Worship Change

Dear Members and Friends of IBCZ,

I’m sure you all are aware that the Swiss government has tighten some of the Covid regulations in light of the increasing rate of infection.  The Church Elders have met twice in the last two weeks to pray, discuss, and seek the Lord’s guidance as to how we should move forward as a church.

There are two options for church worship services/events.  One, which we can call the registration model since pre-registration is required, is what we have been doing in recent months.  This allows anyone to attend the worship services, whether vaccinated or not, with a 50-person limit.  The other option is the 2G model, which means that everyone must show proof of having been vaccinated against Covid or that they have recovered from Covid.  In this case, there is no attendance limit and pre-registration is not necessary.

Both models have advantages and disadvantages for us as a church.  The 2G model allows for more people to attend and to be in a setting where all have been vaccinated or have recovered, but it means those who are not vaccinated or have not recently recovered from the virus cannot attend.  We have a number of people who for various reasons have not been vaccinated, so they would not be able to attend.

Our present model allows anyone to attend, but with the 50-person maximum.  However, we have some who have been vaccinated but for various reasons, such as underlying health conditions, believe it would not be wise for them to be in an environment where some are not vaccinated, and thus, they have not been attending recently.  Also, there have been some who have wanted to attend but did not in order to allow others to come and keep the service within the 50-person limit.

So, with either model, some of our people are left out.  As the Elders, we don’t want to leave anyone out.  Rather we want everyone who wants to attend our worship services to be able to do so and to feel included.

Therefore, the Elders have come up with a hybrid model.  We will alternate week-to-week which version we implement.  One week will be the registration model, the next the 2G model, then back to the registration model, and so on.

We are aware this might be a bit confusing, especially at first.  But even now, you must go to either the church website or the newsletter to register, so you can still do that each week.  If the upcoming Sunday is the registration model, the link will be there to register.  If it is the 2G model, it will state that clearly and there will be no registration link.

On the registration Sundays, volunteers (worship, tech, greeters, ushers) do not need to register as you will be automatically registered through the Planning Center.  Furthermore, children and Sunday School teachers do not need to register because they are downstairs and do not count toward the 50-person limit.  Everyone who remains in the sanctuary, including children and teens, must register and be counted.

Of course, masks must be worn at all services.  Also, all the services will continue to be live streamed, so we hope you will worship from home when you are not able to attend in person.

This format will begin in January.  The present government regulations run through Jan. 24, although as of now it seems likely they will be extended.  Of course, we will make any changes necessary as time goes on.  Hopefully soon we can all return to our normal worship routine.  The January schedule is as follows:

Jan. 2 – Registration

Jan. 9 – 2G

Jan. 16 – Registration

Jan. 23 – 2G

Jan. 30 – Registration

We hope you will all be understanding of the need to make this adjustment.  While this may mean some sacrifices for some of us, this gives us the opportunity to live out Phil. 2:4 and look out for the interests of others.  As we do so, let’s be sure to love and respect one another, whatever decisions they have made regarding all this.  And let’s pray for the church, that we will remain unified as Christ’s body, even as Eph. 4:3 exhorts to us “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”  We thank you for your understanding.  If you have questions, please contact me or one of the Elders.

Grace and peace,

Pastor Bob

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