Regathering at 4th Street

I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD.”

Psalm 122:2 ESV

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

With a unanimous vote on June 24th our Church Board has set Sunday, July 5th, as the day we can finally regather for in-person worship! The times of our services of worship will be 8:30 a.m. (in our sanctuary) and 10:45 a.m. (in our Brethren Life Center). For the time being there will be no Sunday School, church nursery, or in-house children and youth ministries. The church library will be closed and there will be no Coffee Corner.

In recent weeks we know that many of you have inquired about the date for our regathering at Fourth Street.  There has been considerable interest in getting back together. That said, we are sensitive to the fact that, for any number to reasons, some of you are not yet comfortable with being in a public setting. We want you to be comfortable with whatever decision you make and we realize for some of you, that decision will be to remain at home awhile longer. For those of you who do begin attending services, we want you to be assured we are taking every precaution we can to ensure your safety and well-being as well as the safety and well-being of others.

While our beloved church is regathering for the first time in several months, you can expect a few changes and a “new normal” for the foreseeable future.

Below are some guidelines to help all of us sort things out.

  1. Face masks will be worn at all times. If you do not have a face mask when you arrive, we will gladly give you one to wear. If you have not been feeling well or have cold/flu symptoms, please remain at home.
  1. When you come in the door, there will be a welcome table with face masks, hand sanitizer, and bottled water for your use.
  1. Families may sit together. As a general rule, however, we will follow the CDC guidelines and practice social distancing (a minimum of 6-feet apart) in and around the church.
  1. All singing will be done at the close of each service.
  1. When services are over, you are encouraged to exit the building without much interaction with one another. For Brethren who place a high value on fellowship, this will be the most difficult guideline to follow.
  1. You are encouraged to bring a bottle of water. Because our drinking fountains will be closed, a bottle of water will also be provided if you need one.
  1. The main door of each restroom will be propped open to keep door handles touch free. Only two people at a time will be our restroom policy for the first weeks/months.
  1. For those of us who rely on handrails, hand sanitizer will be available at the top of the stairs (as well as other places throughout the building).
  1. Instead of passing offering plates, we will receive your tithes and giving in one common area at the close of each service. For the time being, there will be no bulletins.
  1. Please respectfully refrain from shaking hands, hugging, fist bumps, and the Brethren kiss no matter how well-meant and well-intended.

In addition, all staff and ushers/greeters will have their temperature checked 20-30 minutes prior to the services.  Our restrooms will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected and our church will be cleaned and sanitized as much as possible between Sundays and other days of heavy use.

For the most part, our guidelines comply with the CDC regulations to which we’ve all become accustomed during our time of quarantine. Good old fashion courtesy and common sense will go a long way to make our time with the Lord and with one another a meaningful and pleasurable experience.

In approximately three weeks we are going to begin live-streaming our 10:45 service. That means for those of us who are at home, we will be able to get online and worship in “real time” with those who are at church. DVDs of the 8:30 service will be available as they have been in the past.  For the next three Sundays, you can log onto our website or Face Book page on TUESDAYS and watch the 10:45 Sunday service as well.

We are really excited about the opportunities God will give us as we venture forth in our regathering. They are a process and we respectfully ask for your patience and your love.

Pastor Joel


For an official list of guidelines and processes that will be followed throughout the week, click here.

Posted in Pastor's Pen.