As you know, the president is encouraging churches to open, and our governor views worship services as an essential activity. But our Methodist bishop has requested that churches not hold in-person services before June 15th.
Your leadership board and pastoral staff appreciate that it is hard to have a "one-size fits all" policy when so many of us are at a different place on the safety concerns spectrum. Some have legitimate health concerns for themselves and loved ones, while others do not face those risks. Some are more comfortable being around others, while some are not. We are called to minister to everyone no matter where they are on the spectrum.
Currently (and this could very well change before next Sunday) ChristVenice/Laurel is not officially open. But the church doors will not be locked on Sunday morning and Wednesday night. Should you feel comfortable attending a Sunday service or a Wednesday night Bible study, we ask that you do the following:
- Use hand sanitizer as you enter through the automatic doors under the breezeway.
- Spread out throughout the sanctuary. We have placed blue tape on the pews to let you know safe distances. The current capacity for restaurants is 50%. That would mean our sanctuary, at 50%, could seat 325 people. Families should sit close together.
- We recommend a mask, but they are not required. Do not shake hands and respect other people's personal space.
If you do not feel well, please stay home and enjoy the service online. For now, we will continue to offer one Sunday service online at 10:00am.
This approach allows each person to decide whether they would like to attend in person or online. Everyone is at a different place with different circumstances during this time, and we think this approach honors those differences.
As things continue to progress we will let you know about our official reopening, small groups, and other activities. Should you have any questions, please call the church office at 941-493-7504. Thank you for your patience as we navigate this unprecedented time. Let us continue to pray that the Lord delivers us from this virus.
Pastor Mike and the Leadership Board