FAQ’s about Church In Person

Building on what we’ve learned during the pandemic, we will be one congregation, united in worship, even though worship happens at different times and in different places. COVID has reminded us that God isn’t limited to the GPC Sanctuary on Sunday mornings, and we’ll continue to grow in that knowledge.
We have two services at 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. in person. The second service will be livestreamed. 
We know that, as hard as we work, no experience of gathering with other people can ever be 100% safe. We cannot make worship completely risk-free for you. If you have any hesitation about coming, please continue to worship via livestream, and know that your choices are respected.
You may have some of these questions:
How can I register to come to church?
Registration is no longer required for in-person worship. All are welcome! Of course, if you’re sick, please stay home and let us pray for you from afar.
What will it be like when I get there?
When you come into the building, you will have your mask on. The ushers will greet you and check your name off the list, and then show you to a seat. Some of the pews will be roped off to allow for proper distancing, so you may not land in your exact seat, the one you claimed years ago and sit in every week. Novelty is good for the brain. We hope you won’t be too unsettled by sitting somewhere different. Singing is still not safe, so we’ll have some live music on the organ or piano, and a variety of music via video. After the service, the ushers will help us leave the Sanctuary, so that we don’t get all bunched up by the doors. Chatting and warm greetings will happen outside in the parking lot. 
View the video below to see more about what to expect at church in person!

What if I love worshiping from home?
Keep doing that! We plan to livestream forever. It’s not going away. We imagine that many people will find that some combination of church in person and church online works for them.
What about communion?
We’ll continue to have communion as part of worship on the first Sunday of the month for people who are worshiping at home. Then we’ll serve the elements to everyone outside after church. Those worshiping by livestream will be invited to come to GPC or to Ballenger Creek Park in Frederick for communion, too.
What should I do with my offering?
If you bring it with you, you’ll find a box outside the Sanctuary for it. The ushers will make sure that it gets locked up after church. Or, continue to mail your offering, or give via the app. We’re grateful for your gifts in any form.
What about the bathrooms? Will someone be monitoring them?
The bathrooms will be limited to one person at a time, with a sign on the door. You all are smart people. If you find someone in there, step out and wait until they’re finished.
Will there be coffee hour?
Online coffee hour will continue each week, except for communion Sundays. Grab your mug and join your fellow GPC members and friends there around noon.
What about Sunday School classes, VIPS, small groups, and activities for kids and youth?
The session is holding off on having those activities in the church building, perhaps until September. We’ll see how the summer goes and what the COVID numbers look like.
Can we require that only vaccinated people come to church?
Nope. People’s vaccination status is their business, like any other health matter. Please stop asking people if they’re vaccinated. If they want to tell you, they will.
Am I allowed to pop by the church to say hello?
We miss you, and no. We’re still trying to keep everyone safe, with limited exposure to people, and the staff continues to work both from home and in the building. On any given day, only part of the staff is in the church building.
What if I hate everything about this?
Talk to us! You’re not wrong. Church won’t be the way we remember it for quite a while… maybe never. The great strength of the followers of Jesus is that we keep adapting and have done so for more than 2,000 years. At the core, we still gather around the God of grace, giving thanks and praise with our time, money, and energy. The outward forms of church are a container where we meet up with God, and we trust that God will continue to be present, even as things change.
If you have further questions, please call the church office at 301-948-9418.