Totally Unscientific Gut-Level Opinion About the Future

I don’t imagine that my President, my Governor, and my County Commission will all agree on a day when we can “go back to church.” For the sake of argument, however, let’s say that they do. On Jugaustember 32nd we’re all encouraged to have corporate worship again. That being the case, I don’t imagine that we will go back with the same schedule, seating arrangement, and routine that we had on March 8th, our last Sunday together. Some things will need to be different, at least for a little while.

My brain is going in lots of different directions. I’m guessing that while some will come back that first Sunday dancing and singing, not everyone will want to come back on the first available Sunday at all. I think of the major variables to figure out before returning to the building such as schedule, seating, length of service, practices within worship such as taking up the offering, etc. I would imagine that at least for a little while, an element such as seating space between worshipers might be a larger part of someone’s decision about which service to attend than music style.

What I would like to hear from the gentle reader is this: What are the things you think about when you imagine coming back to corporate worship? Would you attend a drive-in service in the parking lot? Would you like more time in between services so people coming and going aren’t so crowded together? What type of remote services shall we provide now that online is no longer primary? Would you be more comfortable with seating that has more space between people? Would you like to wear a face mask to worship? Does any of this even matter to you? What other variables do you think about?

Comment below. Please speak only for yourself. Be gentle.


9 thoughts on “Totally Unscientific Gut-Level Opinion About the Future

Add yours

  1. Dan – To be honest, I haven’t considered the logistics until I read your post just now. I think that the church certainly faces different challenges than most other places/events due to the age of many of our members and the inherent vulnerability associated with them. In my opinion, the church needs to take things more slowly than others.

    If I were the sole decision maker at HUMC, I would start with inviting people to return when they were comfortable doing so. That would likely dictate how we move forward – in particular, how comfortable would members of our choir be in returning to both rehearsals and worship – if our organist and older choir members aren’t coming, what does that mean? In the meantime, we would continue to run our FB live stream. I think as far as seating goes, we allow people to sit where they are comfortable – some will sit in close proximity and others will want to be distanced. Perhaps we designate areas where people can sit apart – it would be easy to do in the back where we have chairs. On top of all of this, half of our building is off limits due to our construction, so that will also impact how we interact. This likely means we don’t hold Sunday School until our building is complete (October) which will make the decision for us.

    At the end of this, I think we have to make opportunities for people to do what they are comfortable with and be accommodating and not prescriptive. Like everything in the church, over-communication will be of utmost importance. Thanks for sharing this and providing me an opportunity to put some thoughts on “paper”.

  2. I would come back to church when the doors open again. I wonder if Everyone would mind only using the main doors and checking temperatures like they do in other gathering places. I would prefer to wear a mask. I think that would make some people more comfortable.
    A lot to think about.
    Will the Bishop give us some guidance like he did for closing?

  3. I think one combined service at mid morning would be good to begin with. I can see many people not returning immediately or for an extended period of time. I would like to see the Church fill up with people………..

    1. Thanks for the reply. Paradoxically, I think the church filling up with people is precisely what concerns them now. Are we better off concentrating the people or spacing them out into multiple smaller services?

  4. I’ve actually enjoyed the video service. I like going to church in slippers and not having to dress I find I attend services more. But I do at times enjoy being with people. After the aftermath of Katrina and Rita and a few other hurricanes, losing homes, family, trust in people and faith I managed to find your church . It did feel more like home with my mom and all. So I like the sermons and the people I’ve met so far. I’ve had a hard time being around people a “lot” ! It’s like this virus suited my needs . I want faith, I know where to get it, I just panic there. I don’t know whats going to happen when we open up the store (state). I move as slow as that sloth on the commercial. You and I know you’ve seen it ! As for me I’m happy where I am with the videos. I’ll wait til theres a kinda normal. Even if it is a new normal. I’ll want to practice it before I go out. I’m like a sheep , I’m easy and I follow what you say.

  5. I will return for corporate worship when I feel safe. In the meantime, I enjoy the great use of technology that Skyland is providing. I would like to see live-streams on Facebook for many of us with weakened immune systems,
    for an indefinite time.

  6. For now it is my intention to go to church as soon as the door opens. Most likely I will be wearing a mask. For me the hard part will be not running up to all of you and hugging you. I do hope the online sermons, music, story hour etc. will continue until the need for health precautions completely goes away. Even if it takes a year. I think the formats, times, music choices will change multiple times when church gatherings start and that is OK with me. If there is anything I can do to help please let me know.

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