Wed February 17 Service Times:
Ash Wednesday is a sacred day that marks the beginning of the Lenten season. It is a day where we reflect on the sin and brokenness of our humanity and lean into the truth of how much we need God’s saving grace in our lives. Traditionally, we have held a special service that included an opportunity to be anointed with ashes and prayed for individually by a pastor. However, in light of the pandemic, the COMMUNITY pastoral staff has created a new experience for how we can provide individuals and families an opportunity to participate in this meaningful service while at the same time living within proper safety and health guidelines to stop the spread of the COVID virus.
On Wednesday, February 17th COMMUNITY will provide THREE COME-AND-GO OPPORTUNITIES to participate in an Ash Wednesday prayer and reflection experience.
- At each encounter, individuals will pick up a guided prayer liturgy in the foyer before heading into the Worship Center.
- Once they have taken time to prepare their hearts using the prayer guide, they are invited to come forward to the first pew in the worship center where a pastor will be ready to receive them.
- A pastor will spend time with each individual or family. He or she will take time to listen, share, pray and will respond by placing ashes on their foreheads.
Specific Logistics and Safety Guidelines:
- Anyone entering COMMUNITY must wear a mask.
- In the foyer, there will be tables set up with guided prayer liturgies. There will be two different colors. Please pick up the color based on your comfortability and needs below.
- Red: Pastor (who is behind a plexiglass barrier) will continue to wear a mask throughout the entire duration of the individual prayer/ashes times.
- Green: Pastor (who is behind a plexiglass barrier) will take off his or her mask while speaking/praying behind the barrier (so that individuals can hear better and read lips as needed). The pastor WILL put on a mask before moving out of the barrier to place ashes on the individual/family’s foreheads.
- Once you enter into the Worship Center. Choose a row where no other family is sitting. Please do not visit or congregate with others. During these hours, the Worship Center will be a place for silence and meditation.
- There will be four pastor stations at the front of the worship center.
- Once you are ready, please move forward to one of the front pews that is available.
- IF all pews are full, please wait until another group leaves
- The pastor will be seated near the front of the stage behind a plexiglass barrier.
- BASED on the color prayer card you picked up (Red or Green-see notes above), they will either take their mask off or keep on from behind this plexiglass station.
- ALL individuals MUST keep their mask on. The only person who may take their mask off is the pastor BEHIND the plexiglass barrier and only if individuals have chosen this preference.
- Before the pastor places ashes on a groups forehead they will:
- Place their mask back on (if they had removed it)
- Sanitize their hands
- Note: Administering ashes will be limited to less than 2 minutes so as to minimize close contact
Once the ashes have been administered, the pastor will return behind the plexiglass barrier. The individual or family can either return to an open pew to continue praying or leave the Worship Center as they feel led.