Click here for video: Sunday Worship
The Session of Vanderbilt Presbyterian Church met on Monday, May 18, 2020. The “Session Highlights” provides the Clerk of Session’s recap of the highlights from the meeting. This message will focus on a couple of items dealing with the current COVID-19 crisis. Know that we at the church miss seeing each of you! We also appreciate your understanding and support during this extended time of being separated one from the other. We want for you to know that the safety and well-being of our church community is and always will be one of our top priorities!
Extension of the Suspension of In-Person Worship
The VPC Session is extending the suspension of our public worship gatherings, activities, and programming through and including Sunday, July 26, 2020. Since the conditions around this decision change quickly, this time frame will be discussed once again at the June meeting of the VPC Session.
During our meeting, the Worship, Music, and Liturgical Arts Committee provided the Session with its criteria for safely re-instituting in-person worship. There were a couple of areas of concern highlighted in that document that swayed the decision of the Session to continue our current practice of virtual worship.
- Congregational singing and responsive reading would need to be eliminated from in-person services of worship. Current scientific data indicates that these activities increase the threat of COVID-19 exposure to those present in enclosed spaces. The fear is that the elimination of congregational involvement in singing and prayer would detract from our worship experience. It would become a spectator event rather than the joyous participatory event that worship is intended to be.
- The size of the VPC sanctuary would cause unnecessary restrictions on the number of worshipers permitted to attend each service. The possibility of having to turn people away from our corporate worship is a troubling prospect.
While options exist to mitigate these and other concerns, the Session has determined that our best and only option at this time is to continue with our current virtual service, for the safety of our congregation and for the widest enjoyment of the worship experience. Our current practice of offering service recordings, available at the convenience of the viewer, allows for fuller participation while increasing availability of our corporate worship to a broader range of people.
So, during this time, VPC will continue with our “virtual worship.” Weekly services are posted to the “Sermon Library”. The weekly bulletin can also be located on the web site. Click the “Resources” tab, then click “Bulletin.” The bulletins are listed by date and can be printed ahead of time. Other video materials, such as the Daily Psalm Reading, are also available on the Vanderbilt Presbyterian Church Facebook page.