Limited In-Person Worship Resumes! (3/28/21)

Posted by on Mar 20, 2021 in EventAnnouncement, Worship & Prayer | 0 comments

News Flash:  People are welcome to attend our morning worship service on Palm Sunday! 

A little more than a year ago, it would have seemed ridiculous to post a statement like that a church website.  But during this year of Covid and social distancing, it has not been safe for a congregation to gather inside our building.  We’ve had to depend on Live Stream to worship. 

When the pandemic numbers declined during last summer and into the fall, we opened for a congregation (between October 18 to December 20). When the number of hospitalizations and deaths began to climb again, we were forced to return to Live Stream Only during the Christmas season.  But as more and more people get vaccinated, the hospitalizations and deaths are falling again.  And, it’s looking more and more like we’re approaching the end of this difficult period.  So, beginning with Palm Sunday (March 28), we will begin to allow a congregation again.

But we’re not quite there yet, so we won’t let down our guard.  The safety measures that we used back in the winter will remain in place.  As the situation changes, the safety requirements will change.  As we have been doing all along, we will evaluate the situation week to week.

 

On March 13, Pastor Jim issued the following email message to announce the good news about Palm Sunday:

Grace and Peace to each of you in the name of Jesus Christ!  

It is with joy we announce that PUMC will have “in person” worship again beginning on Palm Sunday, March 28. We will also have in person worship on Maundy Thursday at 7:00pm, Good Friday at 7:00pm, and Easter Sunday at 10:15am. While there are those who still do not feel comfortable attending in person worship at this point, please know that you will still be able to worship via the live stream each Sunday at 10:15am.

There are those who are anxious to return to in person worship.  At this point to start, we will welcome 50 worshippers at each service (this is 50 people in the pews and does not include members of the Tech Team, Praise Team, Ushers, or Pastor). 

As we return to in person worship we will continue the safety practices advised by the CDC, the Insurance Company, Bishop, and what we were doing during the first return to in person worship back in October.  For example:

 

Who Should Attend…

  • Persons experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 or who are feeling unwell should not attend in-person worship.
  • Persons who have been exposed, or may have been exposed, to someone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or who have tested positive for the virus within the past 14 days of a given Sunday should not attend in-person worship.

When You Arrive…

  • All attending worship will need to sign waivers (like before) as instructed by the Church Insurance Company.  
  • Seating will be on the main floor and not the balcony, for now.

During the Service…

  • All persons will be masked for the entire service (the exception being the Praise Team and Pastor when singing/speaking.
  • Social distancing will be practiced when inside of the church building. This means remaining at least 6 feet apart from those not part of your family unit.
  • Restrooms are available on the first floor next to the coat room.  . 
  • There shall be no “passing of the peace” or similar expressions of greeting.
  • Offering plates will be available for offerings for your convenience as you enter or depart the sanctuary.

Many of these things may be reviewed and adjusted as needed as things continue to change based on the guidelines of the CDC and recommendations of the Governor and Bishop.

Please be sure to call the church office (856) 589-8313 and schedule your attendance each week, for now. Please be sure to call during the week but before 2:00pm on Fridays (click here for updates).

Please Note: Even as we gather for in person worship, all services will continue to be live streamed as we have been doing.

This is an exciting time! I look forward to seeing many of you and worshipping in person again!

Stay safe! Stay strong!  Keep the faith!  God is Good!

Pastor Jim

 

 

 

Live Stream:  Always Available!

We started streaming all of our services years before the pandemic started, and we will continue to broadcast our services on our Live Stream page even after the pandemic ends.  The Live Stream Page is accessible under the “News” menu and from buttons on the home page…. or, you can just click this button:  Live Stream  

Bishop John Schol (the bishop overseeing our Greater New Jersey Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church) recently gave an interview the New Jersey News Network describing how our churches are  using technology and good practices to stay safe and effective:

 

In Person:  Whenever it’s Safe

Bishop Schol has stated the goal that nobody become sick as a result of United Methodist activities, and we have taken all precautions to ensure the safety of everyone at our local church.  For the latest details on how our services will be conducted safely, and for instructions on how to register, see the following page:

(For future reference, note that this page is located under the “GROW: In Worship” menu)…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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