Shalom ESC Mishpocha,
We pray this finds you well, walking in the grace and power of the Holy Spirit, bearing fruit in every good work. Please know that the Elders continue to pray for you and your families, that you would receive health and provision in this season. We are believing for the richness of the presence of the Lord in each home. We want to share with you the direction our Elders sense for gathering again in person as a community.
As of the writing of this letter, President Trump and Governor Hogan have reduced the Shelter-at-home to a safer-at-home guideline. However, Frederick county commissioner Gardner has extended shelter-at-home until May 29th. In light of this, we want to give you our sense for three phases of gathering in-person as a community once again.
We have already begun phase one of re-gathering. Our office is now open on a limited basis by appointment only. We have prayer opportunities Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings with under ten people. We also have the 24-7 Frederick prayer house available with an online sign up on their website. We will continue to hold online services on Youtube, May 23rd, and 30th.
Phase two will begin the week of June 1st. This second phase includes Chavorot (Home Groups) meeting in-person at leader discretion. Modified in-person Shabbat services will begin June 6th. We will be refraining from the coffee team, dance, and Torah processionals at this time. No-contact offerings will be taken. We encourage you to continue giving online or sending your tithe and offering via the mail. We thank you all for your continued faithful giving. We will provide hand sanitizer stations, and face masks are recommended. Please take your temperature before attending services. If you are running a fever over 100 or are feeling under the weather, we ask you to stay at home and join in our online service. Services will be shortened as we begin gathering again, and we will not be greeting at the door. If you at risk or you feel not ready to attend in-person gatherings at this time, please be released to join in our weekly online services. Our office will maintain regular operational hours.
Phase three will reinstate the children’s classes, luncheons, coffee team, dance, Torah processionals, and Elevate Youth Group gathering again.
We desire to keep the Spirit of worship before the Lord with our Torah/worship services while maintaining the guidance of federal and state leadership recommendations. We are asking members to be respectful of other congregants and ask before shaking hands or hugging. Leadership involved in ministering in the services will not be wearing masks during phases two and three. We will need to extend much grace and love on both sides of the spectrum those who seek fellowship and those who want to stay distant and stay socially separate longer than others would, with no judgment on either side. We also recognize we have families who come to our service from four different states; each state has different requirements and varied process of opening. This is a season in which we all need to walk out to the best of our ability with love and deference.
We love you and look forward to gathering again soon.
On behalf of ESC Elders