Rosewood Church Family,
Thanks to the persistent work of the Consistory and staff I am pleased to announce that we will offer an indoor, in-person worship service beginning Sunday, September 6! That means we will conclude our outdoor worship season on August 30. It seems nothing comes with an easy answer anymore, and we take our responsibilities seriously to promote spiritual vitality through corporate worship and safety for our church and community. It hasn’t been a simple process, and I want to thank the members of Consistory and staff at Rosewood who have been wrestling with many difficult questions around worship and ministry in a COVID-19 era.
As you might imagine, we will be taking safety measures that change what most of us would consider a “normal” worship service. You should not go into this expecting Sunday worship to feel exactly like you remember in March. Notably, masks or shields will be required in the building including during worship, social distance will be practiced in the flow of foot traffic and seating, and the elements of worship and liturgy will be on the screens. Though the nursery will not be open, we will have an option for kids three years through the first grade in the gym if families wish to drop them off during service. We’re still ironing out the final details and working through the bugs, and you will receive more information later about what you can expect in the building and what we will expect of each person in attendance.
We understand many of you are uncertain about or not ready to attend indoor worship, and we respect your decision to stay home. We will be continuing our online worship option and experimenting with new ways of optimizing the online experience. Not only is the online option being used by members of Rosewood, we’ve picked up a number of others who are seeking a safe, meaningful church service to participate with from home. Praise God! A third way to worship, which is a combination of the first two, is to gather independently as smaller groups and watch the service online. We know some of you have expanded your social circles and we encourage you to utilize those circles for worship. In fact, we stole this idea from many of you who are doing this with family and neighbors already. So, if you prefer to be more physically connected with the people you’re worshipping with, take the service to go and participate elsewhere.
Lastly, the building will again be available for small group use, including kid, student, and adult ministries. We will be creating designated areas in the youth building, gym, and lobby to promote safer gathering environments that adhere to recommended practices and executive order guidelines. We will set a starting date for expanded building use soon so your group can reserve a time and location, if that’s something that appeals to your group.
Whether you are in the church building, a living room, or a park, we are still the local Church – the hope of the world – and a pandemic won’t take that away from us. We will get through this together by experimenting with new ways of worshipping, serving, and connecting. Thank you for your patience, faithfulness, and encouragement along the way.
In Christ, Austin Vondracek
Lead Pastor, Rosewood Church