Expanding In-Person Worship

Dear Friends,

On April 18, we began a 7-week pilot of in-person worship.  We wanted to use this time to ease back into in-person community life, to learn best practices of providing both hospitality and safety, to watch the local COVID trends, and to make the necessary adjustments for future expansion of worship and programs.  At the same time, we transitioned our online service from pre-recorded to live streaming. After five weeks of this pilot season, I am proud to report that things have gone really well.  

So after prayer and discernment among our leadership and staff, we are excited to announce that not only are we going to continue in-person worship, we will begin offering a second worship experience at 11:00 am starting Sunday, June 6. We are so thankful for the dedicated efforts of our staff and servant leaders in helping us reopen. You have made this moment possible.  

After making this decision to expand worship services, we learned of the new CDC guidelines around mask-wearing and persons who have been vaccinated. Like you, we wondered what that would mean for our community life together. Our Compass Team met on Monday and we discussed several new adjustments we should be able to make in the weeks and months to come. The team decided to pray over the issues these next two weeks and make some decisions at our next meeting on June 7. In the meantime, we appreciate your willingness to cooperate with our current plans and protocols.

I have said it often during this year – thank you!  Thank you for your faithfulness and generosity.  Royal Oak First is a special place and we give thanks to God for all the ways God is at work through you. And as always, we know that every person and family will need to make the decisions that are best for their own health and comfort. We support you, whatever choice you make. Attached you will find the details for expanding in-person worship. Please read all the information and let us know if you have any questions.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Jeff

When will we begin offering an 11:00 am service?

We will begin offering a second service on Sunday, June 6.

What safety measures will be implemented for in-person worship?

As I mentioned in the letter above, we are in the process of re-evaluating all of our COVID safety measures and protocols.  In the next couple of weeks, I will be able to give you another update. But for now, we require masks for all persons over the age of 5 in the building at all times.

Will you be asking people to reserve a seat?

Yes. For now, we will be asking people to use a reservation process. We really appreciate your willingness to do this as it helps us be prepared. We anticipate being able to relax this practice as we go forward. You can reserve a seat in worship by clicking here to sign up online or by calling the office.

How many people are able to be at each worship experience?

In addition to staff and volunteers, we are able to include 50 persons in each worship service. We will keep an overflow list and do our best to accommodate all those who desire to worship in person.

Will the service styles be different?

As we restart our music ministries, we will be able to offer a blended service, benefiting from the many different talents Royal Oak First has to offer. However, as much as possible, we will try to offer a more traditional worship style at 11:00.

Will there be childcare or programming for children?

We will offer nursery care for infants and children up to age 4 at both services. This will be included in the registration process so our Nursery Team can be prepared for your kids. 

We are excited to offer in-person Sunday School!! Beginning on June 6 at our 11:00 service, we will be offering an outdoor Sunday School for preregistered kids age 5 through 5th grade!!!

Please contact Christine Ryckman cryckman@rofum.org for more information on Sunday School.

How will we be handling the offering?

We will continue to encourage online and mail-in giving as much as possible.  We will include offering boxes on the way in and out of the sanctuary for people to give while worshiping in the building.

Are there needs for additional volunteers?

Yes. In fact, without some extra hands, offering two services will be a real challenge. We want to make sure that we continue the warmth and hospitality that makes Royal Oak First such a special place. We will need people to help welcome and direct people with kindness and understanding. This will include parking lot hosts, door greeters, sanctuary ushers, and gathering space attendants.  

We will make sure that you are trained. If you would be willing to serve in this important way, please contact Karen Calhoun, kcalhoun@rofum.org.

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