IMPORTANT JULY 30, 2021 UPDATE:
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.
Please contact the staff if you have any questions.
THE PLAN FOR SUNDAYS
This summer, we will have 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions.
Grace and Peace,