Dear Park family and friends,
If you’ve seen the most recent update to New Jersey covid restrictions, then you know that as of this Friday, the mask mandate and the social-distancing mandate have been lifted for a number of venues, including churches.
Up until this point, the biggest barrier to moving indoors for Sunday worship has been kids. We simply haven’t had the space to responsibly provide Park Kids indoors while maintaining social distancing. But now the social distancing mandate has been lifted, which begs the question: What does this mean for Park?
June 13th we will have our first indoor worship gathering back at 31 Park Road! This will be one service at 9:30. Here are the updated safety measures:
- Masks for adults are welcome but not required
- Kids programming will be provided (ages 2 years – 5th grade, with more details coming soon)
- We ask that children wear masks while indoors
WHY ASK THAT CHILDREN WEAR MASKS INDOORS?
Because we have such a large number of kids, we feel it’s the responsible thing to do for Park Kids to follow the state guidelines for schools in regard to masking, which still require children to wear masks while indoors.
We will continue to monitor CDC and state guidelines as we move into summer and will provide updates as things develop.
WHY NOT STAY OUTDOORS?
I know I’m not alone when I say that having the option of meeting outdoors at 312 Hance Avenue during this pandemic has been an unexpected blessing. Worship last Sunday in the shady grove with idyllic weather was a reminder.
And while there’s no doubt that outdoor worship will be missed, the reality is that the unpredictability of rain, the inevitability of miserably warm mornings, and a better-equipped space for children at 31 Park all contributed to the decision to move back indoors.
The great thing about having done outdoor worship now is that we will always have it as an option. From now on I imagine that every year spending at least some time in worship outdoors.
THINGS WE CAN ALL DO
As we prepare for this long-awaited “next step” in our journey toward normalcy, here are some things we can all do that may help us navigate this season of change in a way that reflects the heart of Jesus.
- Give yourself permission to move at your own pace and comfort level.
- Pay attention to your feelings.
- Give thought and consideration to the feelings of others.
- Use common sense. (For example, if someone is wearing a mask, there’s a good chance they’re probably not up for a bear hug.)
- And finally, keep your eyes on Jesus.
We’re all navigating the complexities of this season together. Thank you once again for your patience and grace during this time. As always, please reach out (email@example.com) if you have any questions.
Grace and Peace,