Dear Holy Cross family and friends,
While we have consistently been gathering together outside and through electronic means, I am excited to let you know that we will be beginning to gather indoors once again at Holy Cross for worship services beginning Sunday, July 19th.
While we always work to create a safe and clean environment for everyone to feel comfortable in worship, we will be taking extra time in between services to wipe surfaces and clean our facilities in good fashion. With that said, we understand that not everyone is going to be ready to return right away. Some have health concerns, some may be at a higher risk, and some may just not feel comfortable in gathering quite yet. That is OK! For those who are not ready to return to in-person worship, we will continue to Livestream all worship services via our website, Facebook, and YouTube.
Please note, we will be revising our worship schedule in order to spread out the number of worshipers and provide ample time for cleaning. Our worship schedule beginning July 19th will be Sunday at 8:00 a.m. (Organ Led – Traditional Service) and Sunday at 9:45 a.m. (Praise Band Led – Contemporary Service). Facemasks will be required at all services.
We want to show love to our neighbor as we gather for indoor worship, so here is what you should expect:
* Come Only If You Are Healthy - If you have a fever or are coughing or have any of the other symptoms associated with COVID-19, please stay home for you and your neighbor. Find a complete list of symptoms at the Center for Disease Control’s website.
* Good hygiene such as regular hand washing is encouraged. Hand sanitizer will be placed at various locations in the building.
* The north wing of the building (Glass Room, Fellowship Hall, and Christian Education Classrooms) will be closed to public access. This will help us continue to keep our preschool staff and children safe from possible infection.
* Worship Services will last approximately 45 minutes to provide time for cleaning. Between services, the top of each pew, as well as all door handles and countertops, will be wiped down. We will need many volunteers to help accomplish the cleaning tasks; please consider volunteering to help.
* Masks are Required - Though the chances of encountering someone at worship with an active case of COVID-19 is very small, we will show love to our neighbor by doing what we can to protect them. Thus, everyone will be required to wear a mask, with the exception of preschool-aged children, at all worship services. Song leaders, musicians, and pastors, while singing and leading worship will not be wearing masks. Whatever your choice about masks, please respect the choice of others. If you forget yours at home, we will have masks available.
* Seating will provide for proper distancing - For the same reasons as above, we have rearranged our pews to help ensure distance behind you and in front of you. Folks that want to sit next to each other (like families) will be encouraged to do so, however, please leave adequate space between yourself and others with whom you are sharing the pew.
* Social Distancing Practices will be Observed - There will be no handshaking, and hugs are discouraged. Bibles and hymnals have been removed from the pews. Busy Bags will not be available for the kids and neither will the Prayground. The worship service will be on the sanctuary screens and an Order of Service will be available each week on the Holy Cross website.
* Children’s Message - We’re asking children to stay in the pews with their families during the Children’s Message.
* Singing will be allowed, but expect muffled voices through your masks.
* For the time being, the church Nursery will be closed.
* Offering baskets will not be passed during the service but will be available as you enter and exit the sanctuary. Online giving and mailing in offerings are other ways to give.
* Communion will be offered once a month (1st Sunday & the following Wednesday) using prepackaged communion elements. Instruction will be given as to procedure during worship.
* After the service, please do not crowd the doorways. Pastors will not be shaking hands. Coffee and refreshments will not be available. But...you are encouraged to connect with each other before and after the service. Outdoors is an especially good place to do this!
* As a final precaution, all worship participants will be strongly encouraged to check-in online or at the information desk. This will allow for adequate contact tracing in the event that someone in attendance does report a positive COVID-19 test.
On behalf of the Church Council and the Holy Cross staff, these are the guidelines we will follow for the foreseeable future. Please keep in mind that we may, at any time, need to scale back our in-person worship due to a surge in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations. We will be evaluating and announcing any and all changes as we move forward. For fall programming such as Cross Kids, Confirmation, Youth Groups, Bible Studies, and Fellowship Groups, please stay tuned. We will let you know as soon as details become available.
I am very excited to welcome you all back inside the sanctuary once again for in-person worship. As I’ve said, if you are not ready to be within a gathering of people, please feel free to participate online.
In Christ’s service,