Returning to the Sanctuary

Dear Members & Friends of West Raleigh,

With joy and gratitude, relief and longing I join the Critical Care Team and the Session in announcing that West Raleigh will move back into the Sanctuary to worship together on Sunday, July 11th! It has been 69 Sundays since we worshiped inside the Sanctuary at the corner of Vanderbilt and Horne. So much has changed. Through all of the change and uncertainty, our core identity as the people of God, gathered to worship – every week – never changed. Thanks be to God!

So, what will worship look and sound like when we gather on July 11th?

Here are a few things you can expect–

  1. We will continue to wear masks when gathering in the sanctuary for worship. There are several reasons for this –
    • Worship is a communal gathering of all God’s people. Included in our worshipping community are our youngest children who remain unvaccinated and people with a compromised immune system.
    • We are a covenant community that seeks to provide a safe, welcoming and comfortable space for everyone. The survey revealed a significant number of people feel more comfortable coming into the Sanctuary for worship if everyone is masked.
    • We are a singing people and wearing masks provides an extra layer of protection so that we can lift our voices together in songs of loudest praise!
  2. There will be no registrations and no number cap.
  3. Folks will be encouraged to sit with some distance between families or friend groups that may already be sharing space outside of worship.
  4. Hug emoji stickers will be available in the Welcome Areas. Those who welcome a handshake, hug or closer contact, can wear a sticker!
  5. There will be no weekly refreshments until the fall (although there will be a frozen treat outside, after worship on July 11th)
  6. We will refrain from passing the peace in the middle of the service. Instead, ushers will dismiss congregants pew by pew after the service, and we will gather outside for fellowship!
  7. Ushers will not collect the tithes and offerings during the service. Instead, baskets have been placed in the back of the Sanctuary to receive the morning’s offerings. 
  8. Parking is available in the church parking lot as well as on Horne, Vanderbilt and Hillsborough Streets.
  9. We will not wear nametags through July. The Hospitality & Fellowship committee is working on sprucing up our nametags for later use.
  10. Wear what you feel comfortable in! Dress up or dress down - just come dressed.
  11. No child care or children’s worship will be offered at this time.
  12. The service will be livestreamed via YouTube. The cameras will be focused on the worship participants, but please be aware that there will be times when congregants are in view. Everyone will continue to receive the bulletin and link to the livestream of the service via email on Sunday morning.

May the Spirit lead the way,

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