Returning to In-Person Worship
As we plan to reopen The Rock for Sunday gatherings, we are using our best efforts to balance the interests of all involved. We are concerned for those who should not attend in-person gatherings at this time because they are at higher risk for severe illness or are in close contact with someone at risk. We are concerned for those who, for a variety of reasons, are not yet comfortable attending an in-person gathering. We are concerned for those who are not at high-risk and are anxious to gather for worship in person. In all our decisions and actions, we are guided by Paul’s words in Ephesians 4:2, “Be completely humble and gentle, be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
In this document, we are summarizing our plans for worship beginning on July 5, 2020. Our goal is for the forever family to worship together wherever we happen to be. Beginning July 5, there will be an option for in-person worship at 10:00 a.m. Sundays, but there will also be an option to view the worship gathering via live stream. Over the past weeks, we have been acquiring and installing the technology necessary to allow all of us to participate together, with some people in-person at the Rock and others participating from home. Instead of recording the gathering in advance as we have done for the past weeks, the live stream will allow all of us to worship at the same time. We are excited to be together on Sundays in this way. Also, if it does not work for you to attend in person or view the live stream at 10:00 a.m., the live stream will be available for viewing after the live worship gathering is completed.
How do you fit in to these worship plans?
CATEGORY #1 – LIVE STREAM:
If you have upper respiratory or flu-like symptoms, if you live with someone with upper respiratory or flu-like symptoms, if you have COVID-19, live with someone with COVID-19, or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should participate via the live stream. For your benefit and the benefit of those around you, it is not appropriate for you to attend in person at this time.
CATEGORY #2 – LIVE STREAM:
If you are elderly, have an underlying medical condition, or otherwise are at higher risk for severe illness or if you regularly have contact with at-risk persons, we encourage you to participate via the live stream.
CATEGORY #3 – LIVE STREAM OR IN PERSON:
If you are not described in Category #1 or Category #2 above, then please review the Instructions for In-Person Worship below to determine whether you would prefer to worship in person or by live stream. It will be up to each family to decide whether or not to attend in-person worship. We encourage each family to make a prayerful decision about whether or not the time is right for them. There is no way to entirely eliminate the risk of infection in any public gathering. If you choose to attend, your family will be voluntarily assuming that risk and we will expect you to comply with the following instructions and any other instructions you receive from Rock leaders. However, we cannot guarantee that all attendees will follow these instructions or that our plans will be effective to prevent the transmission of the virus or other forms of illness. If you have concerns or are uncomfortable, we encourage you to participate via the live stream.
NOTE: If you know a member of the forever family who does not have consistent access to the internet, please share this news with them and help them register as appropriate.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR LIVE STREAM WORSHIP
YOUTUBE: Go to The Rock’s YouTube channel at 10:00 a.m. on Sundays and view the worship gathering live or view it anytime thereafter. Go to youtube.com, then search for “The Rock Lutheran Church” and you will see the Rock’s page and the link to view the worship gathering.
FACEBOOK: Go to The Rock’s Facebook page at 10:00 a.m. on Sundays and view live or view it anytime thereafter. Log in to Facebook using the link above, or search for “The Rock Seward” and you will see the Rock’s page and the link to view the worship gathering.
WEBSITE: Go to www.therockseward.org, then click on the “Messages” tab and you will find the links to the live stream on YouTube and Facebook.
INSTRUCTIONS AND INFORMATION FOR IN-PERSON WORSHIP
- Before and following our worship gatherings, the facilities will be cleaned.
- Under the current Directed Health Measure, we are limited to 50% capacity.
- You will need to register before NOON on the Friday prior to the worship gathering if you wish to attend in-person worship. Follow this link to access a Google Form to register: https://forms.gle/vDzdivwRkLwcUKo98. You will be asked for the number in your group and asked to confirm that none of your group falls into Category #1 above. If we end up with more registrations than we can safely accommodate at 50% capacity, we may ask you to participate via the live stream.
- Enter and exit through the south doors of the building (parking lot side). Prior to entering the worship area, you will be asked to sign in and to certify you are not experiencing symptoms, have not been in contact with someone who is sick, and understand the procedures for worship.
- You will be ushered to a seating location so that the maximum number of people may be in our worship gathering. We will use our best efforts to seat attendees in family groups with appropriate social distancing, but we cannot guarantee you will be at least six feet from others.
- The wearing of masks is strongly encouraged by all attending worship, but not required, and excludes very young children. The Pastor and musicians are also not required to wear a mask.
- Offering baskets will be placed by the door of the worship center for those who desire to bring their tithes/offerings as part of their participation in worship.
- Use your best efforts to maintain physical distance between your family group and other attendees.
- The Rocker Room will NOT be accessible for use. If a child needs to leave the worship center to use the bathroom, a parent/guardian must go with them.
- The Rock Café will NOT be accessible for use and no coffee, drinks or snacks will be available.
- After the close of worship, you will remain seated until you are dismissed by an usher. Dismissal will start from the front of the worship center and physical distancing guidelines should be followed during dismissal. There will not be an opportunity to mingle or visit inside the facility after worship.
As we have all learned by now, the circumstances and guidance surrounding the pandemic are constantly changing. As these things change, our plans may need to change as well, so please watch carefully for potential updates and changes over the coming days. Thank you in advance for your patience as we all learn the process together.
To view or download this letter as a PDF, please click this link.