Last month, I wrote about a major change in our worship schedule, with the addition of a second service and a return to worship indoors that we hope will be permanent. With recent announcements from the CDC and Governor Pritzker’s office, we expand a little bit more, to allow more worshippers and more opportunity to spend time together.
On Sunday, May 23rd, our capacity for 9:00am worship in the sanctuary will jump all the way to 155, thanks to the Bridge Phase which allows for a simple 60% capacity. Registration will still be required. Those who are fully vaccinated may sit close together, but that decision is up to you and those around you, as St. Mark will not be keeping track of our members’ vaccination status. If you are unsure, consider it an act of compassion to leave space for others, especially families with young children.
All of our guidelines will stay in place until we enter Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois plan. As soon as that happens, things like registration, waivers, temperature checks, and social distancing will be a thing of the past. However, The governor has indicated that masks will still be necessary for some time after we begin Phase 5, and we will continue to follow the mask mandate until it is lifted.
On June 6th, our 11:00am outdoor worship service will be moving from the parking lot to the lawn! Bring your chairs and blankets, find a spot in the shade, and join us for a more intimate style of worship. There will still be an FM transmission for those who wish to remain in their vehicles. Also on this day, we will welcome the return of coffee and donuts between services. When the weather is nice, Fellowship Hour will be hosted outside, under the canopy by the cafe. When it rains, we will be in the Fellowship Hall. Occasionally at this hour, we will also have learning opportunities for adults and children alike. Stay tuned for more news about adult forums, bible studies, and VBS registration events!
Even after we enter Phase 5, many folks may still be hesitant to jump back in to group activities, especially indoors. For the sake of everyone’s comfort, the 11:00am service will remain outside at least through the month of July. When there is rain, we will move under the canopy to worship in the parking lot, just as we have been. In extreme weather, the 11:00am service will be moved to the Fellowship Hall.
I am so thrilled to be able to expand our worship even more, and I cannot wait to see you all in person this summer!