I am thinking about when we re-open. There is anticipation in the air and we rejoice. There is no doubt God has made us social creatures and we are better off being with others than being on our own too much. Like many I am eager to be together again in-person.
However, as we move toward that goal, restrictions continue and I ponder how to respond to the current circumstance. Here is my thinking. I will gladly move to in-person worship when the restrictions allow us to engage together in a way that is equally good or better to what we are doing together online over Zoom.
Currently we are not allowed more than 50 people in the sanctuary, which means we will divide up our congregation. Each week we have about 100 log-ins on Zoom, representing about 150 people. In addition, the people who gather in the sanctuary are not permitted to sing nor to visit with one another before or after the service.
I judge the Zoom service, which everyone can join at the same time (with a recording available for others through our website), in which we can sing, and with breakout rooms in which much visiting and prayer take place better than in-person worship under current restrictions. Sometime soon lighter restrictions will permit us to do equally well or better in-person. Then, it will be time to return to our sanctuary. At least, that is what I think and I thought I should share my process with you. The Lord bless you!