- Fellowship time before and after service is currently on hold. You may chat in the parking lot.
- Sunday School classes will continue to meet via Zoom following the worship service.
Worship at Good Shepherd
Worshiping together as one community, whether in person or online, is one of Good Shepherd’s most treasured values. As we move back to being able to offer in person worship, we know that many in our community cannot come back. We are offering a hybrid service; All worship materials will be displayed on the screen, whether that is at home of in church. We are one community, together.
What to Expect when returning to Worship
As we return in in-person worship, be ready for some changes. Here’s what to expect as we gather together. Worship will look different and will probably free strange at first, but we are grateful to be able to offer a hybrid service that allows us to worship as one community.
- Everyone will be asked to enter through the main doors at the Chatham entrance.
- As you approach the doors, you will be greeted and asked to review our guidelines.
- Masks will be required to enter the church.
- If you have not RSVP’d, you will be asked to provide your name and a contact phone number.
- Chairs have been rearranged in the sanctuary to all for social distancing.
- An Usher will escort you to your seat. This means you may not get your usual spot.
- The sanctuary now has screens which will project the entire service, so no more bulletins or hymnals.
- As exciting as it will be to see in person our brothers and sisters in Christ, we are asking you to refrain from hugging or shaking hands for now.
- Lutherans traditionally love the Passing of the Peace, we will forgo this for the time being.
- Because we are minimizing high touch points, the offering plate will not be passed during the service. You will be invited to place your offering in a designated location or you can continue to give online or by mailing your offering to the church office.
- Congregational singing is not currently permitted. We are exploring other ways i which we may be able to express the hymns in another fashion, perhaps through spoken word, videos or soloists.
- The nursery will remain closed until further notice.
- The Ushers will dismiss the congregation as the conclusion of the service.
Communion is an important aspect of our worship service. Although we will not return to this practice immediately, we will return to offering the sacrament in the future. It may look different then how it has been done in the past. We may not use the common Chalice moving forward. It is certainly appropriate to not participate if we are uncomfortable.
When you feel ready and comfortable to return in person, please join us. If you aren’t quite there, that’s perfectly fine. You can continue to worship via Zoom.
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What to Expect at Worship
Our worship service follows a pattern of Gathering, Hearing God’s Word, Sharing in God’s Meal and Being Sent into God’s World to Serve. Many of the words of worship are time-honored words from scripture which, when read and sung regularly, become part of our daily journey of faith. In times of trouble, we recall Christ’s words of comfort, “Peace be with you.” In times of longing, we cry out, “Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, have mercy on us… grant us peace!” In transitioning from one day to the next we pray that, “The Lord will bless us and keep us… in his peace.” In so doing, the words of worship become part of our very being.
Following the tradition of the earliest Christians, Holy Communion is offered weekly at Good Shepherd. In Communion we celebrate “a foretaste of the feast to come.” We believe that Christ’s presence in the bread and wine offers forgiveness of sin, strength of faith and nourishment for the week ahead. Instructions for how to participate in Communion are in the worship service bulletin. Instruction for children who wish to begin receiving the meal may be arranged with the pastor. Communion is open to all people regardless of church affiliation. If taking the bread and wine is not part of your tradition, you are welcome to come to the altar for a word of blessing.
Children learn about God’s love through watching and participating in worship services. Children are alway welcome in worship. We have a playground toward the front-left of the sanctuary to make family worship easier. If you feel the need for some time to worship without your child present, child care for infants through age 4 is available during both worship services in the nursery, located down the hallway on the right, across from the restrooms. A special children’s message is offered in worship most weeks.
Those who want to learn more about the vision and mission of this community of faith are encouraged to speak with one of the pastors or any other member to learn more. Conversations with those new to Good Shepherd seek to form relationships and share who we are and what we do. New members are paired with sponsors who will help them connect in a variety of ways. Please consider sharing your personal information on the “Welcome to Worship” slip which is found in your bulletin and place it in the offering plate.