When Will It All End?
This is a question that pops into my head on a regular basis. This long year has been stressful in so many ways, but the biggest one for me has been trying to figure out the path we need to follow to get back to normal. As I have told Session, this is one of the things that keeps me awake at night. Like you, I have missed seeing all of you and connecting each week. While I have loved the ability to check in with many of you through the Zoom Coffee Time and various committee meetings, one of the big lessons we have learned this year is that there is no substitute for being physically together (even if it is six-feet apart). So, as the vaccines are making their way through the population and the infection rates are dropping, the Session has been looking at how and when we can re-gather safely.
Let me first say that we still do not know when we will have our first in-person worship service (and the day I can get my hair cut). That day is still shrouded in the fog of the future. We have, however, started taking some steps toward returning to normal. The first step has been returning to the Sanctuary for our recorded service. Thanks to a very generous gift that we received last year, we have been able to install a video system that will allow us to stream our service every week. For right now, we will use it to record the various pieces of the service, so they can be linked together on our YouTube channel. This system, however, will allow us to bring all of the parts of the worship services back into the Sanctuary, a very familiar place.
The second step we will take is that sometime in March we will move from a pre-recorded service to a live stream service. What this means is that Dr. Siebenaler, the quartet, and I will gather, with appropriate protections and precautions, on Sunday mornings at 10:00 a.m. and provide the service live through our new streaming system. For those of you who would like to view the service at a later time, after the service is done, a recording of the service will be attached to the website at https://www.tustinpresbyterian.org for future viewing. This step will prepare us for the time when we can safely allow our family to re-gather for worship. After we move to live streaming (we will send a blast email out to let you know the exact date), Coffee Time will be moved to 10:50 a.m. We expect to continue this schedule until we can re‑gather.
I know that this has been a hard year for all of us, but by the grace of God, we are still a family and in the not too distant future, we will be able to join each other for a wonderful celebration and time of thanksgiving. Please remember to pray for our Session as we work toward that wonderful day.