"For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them."
Since March of this year, these words from Jesus in Matthew 18:20 have taken on new significance and power for our church. With COVID-19, our familiar frames of reference and established ways of doing things were all thrown into the proverbial blender. The Church is not particularly well known for being 'light on its feet' and so when we closed our doors for in-person worship in March, we faced some big questions. Questions like: 'Will we be able to adapt to this challenging time?', 'Can we provide a meaningful worship experience outside our building?' and 'Will our community be able to stick together without being physically together?’
While there have been bumps in the road these past months, we can honestly answer these questions with an emphatic "YES!". This has undoubtedly been a difficult time, but COVID-19 has also revealed the essence of what it means to gather in Jesus’ name: that the character of our gathering is more important than the form of our gathering - that discipleship calls forth our resiliency and creativity and compassion - that the church is not just a place we go, but a people living out a vision of God's love in Christ's name. These are deep truths that now shape the next stage of our journey together: the reopening for in-person worship.
The Official Board of Metropolitan has approved a proposal by the Pandemic Response Team and Worship Committee to resume Sunday morning Worship on August 30.
This is very good news! We are currently developing our protocols and all the specific details for what going back into our building will look like will be communicated in the coming days. While we will be following the best advice to ensure that in-person worship is a positive and safe experience, the reality is that each of us will need to gauge our own comfort level and set our own timeline for return to church. Please know that whatever timeline feels right for you, your church is dedicated to supporting you. For this reason, in addition to in-person worship at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings, we will also be offering an online service later in the day at 7:00 p.m. This will be more than simply a recording of the 11:00 a.m. service - it will continue to be worship specifically designed for the online medium, similar as we have been offering since March. As I'm sure you can appreciate, all of our plans for the resumption of in-person worship are dependant on the directives of our public health officials - if things change in the city, we will respond and adapt.
We will be in touch with more details soon. I look forward to seeing you again, whether in person or online, as we continue to deepen into our discipleship by gathering in Jesus’ name.
Keep the faith,
Rev. Jason Francis Meyers
Minister for Congregational Care
Metropolitan United Church