While our state released guidelines in May for in-person worship to resume, Highland’s leadership is working diligently to think through carefully how we can welcome people back into the pews.
Highland’s staff formed two groups to develop plans for welcoming people back into the pews safely, following guidance from the CDC and state requirements. Those groups included an Attendance Team (Phil Collier, chair, with David Bannister, Amber Burke, Jan Forren, and Doris Hornbuckle) and a Logistics Team (Kathy Belcher and Tyler Swim, chairs, with Vaughn Bell, Lauren Blackwell, Bruce Carroll, Jeff Grey). Those teams met throughout the summer, presenting their plans to Ministry Council in our July meeting.
With cases rising, leadership is not ready to announce any date of when we will welcome people back into the pews. An online survey conducted towards the end of July supports this decision. Should cases decrease and outlook improve, church leaders (Ministry Council, these In-Person Worship groups, and staff) will explore a starting date to put these plans into action.
Our groups have done wonderful work, enabling us to be ready to return to in-person worship when the time is right with a congregational covenant for safety and an idea of what to expect when you attend. Regardless of when that day comes, welcoming people back into pews will not end our online streaming. Online worship will continue in order to ensure the safety of all people healthy at home.
Thank you for your patience and support as we discern our way forward together!
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