As you read the following guidelines, we ask two things of all. First, please respect those who have developed the guidelines. The directions included are the result of much thought and input. Each of us has different opinions and approaches and we will not all agree with every guideline. Second, in Christian love for one another, we each bear a responsibility to one another to abide by the guidelines. The love that God has poured into our lives does not insist on its own way nor is it irritable or resentful. Therefore, together we will work to follow the guidance given, not insisting on our own way, realizing we are here to grow in the love of Christ and to share that love with one another.
We are concerned for those who are at-risk and should not be returning to the sanctuary at this time. Individuals and families have the freedom to decide whether or not to return to in-person worship under the following guidelines or to continue to participate online from home. Each individual or family needs to make a prayerful decision about whether or not it is appropriate for them to gather for worship. Please understand there is no way to entirely eliminate the risk of infection in any public gathering.
Our concern is also for all who will be present at worship. Loving our neighbor at this time may include doing things uncomfortable to us personally, but which could be a blessing to our neighbor. We realize the particular question of whether or not to wear masks has become controversial and polarizing, but we believe wearing masks is an important precaution that provides care for our neighbors. Therefore, you are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to wear a mask. Lay Ministers will provide you with a mask if you do not have one. This will be for you to keep and to bring with you to future services.
The Sanctuary will be cleaned and sanitized before and after each worship service. All materials (hymnals, envelopes, pencils, etc.) have been removed and placed into storage. Restrooms will be available but doors will be propped open to avoid the unnecessary touching of surfaces. The drinking fountain will be off limits. The Nursery will be closed.
Current Guidelines for Worship
(These Will Change as Necessary)
1. If you or anyone in your household is sick, or if you are at risk of contracting the virus, you are encouraged to stay home and continue to worship with us online. This includes:
a. The Elderly (You know who you are).
b. People with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes and heart conditions.
c. People who have access to those at risk in nursing institutions or assisted living centers.
d. People who have recently or who are currently experiencing upper respiratory or flu-like symptoms, and those who live with them.
e. People with COVID-19 or who live with someone who has COVID-19.
f. People who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
2. We have determined we can seat 44 parties of people. A “party” is a group of people who live together. Please Arrive Early so appropriate spacing can take place outside and within the Sanctuary.
3. Please maintain six-foot distancing as you enter. You will be guided to a seating location. You will most likely not be sitting in your “traditional pew” or location.
4. Pastor and others involved in leading worship will not be wearing masks during worship. Lay Ministers will be masked except when serving as singer or lector.
5. Offerings will be gathered in the narthex as you enter the sanctuary.
6. Social distancing is to be maintained at all times. Children need to stay in pews during the Children’s Message. If a child needs to leave the sanctuary to use the restroom, an adult should accompany them.
7. When Holy Communion is offered, you will be directed by the lay ministers on when to leave the pew. Communion will be served in the same manner we have been practicing for the past several weeks. Those needing assistance opening a wafer wrapper may raise their hand at the rail for a wafer which has one end already cut open.
8. Holy Communion (when celebrated) will be at the end of the Worship Service. After receiving communion, you will be asked to exit through the side door on the north side of the sanctuary. Non-Communion Services will be dismissed pew-by-pew and will also exit through the door on the north side of the Sanctuary. Please observe the CDC guidelines that discourage fellowship or social gathering on the premises both before and after the services.
9. The 8:15 a.m. service will be live streamed every week and recorded for those who prayerfully need to remain home.
10. Sunday Morning Bible Study will continue as Online-Only from 9:45 to 10:30 in order to allow for proper cleaning of the Sanctuary in-between services.
11. Holy Communion will be offered from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. for those not attending worship on the same Sundays when celebrated at the 11:00 a.m. Worship Service.
We will resume our normal Worship Schedule this Sunday, June 7th, with Holy Communion at 8:15 a.m. and Without Communion at 11:00 a.m.
Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)
May this be our guide as together we seek to proclaim and practice the love of Christ.