St. Louis City and County will begin lifting stay-at-home restrictions on May 18.  We desire to be thoughtful in our preparations in how we will resume in person ministries and worship.  It was relatively quite simple for us to make adjustments in our methods used to accomplish our mission once the stay-at-home orders began.  Now that 10 weeks have passed, it is not as easy to know what is the best way to restart any of our in person activities. 


We appreciate that not everyone is at the same place or have the same preparation and comfort when it comes to in person activities, especially large gatherings like worship.  Some will be eager to meet in person and impatient to wait much longer to get back to normal. Others will insist it’s unwise to meet at all until there’s a vaccine. Plenty will fall somewhere in between. We are prayerfully thinking through these issues with our leadership, both locally and in our district.  We have consulted medical professionals in our own congregation, as well has following the guidance of our national public health experts.  We seek to move forward in a way that does not bring division, but assures us of our unity in Christ.  


Broadly we are planning for three phases of transition into “in person” ministry.


1.Return & Refresh  

Many are longing to be with their brothers and sisters in Christ, in any way that they can.  For many, it is a refreshment to the soul to be physically present with others. It has been a great pain to be isolated and so in this first phase our goal in returning to something in person is to bring refreshment, both in person and via distance.


2.Realign & Rethink

This will be a time to rethink many of the things we have done in the past.  Can we do them again?  Should we?  What is the new way to achieve the goals?


3.Reunite & Rejoice

This will be a time when we are able in a humble way to rejoice together as we are reunited to one another after a long period of absence.  This will be the day when church on Zoom gives way to church in the Room.  This day will come, but we will not rush into it.


We are learning to be patient with a timeline that might be slower than some would prefer, and maybe it will be faster than a few would desire.  It will be awkward and clumsy in navigating ministry to an even wider diversity of people than before.  In all of it let us have Respect and Restraint, let us avoid thinking the worst of others and concede that others might be right as well as we might be wrong.  


“Walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:1–3).


PHASE 1 – “Return & Refresh”


1. We hope to begin in person worship on June 7

2. Services on Sunday at 8 am & 10:45am, and Monday at 6:30 pm.  

3. Sunday service will be continued to livestreamed.

4. Pews will be marked off so as to maintain 6 feet, reducing seating capacity to one-third.

5. We encourage people to stay home who are:

  • experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (elevated temperature, fever, cough, loss of taste or smell, shortness of breath), 
  • exposed to family member or co worker who tested  positive for COVID-19 in past two weeks, 
  • are a health care worker with direct care of COVID-19 patients, or
  • have had airplane travel in the last two weeks

6. We will have a team that will sanitize high touch areas in the sanctuary between services

7. The worship services will be abbreviated to about 30 minutes.

8. "No touch" Communion will be available after the worship service (not livestreamed)

  • served at the steps from a table, pastor standing 6 ft away
  • Individual cups only
  • Individual wrapped bread
  • Communion will be offered at home as requested

9. Offering plates will not be passed, but instead will be on a table in the center aisle 

10.  We will not invite the children to come forward for a children’s message

11.  No handshaking or passing the peace

12.  No gathering in the narthex before and after the service

13.  Entry doors by the gym and on Fyler will be held open so you don’t have to touch a door

14.  No printed bulletin or hymnals will be used, all will be projected on the wall

15.  No nursery during worship

16.  You might want to attend the Monday service as it is less populated.

17.  You might want to wear a face mask

18. Bible classes will continue to be held via Zoom

  • Sundays 9:30 am
  • Wednesday 6:30 pm
  • Thursday 10:00 am
  • Thursday Prayer Meeting 8:00 pm


In the same way that we adjusted after we began live-streaming our worship, we will likely be adjusting many of these practices as we be returning to in person worship to be refreshed by one another and the Lord.


Thank you for your patience and prayer.