Worship Forward: Hybrid Worship Begins!
- Written by Redeemer
- Category: Stories
We are calling this “Worship Forward” because we are not going back to worship as we knew it before the pandemic. Instead, with God’s help we are prayerfully planning our way forward for the sake of sharing the gospel boldly and authentically through both in person and online worship!
On Sunday, May 23rd Redeemer, New Paltz will begin Hybrid Worship, with a (hopefully) outdoor Pentecost worship service at our usual 9am time while also broadcasting via zoom. Redeemer’s Re-entry Team has been meeting and consulting CDC and Church guidelines and best practices, and we offer the following notes, which may help us all to be more prepared for worship in these very different times:
- Masks - Need to be worn properly over both mouth and nose by everyone, whether we are vaccinated or unvaccinated. Masks may be briefly lowered for receiving the bread at Holy Communion, but must otherwise be kept on throughout the entire time we are gathered for in person worship.
- Singing - CDC guidelines do allow for singing while keeping masks on so that we as a congregation can sing while masked in person. To support a strong worship experience at home and in person, our supporting musicians will likely still lead from home, where they can sing unmasked, and their leadership will be piped through zoom to us via speaker for the in person worship or at home through our devices.
- Communion for Hybrid Worship - Holy Communion will continue to be offered via one element (pita bread) in person and also remotely. The bread for in person worship will be prepared by someone masked and gloved and will be distributed by the pastor after the pastor has sanitized hands and re-donned a mask.
- Pastoral Practices During Worship: While Pastor Tobias has been fully vaccinated, he will be masked during all of worship except for the sermon and when presiding at Holy Communion. The lay out for seating and for where Pastor Tobias stands will be planned so as to allow for more than the recommended 12 feet of separation between him and others present while he is unmasked.
- Worship Leadership - we are actively looking for folks to support “Worship Forward” by serving as online and in person Hospitality Hosts (welcoming and supporting people), Altar Care (preparing the Communion Bread), as well as technical support (chairs and equipment set up and break down). We need a small, well-trained and cheerful army of light to help us move forward in proclaiming the gospel both online and in person.
- Wonderful and Bumpy - We fully expect that this move to hybrid worship will be wonderful as well as messy and full of bumps. So, we will need to muster lots of patience and lean into God’s grace as we embark on creating Church Forward and Worship Forward for the sake of sharing the gospel with a hungry world, and building authentic community together.