Sunday Worship
Sanctuary 10:30am
15 S. Ft Thomas Ave
Ft Thomas, Kentucky 41075

Frequently Asked Questions about our July Outdoor Service

As our initial step in re-gathering in this midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, we are beginning an outdoor service on July 5 at 830am each Sunday. This is an experiment of a way for us to come together but also to continue to follow the guidelines from the state about how to safely gather as a group. We are initially planning on this service to take place in the parking lot.

Here are some of the frequently asked questions we have heard thus far about the upcoming service.

Why 8:30am?  That’s REALLY early
It is indeed early.  But we chose that time as a way to try to be able to do a service outside before it gets too hot (it will be July after all).   If we have to adjust that, we can do so.  

What about the neighbors?  How will they feel about loud music at that hour?
First, we are in process of talking with all of our immediate neighbors to let them know about our plans and giving them a way to let us know of any concerns that arise.  We are going to do a test of the sound system on June 28 at 830am and that will help us do any adjustments before we “officially” start on July 5.  The sound system that we are using is also a very small system – designed for groups of less than 50 – so it is not one that will be blasting music and spoken audio throughout the neighborhood.  

Why not just do the service in the sanctuary?
The number of restrictions that are still in place from the state of Kentucky is lengthy and the overall feeling of the re-forming team and also others in the congregation we spoke with was that it would negatively impact the experience of our worship time together.  So, we wanted to try to find a way to allow us to gather safely but to really focus on our simply being physically together as the Body of Christ.  As we’ve shared throughout, this is an experiment – it may be absolutely terrific and is something that really works for us for the immediate time we are in.  It might also simply not work at all or we have to make adjustments along the way.  Either way, we learn and we move forward.  We welcome your thoughts throughout!

What will the seating be like?
First, we encourage you to bring your own chairs if possible.  We will have some that we can bring out.  We will mark with chalk in the parking lot some rough “distancing” spaces just to help guide.  We will also have a few small canopies for people who need to sit in the shade.  

How long will the service be?  What will it be like?  What about the 9a Bible Study?
The service will be approximately 30 minutes and will be focused on prayer, scripture, and sharing.  There will be some music as well.   The Bible study for the time being will move to 930am.  

Will I need to wear a mask?  What other steps related to the pandemic will be taken?
Yes, we are asking all people to still wear masks as a way to be sure we are doing what we can to protect one another as we are not out of the pandemic time yet.  We will also have hand sanitizer available.   We will also be recording the attendance of each person who comes just in case we need to communicate in case someone was later found to be Covid-19 positive.  

How long will we be doing this?  Will we be back in the sanctuary by ______?  
The Council has not yet set a date for resuming worship services in the sanctuary.  We are regularly evaluating what is happening with the pandemic and will evaluate how our outdoor service is going.  We will give at least two weeks notice before we do resume services in the sanctuary.  

What if it is raining?  Will we just move into the building? 
If it is raining or the weather is looking questionable, we will post a notice of cancelation on the church website, facebook page, and social media feeds.  We will also update the outgoing message on the church phone number if we are canceling.  This will be posted by 8:00am.  So if you are looking at the skies and wondering if we are “on,” check one of these sources before you head out.  

I heard that the online services are stopping…is this true?  
Nope it is not true.  The online services will continue to be available each week.  Starting in July, it will be just the three UCC congregations as First Presbyterian is going to be getting prepared for their new pastor to start in early August.  The other change you’ll notice is that in July, each pastor will be sharing a sermon for their specific congregations.  We will still have a common liturgy and music but the sermon for each congregation will be different.  So, Christ Church will consistently have me (Pastor Ed) preaching, St John Bellevue will be hearing from Pastor Keith, etc.  

Why not just start live-streaming the services?
We have looked into that possibility and we may go to doing that.  However, there are several limiting factors.  First, doing a live-stream exclusively makes it more challenging to set up the phone call-in method that a good number of our folks have been using each week.  These are individuals who do not have internet access and this has been their consistent way of connecting to worship.  The second is an issue of quality.  If we do live-stream, it is important that it not only look good but also sound good.  We can easily live stream with a phone with someone in the front pew, but the audio is challenging as is the experience of the service.  Those are definitely overcome-able but for now we are choosing to stay with pre-recording the online services.  

I have other questions – who should I talk to?
Best first options are either Pastor Ed or Ken Weidinger (Council moderator).  


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