UPDATE – November 17, 2020 – When the time comes to resume in person worship, we will be following the information below:
- Online Worship – Even though we will be back in person for worship on Sundays, WE WILL STILL HAVE SERVICES ONLINE for those who are not comfortable or unable to be in worship in-person. The services will continue to be similar to what we have been sharing the last several months.
- Pre-registration – Every week, we are asking you to pre-register that you are planning on coming. This can be done via a link online that will be sent out weekly or you can call the church office before 3:00pm that Thursday. So, for the 13th, the registration will open on September 7 and will close on September 10 at 3:00pm.
- Masks will be REQUIRED – Scientific guidance is consistent that masks are one of the best ways for us to protect others from the spread of Covid-19. As a result, masks will be required for all participants older than 2 years. If you do not have a mask or forget to bring one, we will have ones at the doors.
- Temperature Checks – We ask that you do take your temperature before you come to worship. We will also have thermometers available to check temperatures at the door if people have not checked prior to coming.
- Distancing – We will be practicing distancing in the sanctuary and we will be asking ushers to help direct people to the pews so that we can get as many people in as is possible while maintaining distancing. This might mean that you are not going to be able to sit where you normally are used to sitting. 🙂 It also means that we will not be doing the passing of the peace in the service.
- Bulletins, hymnals, etc – For the time being, we will not be using any printed materials in worship – bulletins, hymnals, Bibles, etc. The bulletin will be posted to the church website by Thursday afternoon and you can download it and print it on your own or bring it on a tablet, etc. We will also be utilizing the screen quite heavily as well.
- Congregational Singing – For the time being we are going to be discouraging congregational singing (again per scientific recommendations about the ways that Covid-19 is spread).
- Communion, Food, etc – Our phase 3 guidelines have us not sharing communal foods during this time. So, there will not be an official fellowship time with coffee, etc prior to or after worship and communion is not going to be shared at this time.
- Offering – Offerings will be collected but they will be in a plate or a box that is not passed around in the sanctuary but instead just at the doors.
- Childrens Sunday School – Childrens’ Sunday School will not yet resume but children’s ministry will continue to distribute materials and resources to families in the church.
- 9a Bible Study – The group will continue to meet via Zoom to be as inclusive of all participants in the group.
- Vulnerable – We still discourage those who are considered to be in vulnerable populations to stay home if possible per guidance of the scientific community.
We Need Your Help to Make This Happen!
Now onto some vital needs for your help. We are in need of people to help usher (several of our long-time ushers have shared that they are not comfortable with coming to worship for the foreseeable future), to help with running multimedia, and for cleaning after worship. Each of these roles is vital for us to be able to have the services safely and effectively. Please email me if you are able to help or click here and fill out this form below:
Click Here to Sign Up!
Frequently Asked Questions
After reading all of this, you may have some questions…here are some that I bet are probably running around your heart and mind…
- Why do we have to register for worship? There are several reasons for this. First, it helps us to be able to keep track week to week who is in a worship service. This is for contact tracing. If we find out that someone who came tested positive for Covid-19 we can then communicate with others who were present that morning. Second, it also helps us to be sure we stay within the limits of what we can do for our sanctuary space while maintaining social distancing. We have two members who will take the list of participants and will put together a rough “seating chart” for that Sunday.
- What about guests and visitors who don’t know that they need to register? We will leave a few spaces open each week for visitors and those who were not pre-registered. But they will be asked to provide contact info so we can have them pre-register in future weeks.
- This all feels really rigid – is it all necessary? Yes it is. Our first priority in our gathering is for the safety of all involved. While some may disagree with these requirements, the council feels these are necessary to do all that we can to keep everyone as safe as possible. We do hope to move to stage 4 in our plans sometime in the future and we will be able to relax these restrictions.
- Why no singing? I really want to sing with others? As you may have read, singing is one of the most dangerous actions we can do with Covid-19. There are plenty of examples we can share about this so please let us know if you would like that information. You can hum along, speak the words, etc but the act of singing releases far more virus particles than speaking or breathing.
- Why do we have to clean on Sunday? Don’t we have a custodian? Yes we do have a wonderful custodian, Jeff. However, our act of cleaning on Sunday helps to protect him as well and recognizes that we are partners in this together.