Someone said to Michael on Easter morning, “But we don’t even know what the worship schedule is for next Sunday.”
He laughed and responded, “That seems about right for all the change this community is facing right now! But be of good courage, I’ll let you know in the E-pistle this week!”
Really, we were waiting to see how the “live broadcast of the in-person Easter service” turned out!
But let the suspense last no longer (because, really, you need to decide what you are going to do on Sunday — no one ever misses the Sunday after Easter!):
1. Old First will be meeting in person every Sunday at 11 for the time being. (Sometime in June — depending on when we return to the Sanctuary — we will go to summer hours at 10 am.) We will be outside in front, weather permitting. If the weather is inclement, we will set up in the Social Hall.
We will ask people to mask and social distance in both locations:
— If we are outside, there will be congregational singing.
— If we are indoors, all the doors to the Social Hall will be open, and the fans will be exhausting air out the back door. And we will not sing, but instead, have a “cantor” “sing for us” while we hum for the congregational parts.
For the time being, there will continue to be no fellowship hour. But we do encourage people in small groups to go out after worship — Old City has a host of brunch / lunch opportunities, and your relaxed parking is good until 2 pm.
2. Those in-person services — whether outdoors or indoors — will be “broadcast” live at 11, via Zoom if people want to watch the service from afar (and interact with the other online congregation via chat!).
Michael realized on Easter that since we are now doing an online bulletin, we can make that available to people worshiping from home. (He’s not sure how best we will do that, but he and Devan will figure this out in the next day or so, and get it somewhere easy to access.)
For those who saw the 11 am Easter service broadcast, we think we can improve the sound — making it both easier to hear at your end, and less work at the church’s end. Look forward to our improving “the broadcast” much as you saw that we got more proficient with Zoom fairly quickly.
Also, so you know, the next three months at church are going to be wild as we add on all the work of vacating the Fox and CE buildings, welcoming back service camps and getting ourselves settled in the Sanctuary building.
To make this “more doable” for Michael, he is going to have a season of guest preachers! It’s just one less thing that he needs to get done each week, if someone else is handling the sermon for him. He is going to be approaching our clergy folk, but also a number of you who have a bent at lay preaching.
Think of this as an added benefit of all the change in the next 3 months — you are going to get to hear a richness of different voices from the pulpit. And if you are interested in helping out and taking a Sunday, let Michael know.
If you have any questions, please ask! It’s hard to get this all straight. Here it is in simplest form:
— 11 am in-person rain or shine.
— 11 am live service “broadcast” online via Zoom.
We will see each other in different ways and places, but glad we can see each other!