Return to church not normal, but welcome

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Since the arrival of COVID-19 our Sunday mornings have not been the normal routine of going to church. “Going to church” took on a new meaning to our family. Either we clicked on the TV for coverage of a local church service minus congregational singing and communion.  Or if our timing had been altered we flicked to what was termed “paid programing” of a nationally-known minister – author issuing a sermon as well as selling his recently published book.
Needless to say, it wasn’t like our customary “Sunday morning going to church” that we had been familiar up to the coming of the virus.
Thankfully, the first Sunday of July some old familiarities returned when state regulations allowed us to bring back a part of our “normal” in our home church. But, coming back took a lot of planning. Still there was no singing by the congregation. Six-foot spacing was necessary except for immediate family members. And of course, masks were recommended. But, everyone was so excited to be back in the old home church and willingly followed the rules.
At an earlier congregational planning meeting these rules and guidelines were discussed and approved. Personally, I was a little concerned about seating since every other pew row was to be roped off to adhere to seating space requirements. I questioned, “Can we oblige if all those members who normally sat in the back row of the sanctuary wish to do so for the upcoming service?”
Our Pastor Penny had the quick answer. She observed if there was a problem we could solve it. She noted we could hold an auction for the limited back row pew spaces and maybe even raise a few extra dollars for the church besides.
Incidentally, the suggestion was not voted on at the meeting and best of all proved it wasn’t necessary at our first July near-normal service. The congregation was just happy to be together in our old home church
We’ve been told that most churches welcome all denominations, but most prefer tens and twenties.
Coming off a recent visit by our grandchildren we were reminded of an old saying, “Grandchildren are God’s reward for growing old!”
RL Furse  is publisher emeritus of the News-Register

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