May 21, 2021

First Church has been having in-person 9 AM Sanctuary worship almost every Sunday since late November 2020, but some have either not heard about it or have been waiting until they feel safe enough to return to worshiping in the physical presence of others.

Through September 5th, we will continue to have Sunday morning 9 AM in-person worship—whether it's on the back Plymouth lawn or the Sanctuary (we will schedule one Sunday at Gulf Beach). These services last very close to 30 minutes (we may have limited singing). RSVPs are no longer required, but they do help us for planning.

Masks must be worn for any indoor services through at least the summer (we will go in the Sanctuary if weather is inclement). We planned on masks being required for outdoor services but now with the CDC's masking guidance changing we will revisit that topic and confirm soon whatever policy is decided. The full summer schedule of Sunday in-person worship locations will be posted on the website in early June.

Vacation Bible Summer for kids and adults takes place out on the Plymouth lawn from 9:45 to approximately 11:15 AM on the following Sundays—June 6 & 27; July 11 & 25; August 8, 22 & 29 (when we will also have our backpack blessing). We are also working to have an outdoor coffee (half) hour, 9:30-10:00 AM and to continue with Facebook live hymn sings leading up to the 10 AM worship premiere.

First Church Milford deacons and staff also remain committed to an online Sunday morning presence for years to come. Through July, those services will remain pre-recorded and premiere at 10 AM on YouTube. Starting in August, we will experiment with livestreaming and move almost exclusively to live streamed services starting in September.
September 12th will be a momentous Sunday in the life of First Church: that day we intend to resume 8 and 10 AM services! We will live stream the 10 AM service on YouTube, and people will still able to be view the video later, just like they are able to now.

There is much uncertainty still to grapple with, but with these plans in place we believe that we can find a reasonable balance of being the church both online and in-person!

God's Peace,
Rev. Adam Eckhart, Senior Pastor

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