Regarding Next Sunday’s Outside Service

Regarding next Sunday’s (September 27, 2020) outside service:

As your pastor, it’s my job to care for your souls, but that doesn’t mean I can ignore the safety of your physical bodies. At present, the spiritual benefits of singing are in tension with the possibility of spreading COVID-19. We’ve been looking for a way to strengthen our spirit while protecting our bodies. We think we’ve found a solution: singing outside.

I’m excited by the prospect of singing some hymns next Sunday. I’m looking forward to it because, after consulting medical experts, I believe it can be done safely with little or no risk through a combination of wearing masks, sitting outside, and practicing social distancing (staying at least six feet apart from those outside our household). For it to be safe, we need to do all three of these things. Two out of three won’t cut it. 

Because we need all three, we’ve scheduled next Sunday’s service, which includes hymn singing, outside in the parking lot. (If we have to go inside because of rain, etc., the hymn singing will be canceled.) As for the other two factors—mask-wearing and social-distancing—I plan to carefully evaluate how well we do and then decide whether it’s safe to do it again. We haven’t even done it once, but I already know that I would like to do it again. Please do your part to make that possible.