March 22, 2021
Dear Members of Westminster:
I am thrilled to be able to write you with good news for Spring and Summer at Westminster. At yesterday’s stated Session meeting, the Session heard recommendations from our Covid-19 Task Force and approved a plan for opening more of our facility this spring and summer. Here are the highlights:
• In April, seating capacity for our in-person worship services in the sanctuary will move to 150.
• We have greatly missed being led by our singers, so we are very excited that we will be able to incorporate vocal music into our worship in April, in the form of soloists and quartets.
• Small gatherings and interest groups from WPC and outside groups (such as NAMI & 12-step groups) will be able to start meeting in our facility again in April.
• On Sunday, May 30th we will resume our summer schedule with one worship service at 10 o’clock followed by an outdoor fellowship hour! At the summer services we will also eliminate social distancing requirements for services in the Sanctuary.
• We will increase worship sign-ups to 200 in June, 250 in July, and end both the sign-up and the seating capacity limits in August.
• Our nursery will also reopen on Sunday, May 30.
• After worship during the summer, donuts will return! We simply ask that members enjoy their donuts outside.
Throughout the spring and summer, we will continue to ask everyone to wear masks when they are inside the Westminster facility.
This plan closely follows the timeline that DHEC has established for vaccination rollout in South Carolina. By the time our program year ends on May 23, every adult in South Carolina will be eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, which in turn frees our church to open our facilities to greater numbers.
Our church leadership will continue to closely monitor the situation with Covid-19, as we are aware that we have not yet crossed the finish line and that the pandemic could take an unexpected turn. We encourage you to continue best practices — social distancing where appropriate, mask wearing in public, and hand-hygiene. Every bit of diligence helps us as we embrace a new normal. The Session will make an assessment in the summer about the best way to proceed for the fall, which will hopefully look and feel much more familiar to everyone.
Also, a friendly reminder that Holy Week begins this Sunday, March 28. Here is our worship schedule:
• March 28th, Palm Sunday: Worship streaming at 9:00a and on demand, in-person and live-streamed service at 11:15a, Green Lot service at 3:00p
• April 1st, Maundy Thursday: Worship in-person and live streamed at 6:00p, featuring the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper
• April 2nd, Good Friday: A service of blues and lament streamed and on demand at noon
• April 4th, Easter Sunday: Outdoor services at 8:00, 9:00, 10:00, and 11:00a and streaming and on demand at 9:00a
We will continue to have pre-recorded services on Sunday mornings that air at 9a on our website and on our social media platforms through Pentecost, May 23.
I trust that all of us are looking forward to gathering in ways that feel more and more familiar. My deepest gratitude goes to my magnificent colleagues on our staff, our Covid-19 Task Force, and our Session, all of whom continue to faithfully lead us through this unusual time.
May God’s grace and peace be with each of you as we approach Holy Week and then celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord.