Current State of Affairs: Sundays

Current State of Affairs: Sundays

ON TO TWO SERVICES:

For as long as we’ve been at 31 Park, we’ve always had two services (September-June). Since COVID struck in March of 2020, we’ve gone back and forth between an online video worship experience, one outdoor service, one indoor service, etc…but now that fall 2021 has come, we are going back to two services: 9:00 & 10:30.

We are excited to make this move because we believe that God wants more and more people to hear the good news of Jesus, and more services means more empty seats…which means more opportunities for you to invite more and more people in…and we want you do to just that!

In a COVID-world, we are faced with some new challenges that we have needed to adjust to:
  • First, the way we used to do communion simply won’t work right now (we used to do it weekly, with one shared loaf of bread, and shared cups of juice and wine…even though it was fairly germ-safe, there was always an assumed risk!). We’ve shifted to doing communion once per month (first Sunday of the month), with individual single-serving communion packets. It’s not perfect, but for times such as these, it works well!
  • Second, we used to serve bagels and other treats after the services. Due to our current mask policy and the overall goal to minimize COVID spread, we’ve put bagels on hold for this season of life. We are still serving water, coffee, and tea – but we ask you to sip with discretion!
  • Third, pre-COVID, we had 2 services worth of fully staffed Park Kids classes and nursery. As it turns out, it is difficult to re-build those teams. So for now, we are offering nursery (6-24 months) & Kids classes (2 years old – 6th grade) at the 9:00 service only. We are not currently offering nursery or Park Kids at the 10:30, but the nursery & Park Kids common area will be open (and showing the service live stream) for any parent who wants to accompany their child (not a drop off!). We hope to build a team to re-start Kids classes at the 10:30 service in the near future. If you’d like to volunteer to help in that effort, please contact our Park Kids coordinators.

We are excited to continue to re-built, re-start, and re-new as COVID (hopefully!) fades away…and we are excited to invite you to join us in God’s mission here in Monmouth County!

ON COVID-19:

As you are most likely aware by now, the COVID-19 situation in the world and in our area is changing rapidly due to the new findings surrounding the Delta variant. Things have changed. Monmouth County is currently ‘in the red’ as an area with a high transmission rate, and because of this, the CDC, Gov. Murphy, and the Monmouth County Regional Health Commission have all strongly encouraged the use of masks for indoor gatherings like ours.

So in an effort to love our neighbors by protecting their health, we are asking everyone who attends Sunday morning services here at Park Church to please wear a mask.

We know that for many of us, it has been a relief to ‘get back to normal’ over these last few ‘mask-less’ months – and going back to masks now is disappointing. We hear you. We are hopeful that this change will not last long.  However, as people who are committed to giving of ourselves and our personal preferences for the sake of our neighbors, we are committed to doing our part to stop the spread of COVID-19, and ultimately, to ending this pandemic.

So what else does this mean for this Sunday?

  • Masks for everyone!
  • As has been the case, we are asking all kids and Park Kids volunteers to continue to wear masks.
  • We will still serve coffee & tea, but we ask that you sip quickly and with discretion.
  • Be mindful of social distance and personal space.
  • We will still sing and worship God together!
  • As has been the case, we will continue to live stream our Sunday services for all those who cannot attend in person.

What continues to guide us is our call to love our neighbors by reducing the spread of COVID-19 to the best of our ability.

As we have done throughout the pandemic, we are looking to follow the CDC’s and state’s recommendations.  

So with that in mind, here are our most up-to-date guidelines: 

  • please continue to wear a mask for all indoor gatherings.
  • if you (or your children) have a fever and/or are displaying any COVID-19 symptoms, please do not attend the Sunday gathering (enjoy the live-stream instead), or the smaller group gathering (reach out to the leader for virtual-gathering possibilities).
  • if you suspect you have COVID-19, please follow the CDC recommendations – which include self-isolating and taking a test 3-5 days from the time of exposure, once a test would give accurate results.
  • if you discover that you most likely had COVID-19 while at any Park gathering, please inform the leader of that gathering (for Sundays, contact our church Administrator), and as per CDC guidance, you are responsible to contact any person you spent time with in close enough contact to possibly transmit COVID-19 (per CDC: 15 minutes or more of contact of 6’ or less).  
  • if there is a confirmed COVID-19 case in a Park Kids class, the parents of the children in that class who possibly were exposed will be contacted out of an abundance of caution. 
(updated: 9/16/21)

Please contact the staff if you have any questions.