Spring COVID-19 Update

  •   April 28, 2021
City of Light Church Aurora · NEWS: Spring 2021 COVID-19 Update — Father Trevor McMaken

Dear City of Light Family,

As I announced on April 11 and again last Sunday, our team has been reviewing recently updated COVID-19 recommendations from the CDC. The Illinois Department of Public Health also updated its recommendations for Houses of Worship for the first time since June of 2020. I am so grateful to Jordan Hirstein and Ryan Kurtz as well as the Parish Council and Staff for their work on this!

Last year as we were preparing to regather, we listed these five values for making decisions during the pandemic:

  1. caring for one another,
  2. caring for our community,
  3. caring for our witness,
  4. caring for our holistic health (emotional, spiritual, relational, and physical), and
  5. caring for our fears and anxieties.

In keeping with our values and the current recommendations:

  • We will continue to wear masks indoors, wash hands, and refrain from worshiping in person when a member of a household has been sick or exposed to someone who has tested positive.
  • We have adjusted seating from 10ft to 6ft, with a back row and corner with greater spacing
  • We will begin singing throughout the service
  • We will open windows and doors at Bureau Gravity during the service as weather permits or before and in between services.
  • We will no longer take temperatures upon entering the building

We have also studied the Illinois Department of Health’s 20 pages of recommendations for children and in the next weeks we hope to:

  • Relaunch children’s ministry beginning with the youngest worship room as we are able to rebuild the team. Our tentative hope is to have our full City Kids ministry by this fall, but that depends on the state of the pandemic and some building space logistics with Bureau Gravity. Protocols will include a thorough screening process.
  • If you would like to serve, please email me.
  • As children’s ministry relaunches, we hope to re-introduce elements of our services such as reading the Psalm together congregationally, Passing the Peace, and more regular Prayers of the People.

During March, we have already:

  • Restored wine to our communion celebration and will continue to add elements to that celebration such as coming forward for communion, using bread we have baked, etc.
  • We have begun to relaunch our prayer ministry team.

As we did last summer, we are encouraging groups to meet in person outdoors when able and to eat together as able. Each group leader will check with the group about what protocols they are comfortable with for meeting indoors, taking into account those who are vulnerable, vaccinated, or in a quarantine bubble together.

For those who are in a quarantine bubble and for those who are vaccinated, we encourage you to gather in person, share meals as able, and to reach out to those at City of Light you haven’t been able to see in person or you haven’t met. I especially encourage you to reach out to others of a different age or life stage or ethnicity.

We are working on an updated Parish Directory. If you would like to be added or need to update it, email rachel@rachelyeagerva.com.

We are so excited for our Sunday Convivios! Convivio is a Spanish word meaning fun-life-together-feasts. Join us as we gather and rejoice every Sunday at 12:30 as a church family at McCullough Park (150 W Illinois Ave) for summer fun and food. Summer Convivios begin on May 9th. Bring your own lunch or individually wrapped snacks to share.

As I said on April 11, I am so grateful for how, throughout this pandemic, you all have prioritized being together safely and loving one another well even through differences of opinions, life situations, and vulnerabilities. We are all weary of having to think and talk about these decisions. I am weary of having to make them.

I am thankful for the promise in Isaiah 40 that “those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles; they will run and not be weary; they will walk and not faint.”

And I am encouraged by what the Lord is doing in our church, how he is shepherding us—strengthening us for this pandemic journey—and how he longs to shepherd those around us who do not know him as their Good Shepherd.

May you know the shepherding of the Lord this day.


Father Trevor