Reopening Plans for Winfree
1. We all wish that things could return to normal. That is true of life in general and at church. Especially with the holidays approaching, we would love to come to worship and enjoy Christmas music, the warm Winfree fellowship that we share and celebrate His birth together. We would love to have class parties and church socials. We are tired of the distancing and “missing out.” We want Christmas this year to be like it has always been.
2. But this year is not going to be like last year, is it? This highly contagious virus has changed what is possible. We will not be able to have everything just like we would like it. We cannot hug our church friends. We cannot gather into a packed space for a night of music and holiday goodies. We cannot squeeze into every seat on Christmas Eve. Unfortunately, this is true, and that makes us all a little sad.
3. However, we are going to do everything that we can do! It will not be the same, but it will be the best that we can do in this situation. We will have to be creative. Flexibility will be required from everyone. We will make a start and then adapt and improve as we are able. We will work together to make the best of the situation. And for that, we will celebrate and give thanks.
After much consideration, the Church Council is pleased to announce that we are planning to have weekly indoor worship services starting on Sunday, November 22 through December 20. We will not meet for inperson worship on Christmas Eve, Dec. 27 or Jan. 3. Further plans for 2021 will be announced later. We will continue to offer services online throughout this whole time period, including Christmas Eve.
If you feel safe joining in corporate worship as we will conduct it, we hope that you will come. But if for any reason, you have health and safety concerns, then we encourage you to continue to join us online and stay connected through other means.
As stated in #3 above, this is a first step, and we will adapt and improve as the attendance response dictates and health concerns allow. Initially we will offer a service at 11:00 a.m.
You may reserve seating up to 2 weeks in advance in either the Sanctuary or the MAC. We encourage you to use the online forms but you may also call the church office. We will reserve some seating in each space for our guests from the community.
Entrance to the church will be limited to either the Sanctuary main doors or the MAC covered entrance. Greeters will conduct checkin and offer guidance about seating and safety protocols. We will observe required safety measures.
The service will focus on well-known Christmas carols in a familiar style, include the Advent Wreath lighting and other typical Winfree worship elements. It should be a worship service that all members of the Winfree family (and our community guests) recognize and enjoy. On November 22, the Sunday before Thanksgiving, we will observe Communion using commercially pre-packaged elements.
The service will originate from the MAC and be streamed to the Sanctuary screens with live elements in the Sanctuary included as possible. We will continue to adapt the service based on needs and feasibility.
Please watch for further announcements and details. We are excited to share this good news with you. As I wrote above, we all wish things could just be “normal.” But they aren’t. What we will do is try to make the very best of the situation that is possible. We look forward to the day when we can return to our Traditional and Contemporary services and we are all able to regather safely. But in the meantime, I trust that we will work together to keep the spirit of Christmas and celebrate together.
OPPORTUNITIES TO HELP:
Children's Masks - We have been approached by a representative from the local school district. There are 300+ prekindergarten-aged children who will be going back to school and will need a face mask who come from homes below the poverty level. We have been asked if our folks might be able to make some cloth masks for these children. If that sounds like your thing, we would love to fill that need. Think about appropriate size and materials as you make them, and then bring them by the church.
Adult Masks - We will be continuing to donate adult face masks to CARITAS. Any fabric is acceptable; the 65/35 cotton is most desired. You can drop the masks off at the church during office hours. Please refer to the instructions below by clicking the button that will take you to a list of guidelines.
CARITAS/Feeding the Homeless
Click the button below to view details of CARITAS needs on our Local Missions Page: