Dear Rockport Family and Friends,
I hope this letter finds you well. This week, the Rockport Reopening Team met to discuss a return to in-person worship services. I give thanks for their thought, care, and creativity as we begin to imagine what a return to in person activities and worship will entail.
That being said, we have a few things to share with you as we plan:
- We have hired a new custodian/maintenance person. Please keep Mark in your prayers as we begin training and acclimating him to the building.
- We have updated and changed the door code in keeping with good security practices and to limit access to the building. We are presently limiting the number of persons/groups who have the code so that we can maintain proper cleaning and distancing in our facility.
- In-person bible studies, meetings, and groups of less than 10 are allowed to resume meeting in/at the church. All in person activities at Rockport are required to adhere to the following guidelines (regardless of whether they are taking place inside or outside the building):
- All meetings that are taking place in-person must be scheduled with the Church Office and placed on the Church Calendar.
- Group leaders must check their own temperatures and check the temperatures of each person in attendance. An infrared thermometer is available for this purpose. Please get in touch with the Church Office to make arrangements to access the thermometer.
- Please use hand sanitizer upon entering and exiting the building.
- All in-person activities must maintain at least a 6-foot social distance between individuals not living in the same household.
- All restroom facilities are limited to single use only. If someone is already in the restroom, please wait at least 6 feet from the doorway to allow them to safely exit.
- The Parlor is unavailable for use, as Childcare will be utilizing that as classroom space.
- Wesley Hall and the playground are closed.
- Regularly scheduled Office Hours are suspended until further notice. If you need to stop by the church and drop something off, please call the Church Office or Pastor Lorrin and we will make an appointment.
- For the past several years, Rockport has been blessed to have three distinct and unique worship services. Each one has been a blessing and a gift to our community, while meeting the needs of our Rockport Family in different ways. Given the cleaning and sanitation requirements between groups of people, it is impossible for us to maintain our old schedule of worship. When worship resumes, we will have one worship service at 10:00am. I will strive to offer worship that best reflects a blending of our three worship services, subject to participants, as well as our licensing/streaming/and other applicable requirements. One worship service is our starting place – it is not necessarily our ending place - we commit to reevaluating as we move forward.
We are deeply committed to following Wesley’s 3 Simple Rules (Do No Harm, Do Good, and Stay in Love with God) as we look forward to a return to in-person activity at Rockport. We know that we long to worship together again in community, and we seek to do so as safely as is possible. We cannot eliminate all risk, but we can be responsible and careful as we plan our return. We don’t know exactly what a return to in-person activity will look like, but we do know that the new normal will look vastly different than it has in the past. The Reopening Team has discussed a number of possibilities for return, some of which appear below:
- Drive In Worship - Worshippers would be directed to a parking spot and would be asked to remain in their vehicles during worship. Drive-In Worship could begin more quickly as it may not be dependent on sustained plateau or decline of infections in Cuyahoga County. Worship will be 30-45 minutes long and would include the possibility of congregational singing, congregational prayers, and Bring-Your-Own communion. Masks are optional in your own vehicle, but must be worn outside of your vehicle. Only one household is permitted per vehicle. Vehicles will be parked in order to keep social distancing in place. We will strive to maintain an online option for this worship scenario.
- Outdoor Worship - Worship in person in the Outdoor Chapel. This option will require more time to launch, so that safety protocols can be developed and maintained. In-Person worship may be dependent on available public health data (for example, a sustained plateau or decrease in infections in Cuyahoga County.) Temperature checks, masks, and social distancing would be required for all attending worship. Worship will be around 30 minutes. There will be no congregational singing or congregational prayers. There will be no communion at this time. No bulletins, hymnals, etc will be available at this time. Bulletins will be available for download on your devices. We will strive to maintain an online option for this worship scenario.
- Inside Worship - Worship in person in the Sanctuary. This option will require more time to launch, so that safety protocols can be developed and maintained. In-Person worship may be dependent on available public health data (for example, a sustained plateau or decrease in infections in Cuyahoga County.) Temperature checks, masks, and social distancing would be required for all attending worship. Worship will be around 30 minutes. There will be no congregational singing or congregational prayers. There will be no communion at this time. Screens will be used in place of bulletins and bulletins will be available to download on your devices. We will strive to maintain an online option for this worship scenario.
- Online Only Worship - Online only worship will continue in a similar fashion to what we have been doing these last few months. Worship will be 30-45 minutes and have a flexible order of worship with singing, congregational prayers, etc.
The Reopening Team solicits your feedback regarding your willingness to participate and serve at these types of services. CLICK HERE to take a survey and help us plan in response to your needs and comfort. In all cases, we know that there will be faithful Rockporters who are unable to safely attend any worship in person, and we will strive to maintain an online option regardless of how we move forward. Please share your thoughts with us on the survey by July 1, so that we can utilize your feedback as we continue to plan.
As always, we invite you to continue giving to Rockport, supporting the Take What You Need Cabinet, and keep the staff, our childcare, and our church family in your prayers. I will continue to keep you in my prayers. Please don’t hesitate to contact me by phone or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are in need of pastoral care or conversation.
Blessings and peace,
Rev. Lorrin Radzik
Pastor, Rockport UMC