An Update from Fairmont Presbyterian Church
On Sunday May 16, we will resume in-person worship at our traditional service at 10:30 a.m. After one year and nine weeks (but who’s counting!) we will gather together, face-to-safely-distanced-masked-face, to share in the worship and praise of God as well as the celebration of community, that gift of the Holy Spirit that has been so strained this year.
Since resuming the early service last month, I have been struck by how emotional our worship has been. There have been times it has been hard for me to concentrate on my sermon as I look out at your faces and see faces looking
The past year has been a season for adaptation and learning new skills for all of us. Learning to preach in front of a camera has not been simple or easy. Camera lenses do not smile back or react in any way. You need to imagine faces and families connected by miles of cable behind the cold, dark disk of glass. Similarly, this year I have imagined every zoom meeting, with its gallery portraits as an iconstasis, a wall of tiny little icon faces, each one revealing a glimpse of the glory of God.
These tools and the connections they offer will be a part of our ministry from now on, just as the church has adapted every new information technology to spread the Gospel and connect people to God from codexes to the printing press to livestreaming. But these technologies are simply tools, just like our building, the elevator, pews, organs, pulpits, newsletters, and copying machines, that help us praise God and both receive and realize the life of the Spirit in our lives today. Tools are never the ends of the church. Living into God is the end of the church and the purpose of our lives.
The problem with our communication technologies, no matter how effective, is that we worship a God who is known in and through the flesh. Bodies matter because the human body, specifically Jesus of Nazareth’s body, is where God is most fully disclosed. In our vulnerable, incarnate selves, we reveal more than we can tell. We see and are seen. We touch and embrace and love.
So, if in the next few weeks, you may see me wistfully gazing across the congregation in worship, I may be distracted from my sermon or the prayers, but please know that for me such beholding is the heart of worship. In your faces, I see God.
Our Reopening Plans
Our first early morning Easter worship service had 70 people in the parking lot worshiping the risen Christ. Our return to in-person worship at 9:00 on April 18th in Fellowship Hall had 52 people in attendance. The in-person worship service on April 26th had 42 people in attendance. Fellowship Hall can safely hold more than 52 people, so please join us this Sunday.
The Sanctuary will be opened for in-person worship May 16th at 10:30.
The casual service in Fellowship Hall will be opened for in-person worship at 8:30.
We will continue to stream the 10:30 service indefinitely.
There will be a few changes to the 10:30 service: two large monitors will be attached to the front wall in the Sanctuary, the sermon will be given from the pulpit, a camera will be mounted under the balcony, and a second camera will be mounted on the side wall. These changes will make the in-person service and the streaming service more meaningful and more enjoyable.
Please note, we will be observing important safety
Please keep a mask on at all times inside the building
Windows will be open and fans on for ventilation
Please maintain social distancing
Chairs will be arranged to maintain social distancing
The congregation will be singing in worship
There will be no coffee hour after worship
Offerings will be collected in a central basket
If you feel ill, please join us online
And we will be observing even more important relational protocols:
Please be patient and kind
Greet one another with joy and thanksgiving
Wear your nametag
Smile with your eyes and embrace with your words
Always remember that this is a work in progress
Always remember that the safeguards we enact are to
help make everyone feel safe and welcome.