Resuming Sunday Services in the Nave
As we move back into the Nave for in-person worship, we hope you will find this FAQ regarding our Sunday gatherings helpful. Please refer back to this page for updates.
As with many things related to Covid, we are proceeding while also remaining flexible. Please keep watching AdventBirmingham.org/Worship for updates, including situations where we may have to cancel services.
When are the services?
As we move back into our Nave on Sunday mornings for in-person worship during Covid, we will gather for two morning services. The first service (which will be led by our band) will begin at 9:15 a.m., lasting 45 minutes. The second service (which will be led by our choir and organ) will begin at 11:15 a.m., also lasting 45 minutes.
Will attendance be limited?
Yes – we will limit attendance at each service to 150.
Do I need to sign up?
Yes – please register at AdventBirmingham.org/Worship. We will have separate sign-up lists for each service to avoid having an unsafe number of people coming, and so we can email everyone who registers with last-minute information, if necessary. We will also have adult education classes between the services. Please sign-up for those at AdventBirmingham.org/Worship as well.
When can I register?
Registration for the services and adult classes will open every Monday morning at 9:00 a.m. for the upcoming Sunday.
What about social distancing?
Households may sit together, of course. If you are coming as a larger, extended family, please be aware that we may need to arrange your family into two pews, so that appropriate distances between households can be maintained throughout the Nave.
What will seating be like?
Ushers will be actively assisting you, showing you an appropriate pew. Every other pew will be closed, marked with a card providing that clear instruction. To maintain proper distance among our pews, you (and your household) will be seated by approaching an open and suitable pew from any aisle (either of the side aisles, or from the center aisle).
What about masks?
Everyone is required to wear a mask. Those who are leading the services will not wear a mask when they are speaking.
What is the plan for children?
Children 3K through 3rd Grade will continue to have Sunday school during each of our services. The process will remain the same as it has been. Families with children these ages should register for one of the services first (excluding your 3K through 3rd Grade children), and then register for the Sunday school which will happen during that service. Information and sign-up links for Sunday school will be sent each week from our Children’s Ministry on Mondays at 9:00 a.m. Older children will remain with their parents throughout the service, as will infants and toddlers – we will not have a nursery. Feel free to bring coloring sheets or activities that you think would be appropriate and helpful for younger children.
How should we enter and exit the Nave?
Individuals and families that are not first taking 3K through 3rd Grade children to children’s check-in should enter and exit the Nave through the double-doors that open onto the 20th Street steps at the rear of the Nave. Those who are taking children to their Sunday school should enter through the Porte Cochere doors for the children’s check-in. After taking their children to their class, parents should proceed through Clingman Commons and the passageway towards the Nave. Someone from our Welcome Team will then direct you through the garden to the 20th Street steps. Please help us avoid bottlenecks and clusters as you enter and exit our buildings.
Where should we park?
Parking will be available in our Day School’s lot at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Richard Arrington, in the Financial Center Parking Deck, and curbside along adjacent streets.
What will the services look like?
They will follow our familiar liturgy, with our officiants, lectors, and intercessors leading us in the services. Each service will have a sermon. The music at our 9:15 service will be led by our band musicians (guitar, keyboard, and strings), while the music at our 11:15 service will be led by our choir with the organ.
Will we be singing?
Yes. With our limited numbers, by wearing masks, and with maintenance of distance between one another, we will sing as a congregation.
Why the gap between services?
Between the two services, we will disinfect the pews and allow our HVAC system to turn over the air in the Nave. While that is happening, a limited number of adult education classes will happen in the Refectory, Chapter Room, and Living Room. (Please register for those classes at AdventBirmingham.org/Worship.)
What other precautions will we be taking?
Unfortunately, we will not have coffee, water, or other refreshments available before or between services. We hope everyone will greet one another warmly, but without handshakes, hugs, or other contact. Ushers and greeters will be taking extra precautions as they hand out our bulletins and provide assistance.
What about the service that I’ve been watching online? Will we keep doing that?
Absolutely. We will livestream both services. Anyone who cannot be there may go to AdventBirmingham.org/Live at 9:15 and 11:15 to watch. Watching online will remain a good or the only option for many in our congregation, especially given our restrictions on numbers.
What if I am uneasy about coming?
While many of us are eager to get back together, we do not want anyone to come if they feel uneasy. If you are ill, are among those who are more at-risk regarding the virus, or have concerns about not being able to maintain proper distancing, we hope you will continue to watch our streamed service online.
What else about the Dean’s Class and other adult classes?
We will have a limited number of seats available for the Dean’s Class in the Refectory, and for other classes which may be held in the Chapter Room and in the Living Room. The audio of all of these classes will be recorded and made available on our website: AdventBirmingham.org/audio. We are excited to have classes again, especially with a “live, studio audience”! Please register for these in the same way your will register for one of the worship services (AdventBirmingham.org/Worship).
For the time being, we will not have any children’s ministry between the two services (the time the adult education classes are happening). Similar to the Nave, those spaces will be cleaned and the air will circulate through our HVAC system, for the children and teachers coming during the 11:15 service.