Greetings in the name of our Savior!
About two weeks ago or so, I had sent out a survey about people and their readiness to return to church for in-person worship, understanding that we would be practicing social distancing. Initial responses had 44 who said they were ready to return to worship. Another 15 said they would be ready to return either after Memorial Day weekend or after the official stay-at-home order had lapsed. The stay-at-home order has been pushed out to June 12, but we are past Memorial Day weekend. So, the number of additional worshipers we could expect is anywhere from 0-15.
Originally, it was looking like the potential for about 60 worshipers to be attending on Sundays. While I think we could accommodate 40 worshipers and still observe social distancing, with 60 we would need to have two services. Survey results determined that service times of 8:30 & 10:00 AM would serve our congregation best.
Over the past two Sundays, attendance was 24 (May 17) and 20 (May 24). This, of course, is well below the 44 who said they were ready to return immediately. And if those who said they will wait to return after the stay-at-home order is lifted choose to wait, we really have no need for an additional service. Or do we? I don't know.
I am seeking input so that I can know best how to serve Good Shepherd. In order to determine what our schedule is and what service times will meet our needs, please respond to this survey. I will also be making phone calls tonight (Tuesday, May 26) to gather all the information I can so that I can set the schedule.
In responding to this survey, please copy and paste it and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whatever your answer is for question #1 is fine. Everyone has their reasons for their decisions, and I will not judge you for where your comfort level is with the COVID-19 pandemic. We are all to be seeking the good of each other in love, not assuming the worst of others whose decisions differ from our own. So, please answer what you honestly plan to do. It is not helpful to have people answer what they think I want to hear.
1. Are you ready to return to church for Divine Services?
a) Yes. Count on me from here on out.
b) Probably after the stay-at-home order is done (June 12, as of this writing).
c) Not quite yet; please be patient with me.
2. How many people will be coming from your home?
3. My name is ___________________________________.
Once we add the 8:30 AM service, it will be fixed for the summer months. We can't go back and forth with a schedule that makes it impossible for people to know what service times will be. So, we are either in or out. Your responses help to determine that. Finally, we will continue with Facebook Live streaming and YouTube posts for the foreseeable future. If you are not ready to come for in-person worship, please find us there. (And share it with friends! This is the easiest way for people to check out our church.) Private Communion is always available by request; call or text (248-719-5218).
God bless and keep you.