Guidelines for In Person Activities Resuming
- We will continue offering online worship services as there will be some who are at high risk who decide not to join us, or others who feel it is not yet safe for them to return even with the precautions we put in place.
- We will resume face-to-face worship during phase 2. The number of people allowed in a large group gathering is to be determined based upon our county and state guidance. When we resume face-to-face worship, we will encourage those who attend to consider the following guidance:
- We will only gather back in the largest spaces on our campus - our Sanctuary and Infant Nursery for crying babies only.
- We will utilize gloved and masked door greeters to be in charge of opening and closing doors for worship.
- We will strongly encourage worshipers to wear masks but it will not be mandatory. This will be especially encouraged during congregational singing.
- We will allow for ample space between worshipers, encouraging from 3 up to whole families per row. We will seat people on every other pew. Individuals or family groups will be seated 6 feet apart. This will allow a healthy pattern of separation. Children will be required to go to the restroom with an adult family member. Ushers will seat all congregants. The congregation will be limited to entering and exiting through the front door, with direction by the ushers.
- All our liturgy, hymns, and praise songs will be done electronically and shared on the screen during our worship services. There will be no utilization of the hymnals. There will be no bulletin.
- We will not invite children to come forward for our children’s story and during Phase 2 there will be no children’s church.
- For Holy Communion we will be offering individual communion cups given out by communion servers wearing gloves and masks.
- During phase 2 we will not have the Offertory. We will adjust our practice of passing the offering plate to asking people to drop their tithes and offerings in the offering plate, located in the Narthex, as they depart and encourage on-line giving.
- We will not pass the peace.
- We will not be offering a fellowship/coffee hour.
- We will not engage in a receiving line after worship.
- We will continue to offer Drive-In Worship, Lawn Chair Worship, and Livestream Worship opportunities for our congregation. The Livestream Worship will continue to be recorded.
Sunday School, Small Groups and Faith Formation
- We recommend waiting to decide about Vacation Bible School this summer. While the risk to children is somewhat lower, there is an ongoing risk of them carrying the virus back home and sharing it with other family members. Whether or not they are symptomatic, someone who is infected can spread the virus.
- Similarly, we will not encourage Sunday school to meet inside the building this summer until either Phase 3 or public school starts. If any adult class desires to meet, we highly encourage them to practice social distancing and minimize any personal contact. This is something that would need to be coordinated with our lead pastor.
- Our church office will continue to remain open for modified hours. We will encourage all visitors to practice safe distancing and wear masks while visiting the church administrative assistant, treasurer, and pastor. You will be asked to communicate with the administrative assistant from the doorway of the office.
- Church councils and other leadership teams of less than 20 will consider meeting in person in our fellowship hall while wearing masks and maintaining social distancing or continue meeting online.
- Pastoral Care continues to be offered through phone calls, online gatherings, letters, etc. Some one-on-one gatherings may resume while maintaining social distance. Nursing homes and hospitals will likely continue to have restrictions for visitation in place.
- For the safety of all involved, we will not permit the utilization of our church facilities during Phase 2.
- We will endeavor to maintain a good stock of tissue, soap, hand sanitizer and disposable paper towels for drying hands.
- We will continue the cleaning of our buildings regularly, paying extra attention to high-touch surfaces and restrooms.
Encouragements for Pastors and Church Staff
- Pastors, staff, and leaders must realize we are in this for a longer period of time, rather than rising to meet a short emergency/crisis.
- Pastors, staff and leaders must model healthy boundaries (regular times to unplug, regular days off, ability to unplug, etc.)
- Pastors, staff, and leaders please be aware of your own mental, emotional and spiritual needs during this difficult time.