance to worship at 25% or 70 members. You must reserve your seats, and seats will be assigned and ushers will guide you to your seats (feel free to volunteer to usher).
Secondly, we will be removing tables and furniture from the Narthex to discourage gathering inside the church. We will only have one bathroom open (the handicap bathroom). There will be no use of the kitchen, drinking fountain or Nursery. Extra cleaning will be put into place so that commonly touched areas will be sanitized regularly.
Lastly, only one set of doors will be open (the ones closest to the welcome desk), masks will be required, hand sanitizing upon entering and leaving the building, and staff and ushers will have a temperature check upon arrival.
Also here are some changes to the worship service you will notice;
· There will be no choir and no singing of hymns within the congregation
· ONEVOICE will perform as long as social distancing can be accommodated
· There will be no communion or passing of the peace
· There will be no fellowship time or meals
· Children’s messages will continue with children staying in their seats
· An offering box will be placed in the Narthex near the Sanctuary doors
· The children’s prayer area has been removed as well as the busy bags
· On-line worship will continue
While these may seem like harsh realities, it is of utmost importance at this time to respect each other and maintain social distancing. Peace’s leadership has carefully considered the safest way to allow reopening of the church. As our state and church begin to slowly reopen over the next several weeks, rest assured that Peace staff and leadership will be closely following the recommendations of the CDC, state guidelines, the United Church of Christ conference office, and Mayo Clinic. If there is a resurgence of COVID-19 infections or warning signs, we may have to alter these plans, including cancelling
in-person worship again. We look forward to seeing you all again even if it is at a distance. Stay safe!
~ Reopening Task Force, Wendy Nevala Council President
March 27, 2020
March 20, 2020
In an effort to share God's radical message, we will be using FB live for our Sunday, March 22 service. Tune in at 9a for scripture, the message, hymns, and special music provided by the McLaurin Family. The service will be recorded and available for viewing on our web site (under Services) by 11a.
March 13, 2020
Dear Peace Church Members and Friends…
In response to the newest recommendations from the Minnesota Governor, Mayo medical professionals, and the Minnesota Conference UCC Minister, we will be suspending in-person worship and other scheduled events until further notice (possibly through the end of March). We will be working at providing digital messages that will be made available on-line and provide other resources for reflection and engagement.
After much consideration and prayer, the Church Council feels that providing sensitivity to this issue, and providing a safe place, is the highest priority. Once we have time to re-assess the situation, based on guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health and current realities, we will notify everyone about when we will resume worship and activities.
The Church Council will be meeting this Wednesday, March 18, to discuss more definitive plans on how we will/can continue to provide effective ministry and accessibility to/with our congregation during this time.
Until then, our hope is that we will all respond calmly to this ever-changing situation as decisions are made. Please keep all in your thoughts and prayers.
On behalf of the Peace Church Council,
Pastor Paul Bauch Wendy Nevala
Senior Pastor Peace UCC Peace UCC Church Council President