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Announcement regarding updated gathering guidelines

 

Sunday morning Worship Options:

Beginning Sunday, May 30th, the following in-person worship guidelines will be in effect:

In the Sanctuary:

Since we know that we have members with a wide variety of health situations and comfort levels, and since we are blessed with a spacious sanctuary, we are offering the following options:

  • In the center section of the sanctuary, masks will not be required for people who are fully vaccinated. People who are not fully vaccinated may also sit in the center section if they are wearing masks.
  • The two side sections of the sanctuary will be designated “masks only.” The section nearest the band loft will remain marked off for physical distancing. When you arrive, please inform the ushers and/or greeters of your distancing and masking preferences and they will make every effort to accommodate you.

In the Fellowship Hall:

The service will be live streamed simultaneously on the big screen in the Fellowship Hall where chairs will be set up observing the physical distancing guidelines and masks will be required. Staff members or board members will be present to welcome worshippers.

Children:

Children over the age of 3 and under the age of 12 will need to wear masks in the sanctuary, since the vaccine is not available to them and we are concerned for their safety. Beginning on Sunday, June 6th, a nursery will be provided for young children. The adults in the nursery will be fully vaccinated and masked to ensure the safety of your children.

Sunday School:

On Sunday, June 6th, Sunday School classes may resume in-person gatherings in the spaces that they previously occupied in the building. Each class will be asked to formulate its own safe guidelines.

Pastor’s Plea:

For our own safety and for the safety of others, and so that we can accelerate the process of returning to full in-person worship, we strongly encourage everyone to get vaccinated.

Thank you all for your patience and understanding as we seek to move forward in a way that shows our concern and care for each other as God’s children.

(Please know that we will continue to monitor the situation and make any necessary changes if the need arises.)

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On Sunday, May 9, we will honor all our mothers during the 10:00 a.m. Worship Service.

Here are three ways you can honor your mother on Mother’s Day, May 9:

  1. Bring her to In Person Worship or, if that is not possible, consider watching the service online with her. visit the newphilly.org website for registration information.
  2. Tell us (through a comment on this Facebook post or email to sam@newphilly.org) what her favorite hymn or praise song is (or was, if she has already gone to be with the Lord). The first 7 hymns or songs to be submitted will be included in some way. Hymns and songs submitted after the first seven entries will be mentioned in the service and listed on the Live-stream.
  3. Men: Consider joining the Men’s Chorus that will sing a special anthem during the service in honor or in memory of our mothers. If you would like to sing, please come to a brief (15-20 minute) rehearsal on Monday, May 3 at 7:00 p.m. or, if you are not able to attend the rehearsal, come to the sanctuary on Sunday, May 9 at 9:30 a.m. to practice.

Our Worship Team will lead other hymns and songs during the service.

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Important Update on In-person Worship Gatherings

 

At our recent Joint Board Retreat, we were guided by these words from I Peter 5:10:

 

And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you.

 

We are thankful that God is helping us restore some of the things that we have missed over the past year. We are grateful that God has continued to support and strengthen some of our ongoing ministries and activities. And we are excited about some of the new opportunities that we believe God wants to establish in our congregation (stay tuned for more on that!).

 

Some of the elements of our Sunday Morning Worship services are being restored. We have opened the doors to in-person attendance in keeping with the safe gathering guidelines that we have set. Please consider attending in person on Sunday morning. Our online registration (through the New Philly website) helps to “save your spot” and you may also simply “show up” on Sunday morning (you will be asked to fill out a contact card and place it in the offering plate in the vestibule before you leave).

 

For the time being, masks are still required. We are using liturgies that include shorter congregational responses so that you can take part in the liturgy if you feel comfortable doing so. Hymnals and pew Bibles have been restored to their places and may be used during the service. We have marked off available seating in the sanctuary and we have about 95 “spots” where people may be seated. If you attend with other people from your household or “inner circle,” you are all welcome to occupy the same “spot.”

 

Please continue to hold our congregation (our members, our staff, people who are involved in worship leadership, our musicians, our tech team, and others) in your prayers. The past year has not been easy but Peter’s words remind us that God will indeed restore, support, strengthen and establish us as we move forward rejoicing in hope!

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