While COVID-19 is pervasive in the news cycle and our day-to-day lives, we feel it is important to keep everyone up-to-date on how this is affecting life at Grace Church in Relay, MD. As we slowly phase in our re-gathering plan (see below) and we may not all be able to meet together face-to-face, we are still the body of Christ. The church is not the building, and we will demonstrate that for His glory through this time.
General Plan: Our general plan is that when the weather permits, we will have worship outside in the parking lot, like we Easter morning. When it is raining, we will worship in the sanctuary. In both cases, the service will be streamed on Facebook Live and the church website for those who are unable to attend in person.
Weekly Sign-up Form: Space is still limited in the sanctuary, so we still need people to sign up to let us know if you plan to come when we worship inside. The sign-up form can be found on myGRPC or on the church website. If you’re planning to attend in person regardless of whether we are inside or outside, please fill out the sign-up form. If you only plan to come if we are outside, don’t worry about the form; you can just plan to show up if we are outside. This will help us a great deal as we plan and prepare. We will plan to make an announcement each week to let you know if we will be inside or outside for that particular Lord’s Day.
Masks and Distancing: Although nothing has changed in our policy regarding the wearing of masks and social distancing, we felt that it would be helpful to reiterate the requirements for when we are in person. Masks and social distancing continue to be required for all worship services, and all events at the church building, for both indoor and outdoor events. If you are interested in a further discussion on the session’s rationale for requiring masks, please see below, or talk to one of the pastors or elders. We’d be more than happy to walk you through our decision and the reasons for it. The only exceptions to this masking policy are as follows:
- The pastor who is preaching will be permitted to take off his mask during the sermon and the administration of the sacraments when he is distanced from other people, but is required to wear it before and after those portions of the service.
- Those who are leading in the singing will be permitted to remove their masks while singing, if the service is outside. All others serving in the music team and leading in worship will be required to keep their masks on for the duration of the service, and those who are singing will be required to wear their masks while singing if the service is inside.
The session has decided not to celebrate the Lord’s Supper while most members are virtual. When the weather is nice and we gather outside for worship, all who feel comfortable to come to worship are invited, and Communion will be celebrated. We believe that “coming together” in the New Testament implies a physical, not a virtual, experience. When we come together around the Lord’s Table we celebrate our faith, we look backwards at what Jesus did, we look forward to the wedding supper of the Lamb in the kingdom, we look inward, examining our heart relationship with Him and finally we look upward rejoicing that He who reigns on high is spiritually present with us.
As in the past, when we worshiped in-person, we will have an in-person option for Sunday School. We are continuing in our study of 1 Peter. It has been a rich time together in God’s Word, and we would love to have you join us! Those who are attending worship in-person are welcome to come in person for Sunday School, and we will also have the class on Zoom for all who are not able to come in person. The Zoom link is available on myGRPC.
All other church activities in which we have physical gatherings are cancelled for the time being. Small groups, community groups, and prayer meeting are still meeting through video conferencing. Contact Pastor Eric if you would like more information on joining a Community Group.
Giving will continue to be online, even with the re-gathering plan in motion. You can give online here any week, but especially now that we are not meeting together. There is an option to make a recurring payment if you choose.
If you are in need of any assistance during this time, contact one of the elders or deacons to help line up appropriate help.
If you are able to volunteer to help with any assistance, you can also contact one of the elders or deacons. Assistance may include:
- Picking up/delivering groceries
- Picking up/delivering medications
- Phone call to someone who needs to talk
Church Office: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pastor Stan: email@example.com
Pastor Eric: firstname.lastname@example.org