9/23/20: Worship and Mission at LAC During COVID-19

Dear LAC Family,

On Sunday we tried in-person worship for the first time following the safety guidelines adopted by Session to reduce the risk of infection from COVID-19 while gathering indoors. We had only four people register to attend worship, and five more attend as walk-ins, with five volunteer usher/safety monitors. All told, there were 20 of us in the building, including worship leaders and staff.

Because the livestream was not transmitting properly due to a technical problem with the settings, our regular online community of 30 plus households was not able to follow along with us right away. This was never our intention and I am very sorry about the pain and frustration it caused you. The transmission and recording occurred, but it did not land on our website. We asked the outside vendor of our livestream system to help us rectify the situation this week, but it appears we have discovered the fix on our own. You can now go to our new website at www.lacny.org and click on the worship livestream tab to see the Sunday service. Please understand that in-person worship is not what it used to be because of COVID-19.

Many who worshipped in-person and those who saw the worship service livestream online later in the day were disappointed by the lack of our usual variety of voices and singing in the worship service. In order for us to restore the hymns, brass and wind instrumental music, our soloists singing, a greater variety of voices and congregants participating, and all the other dimensions of worship that we enjoy, we will need to pre-record videos of worship leaders in places where they can speak and sing safely. It may be possible to produce a hybrid, livestream of some aspects of worship and upload videos of others, but it will take us a little while to learn how to use our new technology more fully to implement a hybrid worship service. We may also need to have our communion Sunday worship services completely online in order to include the communion experience of eating bread together, which we cannot do in the sanctuary.

On Monday, September 28th, the Session will meet and determine how we will conduct worship services in October, and beyond, whether on-line only or in-person with livestream, or some hybrid of the two. If you have any thoughts or comments you would like to share with Session about how we should proceed as a church to include everyone in our worship services, please send an email to our co-clerks of Session: Leah Griggs-Pauly (leahgp@gmail.com) and Clark Morehouse (cmorehouse12@gmail.com) for inclusion in our correspondence review for our Monday meeting.

A New LAC Website: www.lacny.org

Please take a moment today to visit the new LAC website at www.lacny.org. The new site provides more action and easier interaction as well as updated photos and information for visitors to our church. You can pledge online, and make direct payment contributions as well, and even become a Sustaining Member of LAC by signing up under the Donate Now button to make regular monthly payments that will be automatically deducted from the bank account you provide. We encourage your support and thank you for your giving. Special thanks to Matthew Templeman for providing the soaring drone images on our new cover page.
Friends, please also send a note to our Session co-clerks with your reactions to the new website and let me know at eclemot@lacny.org if there are further edits and updates you would like to see made.

Sunday School and Youth Groups with Ekama!

Online Sunday School took off with a great start last Sunday under the leadership of our new Youth and Family Ministries Interim Director, Ekama Eni. If you would like your child to participate in this special on-line program, with some possible in-person playground playdates to come, please register here: [LINK].
Tonight, at 6:00 p.m., Ekama will meet in person with our youth group students in SHIFT and TGIF outdoors at the Manse. Students should gather outside on the back deck of the Manse next to the church for their kick-off get together from 6 – 7:30 p.m. If your middle school or high school student would like to participate and has not yet registered, please contact Ekama at eeni@lacny.org.

Clothing Drive for our Neighbors in Need

Please bring your gently used clothing donations today between 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. to Russell Hall, or tomorrow from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Clothing will be then distributed next week to people in need through our mission partners Community Resource Center, Washingtonville Alliance, and The Sharing Shelf at a pop-up Street Store to be hosted by St Thomas Church on October 3rd. Please bring clothing for the fall season, especially for children and men, in clean and complete condition, and labeled in individual bags. If you would like to volunteer to help sort the clothing next week on October 1st and 2nd, please sign up here [LINK]. Please contact Sasha Nahr if you have questions about this community mission project: sashanahr@gmail.com.
Thank you, and God bless,
Interim Pastor, Larchmont Avenue Church