CORPORATE WORSHIP AND MID-WEEK PRAYER MEETING TO RESUME
“I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord!’” When David penned these words, the Lord’s house was a literal temple in Jerusalem. Today the Lord’s house is a literal people who are strewn all over the world but who share a common identity in Christ. We have the weekly joy of gathering together to spur each other on in our Christian walk and to worship the One who has made us a people. That recurring joy has been hindered for ten Sundays. As we have spoken with many of you about this reality, one of its sweet effects has been an increase in our longing to be together. That longing—that yearning for mutual encouragement and fellowship and public confession of our faith through worship—is one of the evidences God gives His children that their salvation is real (1 Jn 3:14).
Since Governor Roy Cooper’s most recent executive order (No. 141) provides an unconditional exemption to mass gatherings for the purpose of worship (Section 4), the principle of submission to the governing authorities (Rom 13:1-7; 1 Pet 2:13) is no longer relevant to the Session’s decision-making process regarding corporate worship at Grace Church. However, the principle of loving our neighbor as ourselves (Matt 12:31) is.
To that end, we are thrilled to announce that—with prudent caution—the doors will be open at 2007 Stallings Road this Sunday, May 24, for corporate worship. Some logistical details will vary from our normal Sunday operation, but we will get to sing and pray and give and hear the Word of God and fellowship together.
Here is the plan:
- There will be two services Sundays—9:00 AM and 11:00 AM. Limited seating will be provided in both the sanctuary (75 seats) and the fellowship hall (25 seats). This will accommodate a total of 200 worshipers, while maintaining the recommended social distancing of six feet.
- A live stream of the 11:00 AM service will also be available at the Grace Church Facebook page.
- Everyone in attendance will be asked to observe six-foot social distancing; however, household units will be asked to sit together (no nursery will be provided).
- We encourage worshipers who are 65 years or older, especially those with underlying health conditions, to worship with us from home by viewing the Facebook Live stream.
- We will leave the wearing of masks up to the individual as a matter of personal preference.
- We have postponed the observance of the Sacrament of Communion until July 5.
- Tithes and offerings will be collected at each entrance. The giving portal at our website will still be available for those who wish to give online.
- For Wednesday night prayer meetings, Jim Lauffer will resume his teaching series this coming Wednesday (May 27), at 7:00 PM. Adults will meet together in the sanctuary, while children and youth will meet in the education wing.
Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we navigate this new phase of reopening. Our prayer is that, as He always has, God will continue to uphold and nurture His church through tumultuous times. He is faithful. He never changes. Let’s remember that as we gather for worship this Lord’s Day.