Greetings Devonshire Family!
As we were pleased to announce last week, we are reopening our doors for worship in a little over a week on Sunday, June 14! The Lord has carried us through these past months and we are certain He will continue to do so in the coming days.
Churches in our area are beginning to meet again for in-person gatherings and after much thought, prayer, and counsel, we look forward to doing so as well. As we do so, we want to provide as safe an environment as we can and so we ask for your help and cooperation.
Below are some temporary precautions that I ask for you to help with as we begin meeting in person again.
First, we will not be offering ministry and care for our children during the Worship Services (nursery care, preschool class, or Children’s Church). The entire family is welcome in the sanctuary for worship.
Second, we will be having two services and are asking you to sign up for the one you plan to attend. There will be services at 9 am and 10:30 am. We are limiting each service to 75 people to provide for social distancing.
Please sign up for the service that you desire to attend at devonshire.church/rsvp or text the keyword RSVP9 or RSVP1030 to 717.275.0400. Once a service has reached its limit, registration will close for that service. You will be able to make your reservation on Monday, June 8, for Sunday, June 14th’s service. An email will be sent to you Monday morning reminding you to sign up.
Third, an online service option will still be available. For those unable to meet in-person, we will continue to provide an online option. Details will be made available at devonshire.church and on Facebook.
We will be following the CDC and Pennsylvania suggested protocols as much as possible. The following guidelines will be observed:
- Masks are recommended. We encourage you to bring your own mask, if you wear one. We will have a limited number available to hand out if needed. Regardless of our choice in wearing masks, we understand that this is a personal choice, and we must respect each other’s decisions.
- Hand sanitizer will be available and will be located throughout the building for all to use regularly.
- Seating will be staggered to maintain a safe distance between families and individuals.
- Refrain from Physical Touch. While as a church we value personal connection and touch, we believe it’s wise to refrain from unnecessary physical contact at this time — no handshaking or hugs. During the service, we will not be having our normal time of greeting each other. Offering baskets will be placed in the narthex for easy access. Prepackaged communion elements will be available in the pews.
Throughout the services, ushers, greeters, and staff will be available to assist with seating, specific needs or concerns, and any questions you may have.
I want to remind you to take the following precautions, if you choose to gather with us for worship on Sunday, June 14, and in the near future:
Sixty Five and Older: If you are 65 and older, I want to especially caution you as you consider joining us for worship. COVID-19 is very contagious and especially detrimental to those in this age category.
Wash Hands: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Stay Home If Sick: As always, if you are sick or have symptoms, please stay home and worship there.
In regards to our gatherings on June 14, we will be giving recognition to our high school and college graduates in both services. We look forward to being able to celebrate with them their accomplishments and thank the Lord for how He has brought them to this point in their lives. We also plan to observe Holy Communion together.
As we journey through these days, there is much that is dividing rather than uniting. There is so much hurt and pain rather than peace and comfort. There is so much anger rather than love, the list goes on … Church, may we be a people of love and unity. You’ve probably heard this statement somewhere … While we’ve all been in the same storm, we’ve not all been in the same boat during these days … we have all had differing experiences through these days and will in the coming days, and so may there be no room for judgment, but rather for love. May we seek ways to serve each other with the love of Christ. Let us look to Jesus and his example demonstrated towards us as he humbled himself and lovingly came and laid His life down for us at the cross. Paul reminds us in Philippians 2:
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:5–8 ESV)
Brothers and sisters, I look forward with great anticipation to meeting in person on Sunday, June 14, and celebrating the hope that we have in Jesus together. Whether we are able to meet in person or wherever we are, let’s be lights in our community now!
With much love and anticipation,
Pastor Derek and the Leadership Team
As we enter into the “yellow phase” this Friday, you may have also heard an encouragement from our government for churches to begin meeting again while taking measures to follow recommended guidelines for the sake of everyone’s health.
We are pleased to announce that on Sunday, June 14, we will begin holding our Sunday Gatherings. In order to provide for social distancing, we will temporarily be moving to two service times – 9 am and 10:30 am. However, at this time, we will not be offering children’s ministries. (Masks will not be required, nor discouraged.)
We understand that everyone will not be able to attend, and so to facilitate this, we will continue to offer online options.
This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday, and we will continue with our usual online Home Edition service, and with our Waiting Room series. Over the next two weeks, as you are able and would like to, I encourage you to contact fellow believers and friends and get together in your homes to view the Home Edition and spend some time in worship and fellowship.
I want to thank you for your patience, grace, and care that you have demonstrated throughout these past two and a half months towards one another and our community at large. There are so many ways that we have seen the Lord working in and through you.
As we make preparations for Sunday, June 14, we will be putting together teams to help with ensuring as safe of an environment as possible. If you would like to serve as part of these teams, please let me know.
Until then, please continue to …
- pray for us as a church family to be “strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”
- pray that we will be gracious and loving towards each other and to our neighbor.
- pray that we will be faithful to the mission – helping people find and follow Jesus.
- pray that Christ will be glorified in and through us.
Your Brother In Christ,
Derek W. Thrush