For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man.
2 Corinthians 8:21 (NIV)
New update as of June 9, 2021
This Friday, the state of Illinois will be moving into Phase 5 of the Illinois reopening plan. While the state doesn’t require churches to follow its mandates, our elders have used the CDC and state guidelines as we have made decisions to help us gather safely for worship and fellowship over the last year. We are thankful for your patience as we’ve sought to navigate the pandemic with wisdom, patience, and love as both a session and as a church body.
In particular, there are two areas where we will be seeking to bring our current protocol into alignment with Phase 5 guidelines:
1. Worship Center Capacity: We will no longer have a capacity limit on our Sunday morning gatherings. While we will keep the same arrangement of chairs in the Worship Center as they are for the time being, we will no longer have a cap on the number of attendees (at least until we grow numerically to such an extent that it becomes a fire hazard!).
2. Mask Optional Worship Service: Beginning this Sunday (June 13) we will move to a “mask optional” worship service. Please note that we will continue to offer the Sunday morning worship via livestream at this time.
We know that each of us has differing positions on these issues, but our calling is to pursue unity over division. One of the most appropriate verses for us during this time comes from the mouth of the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:1-3:
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
CHANGES TO OFFERTORY AND LORD’S SUPPER
During this time, we are not passing a plate for the offertory, though of course we encourage you to worship God with your tithes and offerings. When you enter our worship space, you will notice a small table to the right with hand sanitizer, bulletins, and an offertory plate. We invite you to place your offering in the plate before or after the service, or to give online.
The Lord’s Supper looks a bit different in these months as well. Our elders and communion team are constantly working to find a way to administer the sacrament that is reverent while also reducing the amount of handling that might occur before it is administered. You may find the elements in bags, or in pre-packaged cups. Thank you for being gracious and remembering that these alterations are temporary. During the Lord’s Supper, an elder will bring the elements directly to you.
LIVESTREAMED AND RECORDED WORSHIP FOR THOSE WHO ARE UNABLE TO ATTEND IN PERSON
If you are immunocompromised or high-risk, we encourage you to stay home and worship along with us via the Internet. You will find our service uploaded usually by Sunday afternoon or Monday morning. You can always find the worship services on the Sermons page on our website or on Facebook.
STAY IN TOUCH
Ordinarily, we aim to stay in touch with visitors and guests by requesting that they fill out our friendship pads during the offertory. These days, it’s harder to share information that way. Instead, we encourage you to make sure you receive our weekly newsletters through emailing our office administrator, Rosa (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the subject line: Please add me to the weekly Midweek Update. In doing so, we’ll be sure that you don’t fall through the cracks. We also always invite you to share prayer requests and needs with us this way as well.
The Midweek Update is one of the primary ways we share updates and new information regarding our response to COVID-19. We strongly encourage you to check in every Wednesday or Thursday to stay abreast with what’s new at FCC.