Statement regarding current health circumstances

March 12, 2020

Dear friends,

The mission of Chapel in the Pines is Welcome, Worship, and Witness. This is an expression of who we are and who God calls us to be.  As I have thought about how we should approach this time of uncertainty in public health, your church leaders and I have planned and prepared several commonsense precautions for Sunday morning aimed providing a safe worship experience in community. What follows is a gracious plenty of details. The goal is to inform you ahead of time so that on Sunday, we can focus our attention on worship.

1) Welcome

  • On Sunday, we will have ushers and greeters at the doors to open and close thereby limiting worshippers contact with the handles.
  • Greeters and ushers will also model the example of no handshakes.
  • Hand sanitizer will be readily available.
  • Congestion of people occurs in the narthex before worship. We ask that those who arrive early to worship either remain outside or enter the sanctuary silently while the choir practices.
  • We will not have fellowship time in the Hall for All.
  • Please take your name tag home with you.

2) Worship

  • One usher wearing gloves will pass out bulletins.
  • Friendship (attendance) pads will be removed from the Sanctuary.
  • During the Passing of the Peace, we ask everyone to pass smiles and exchange verbal greetings instead of handshakes.
  • Rather than collecting the offering, baskets will be located on tables in the back of the church. In addition, we are encouraged to give online (
  • We will not have Joys and Concerns written and passed forward. Please e-mail Andrew with any prayer requests (
  • Hymns will be printed in Sunday bulletins. Hymnals and Bibles will be removed from the Sanctuary.

3) Witness

  • We have printed and hung informational posters about COVID-19 in prominent places around the church.
  • Our financial support of community services is crucial in this time as the need for assistance will likely rise while volunteer participation likely falls.
  • We do rely on e-mail for communication. Your deacons are making every effort to serve as well. In lieu of visits, especially to hospital and care facilities, deacons are asked to make phone calls.

I’m also adding a “4th W” (Watchword) to remind us of our faith.

4) Watchword

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

                           -John 14:27

Let me encourage you to join me in memorizing this verse that we may carry it with us wherever we go.

Please connect with me if you have any questions or ideas, either through e-mail or my cell phone (540-239-7060).

I trust each of you to make the best decisions regarding your level of participation. I trust that each of you will join me in prayer for the health and well-being of our church, community, and world.

In hope,


Click here for useful links to more information about COVID-19.