Dear New City,
With great joy and anticipation, we are making plans to resume in person worship gatherings the weekend of June 6-7. Just as the staff team has worked very hard to keep us connected to regular teaching, worship, and online gatherings for encouragement during this hiatus, so they have been working diligently to implement our plans for re-opening. They have conferred with some of our own doctors, churches in the area, and the Norwood Department of Health to settle on wise practices based on the best information available to us.
We will be offering three on-site services (Saturday 4 p.m., Sunday 9 & 11 a.m.) as well as continuing the Sunday livestream option for those at higher risk or not yet comfortable attending in person. This schedule will allow us to spread out and give adequate time to sanitize between services. We are asking that worship participants wear masks (unless unable to do so). Find our other re-opening guidelines HERE or at the end of this letter. For the concerned, we hope you find them a comfort. For those who have been “ready to go,” we hope you see them as guidelines on being a good neighbor.
You will soon receive more information on how we will ensure that our services are predictable in numbers attending, but when you do come there will be ushers there to assist you with seating. New City Kids programming will be temporarily suspended, but as always, children are welcome in the service. There will be temporary changes to some of our normal practices (we won’t be serving coffee or passing welcome pads, and we are adjusting how Communion is served).
The elders are very grateful for all the hard work our staff has put in these past two months. Now it is our turn to minister to one another as we prepare to gather again. Please pray that we would have gospel patience and humility as we continue to aim at pleasing God and honoring one another in extraordinary times. The Apostle Paul urges us to live together “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:2-3). This will probably apply to all of us at some point in this re-opening, so let’s not give our enemy a chance to divide us. Let us seek to love each other well. This helpful article by Brett McCracken says it well (Church Don’t Let Coronavirus Divide You).
We so look forward to being together soon!
The Elders of New City Presbyterian Church