Dear Members and Friends of IBCZ,
Perhaps you have heard of the recent change in the federal regulations regarding church worship services. I want to pass this information on to you so there will be no misunderstanding. The government has ruled that beginning March 1, no singing is allowed in a worship service unless it is performed by a professional musician (defined as someone having a salary/tax statement confirming their income). Up until now, smaller churches that typically cannot pay for professional musicians were allowed to have a lay person sing, but with no congregational singing.
At first, we thought we would have to stop having music during our worship services, beginning in March. However, we checked into it more carefully, and because there is no audience/congregation present, we can have one lay person leading singing for our online worship service. Of course, you are invited to sing along from your home, or simply worship God as you listen and read the words on your screen.
Two weeks ago I shared in the newsletter that the Elders and Deacons prayerfully decided to hold off on resuming in-person worship. We can see now how God guided us in that decision, for if we were to gather again for worship, we would not be able to include music, which is so crucial for our worship.
Let us join in praying that the Covid situation will soon improve – of course for the health and safety of everyone, but also so that we can begin to gather again for worship, with not only a worship leader singing but the whole congregation being able to join in lifting our praises to the Lord.
Finally, a reminder to church members that our Annual Business Meeting will take place March 21st, immediately after the worship service. You should have received your packet of information by now. Soon we will let you know of the link to join the meeting.
Grace and peace,