Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the family, and friends of JOY Church,
Grace and peace to you from God our Father, through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I hope and pray that you and your family are doing well during this stressful time.
I have some encouraging news for all of us! The board met earlier this week and has decided to reopen JOY Church for in-person services on Sunday, May 31st at our regular time of 9:30 a.m.
Out of concern and safety for all who worship with us, we will be following guidelines that align with federal and state protocols:
- If you have any illness, flu-like symptoms, or a fever, please stay home. Also, if your immune system is vulnerable, we strongly encourage you to stay home.
- We will continue to live-stream so you can worship with us from your home.
- The church will be sanitized before and after worship.
- For your safety, we strongly recommend wearing a face mask. If you don’t have a mask, one will be available for you at the church.
- Hand sanitizer will be available for your use.
- Social distancing of at least six feet will be required, although couples/family members are welcome to sit together. To assist with social distancing:
- We will have six-foot markers outside the church, as people enter for worship.
- Alternating rows and chairs will be blocked off for use.
- At the conclusion of worship, we will dismiss people one row at a time.
- We will not be using paper bulletins at this time; everything will be on-screen.
- The offering basket will be on the back table, as you enter or leave the church.
- We will not have a time of greeting, shaking hands or hugging.
- There will be no communion given at this time.
Because these protocols are new, we will continue to adapt to changes, as needed. We request your patience and grace as we reopen during the upcoming weeks.
More good news is that quite a few people have joined us on-line from a variety of locations within the U.S. Therefore, we will continue to offer live-streaming worship and on-line Bible study.
Please know that I have very much missed our gathering for fellowship on Sunday mornings. I now understand, even more, why the writer of Hebrews was inspired to write, “…not forsaking our own assembling together…. but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”
Finally, I believe that May 31st will be a wonderful day to re-open the church, as it is Pentecost Sunday, the day on which the church was born, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
To God be the Glory forever and ever. Amen!
Pastor Clayton Wilfer