Join Us for Worship
We gather for worship each Sunday at 11:00 am with time for fellowship before and after the service. Worship services are also available online.
During the school year, our Sunday School classes meet from 9:30-10:30 am. Our building is a place for us to gather and grow as disciples, friends, neighbors, and as a church family.
** Worship Update from Rev. Carrico (from 2/1/22) **
The worship ministry met on Sunday evening to discuss plans for worship in February. At this time, we are planning to resume in-person worship on Sunday, February 20th.
This means we will remain all-virtual This Sunday (February 6th) and next Sunday (February 13th). Signage at the church and updates on the website will soon reflect this schedule.
After consulting with Finley's medical professionals (thank you all!), the numbers of total COVID cases in our area began to decline in the middle of January, but then remained steady for about a week at a very high rate (https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/us/virginia-covid-cases.html ). In our area, hospitals, urgent cares, and physicians' offices are continuing to see a high intake rate among those with COVID-19 with some elective procedures being cancelled, resources being re-allocated, and visitations limited.
Throughout the pandemic, when the worship ministry has been making decisions based on COVID numbers, we have looked for sustained patterns - cases rising or falling over a period of time. We are hopeful that the recent downturn in cases will turn into a sustained decline, that this sustained decline will result in less of a burden on our healthcare system, and that we will safely be able to resume weekly, in-person worship by February 20th.
As we continue to monitor local cases and hospitalizations, please remember that each number is a person. Each person has a family and friends who care about them. Each person who is hospitalized or receives medical care has a medical team attending to them. Each person is created in the image of God and loved by God. Please continue to hold all of those who are dealing with the direct impact of this surge in your prayers.
On behalf of the worship ministry, thank you to all of you for your support, for your encouragement, for your prayers, and for your flexibility in worshiping God in new ways as we seek to do our part to care for our neighbors and community. As always, if you have any questions, concerns, or just want to talk or pray, my phone is usually on and my schedule is usually pretty flexible so please don't hesitate to get in touch!
The recent CDC recommendations are truly encouraging - if you have received your vaccine, it now seems to be safe to not wear a mask, indoors or outdoors, with other vaccinated people. If you have not yet received a vaccine, you should still wear a mask to avoid contracting this virus. This presents somewhat of a dilemma - we are not going to be checking vaccination records and will rely on our honesty with regard to mask wearing during the services. Because many of our members may not have received the vaccine or may not be able to receive the vaccine due to age or other circumstances, we continue to ask that you be respectful of those around you, observe social distancing, speak up if you are uncomfortable, and extend grace to each other as we continue to transition to gathering in person together.
Hybrid and Recorded Services
In addition to the safety precautions that will be in place (distancing, masking for those who aren’t vaccinated, and consideration of those around us), we realize that there are those who will continue to worship from home. We will continue to record the worship services and send them out as soon as possible after recording. We welcome all feedback about the recordings as we look into the possibility of live streaming to render the services completely hybrid, as well as other recorded options. If you plan to continue gathering with us virtually, please let me know anything that you would like to see as part of our hybrid worship services.
Family Worship Area
We also realize that a large portion of the unvaccinated population are not unvaccinated by choice - those who are under twelve years old are still not eligible for vaccination and many aren’t able to receive the vaccine due to medical concerns. This is why we ask you to continue to respect those around you in worship with regard to mask wearing, but also why we have spent a lot of time discussing young families in worship. Right now, singing is still not recommended and, while we will begin to integrate more responsive readings into the service, we will not be able to sing, at least for the services in June (again, we will continue to evaluate on a monthly basis). We realize that social distancing and a lack of movement during the service are difficult for the young (and, perhaps, for the young at heart as well :)). However, we aren’t, at this time, able to have a nursery.
However, for June, we would like to try using the Fellowship Hall (downstairs) as a Family Worship Area during the service. We have speakers installed down there so we will be able to hear the service and plenty of room and activities for the youth. If families wish to worship together in the fellowship hall, we will invite you to do so after the children’s moment each Sunday. We hope that this additional option will allow everyone the flexibility to attend church at their comfort level and will allow the youngest among us to enjoy seeing each other again. Again, if you have any thoughts about this aspect of worship, please let us know so that we can evaluate this new addition at our next worship ministry meeting.
Finally, again, thank you to all of you for your patience, prayers, and encouragement of the worship ministry as we have done our best to provide opportunities to gather and worship God safely and peacefully throughout this pandemic. As we continue this transitional phase, we ask for your prayers for guidance, discernment, and prayers in joy for the opportunity to safely gather in these new ways.
If you would like to be involved with the worship ministry or have any thoughts that you would like to share, please don’t hesitate to e-mail, call, or text me. As always, I am grateful for this community and wish that Christ’s peace will be with you all.
"O come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!"
-- Psalm 95: 1-2