Dear Friends in Christ,
Six months ago because of Covid-19 we closed the building and began to offer an online worship service for the congregation. This fall we are reopening the building and slowly adapting to the reality of living with the pandemic. Some activities and events will remain exclusively online but others will be offered in person or in both formats.
Starting on September 6th, there will be two worship opportunities offered on Sunday morning- one online and the other in person. Each person and family will need to decide for themselves which service is best for you to attend. If you decide that the online service is best for you then the services will be posted on our website and on our social media accounts on Sunday morning before noon.
If you decide that you are comfortable with the in person worship service please call earlier in the week to the office (902-863-2001) and let us know that you are planning to attend. We need to know who is coming because we have reduced seating to ensure social distancing and we are required to collect the names and telephone numbers for contact tracing purposes.
On Sunday morning, if you were intending to come to the inperson worship service but are unwell please attend the online service instead. If possible give us a call and let us know that you will not be attending. One last thing before you head to church is to remember your non-medical mask as they are required for everyone in our building.
As you enter St. James take a moment to sanitize your hands and then head toward the section of the church you are going to sit. Don’t worry about picking up a bulletin from the usher as they are already waiting for you in your seat. Find the row you want to sit in and then sit from the blue line toward the aisle. The social distancing markers are there in the pew to remind you of the space marked off between you and anyone else in the pew. You are welcome to sit with family members and other household contacts whom you would not normally social distance with at your home.
There are some smaller differences you will notice as the service progresses. Congregational singing is a high risk activity so we won’t sing together but most weeks we will have a soloist or small group to sing at a safe distance from the congregation. Another difference is that we will not be passing the offering plate. There are opportunities to make your offering as you leave the service. After the blessing either I or an usher will give your instructions on how to safely exit the building. The floor has been marked to allow you to keep your distance from others.
I know that we are anxious about resuming activities this fall. We’ve been careful and cautious about reopening the building and want to keep everyone in St. James and the wider community safe. Our comprehensive plan to do that, “Living Faithfully During Covid 19″, is a more detailed description of the steps we are taking and can be found on our website.
Sarah and Chad helped me put together a short video of some of the things I’ve mentioned in this letter. Please have a look and no matter which church service you choose to attend I hope to see you on Sunday.
God Bless and Stay Safe,