As a member of the Messiah church council, I was privileged to attend the first in-person church service in over a year on May 2, 2021. I am not sure I was aware of how much I really missed being in church. How much I missed being around other worshipers. Hearing other people reciting the liturgy was such a wonderful experience. It was truly an uplifting time of worship.
For over a year now, I have been coming to the church office to sign checks. (I was appointed church treasurer in March 2020). I have been signing in to the COVID log, listing my phone number, what I am doing at the church and where I will be in the building. It is a matter of routine. While I was in the church building, I usually went into the office, signed checks and left. On occasion I might go as far as the gathering space but that was it.
What a difference it was to approach the church from the front and be greeted by a familiar face. I had my temperature taken, initialed by my name on the register and was escorted to my pew. And there I was sitting in the sanctuary for the first time in a very long time. It looks so different in person than it does at home on my computer. Now don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful for the online services over the past months. They have been wonderful and will continue to be so. But somehow, nothing is quite as awe inspiring as once again being in our sanctuary. Being able to sit with my daughter during the service was a bonus.
The music was so uplifting, even though the congregation could not join in. The message by Pastor Chuck really spoke to me. Particularly the part where he encouraged us to reach out to those less fortunate. Those who stand on the street corner with a sign or knock on your window and ask for money. He made me see these people on the street in a real way, in a way I never had. And then we all joined for communion. Once again, the ushers released us row by row to go to the front of the sanctuary and receive communion. I was impressed with the way the bread and wine were safely presented. What a joyful time.
In just a few weeks’ time, Messiah will be open every week for in-person services. Registration is necessary because of the limited space available. I encourage you to sign up and attend. It will not be like a pre-pandemic service, I know. Open yourself up to something new. I believe you will receive God’s blessing in so many ways.