Covid-19 In Person Worship Safety Protocols

Here are some of the safety protocols we will be following:

  1. All worship leaders (ushers, musicians, Deacons, Pastor, and scripture readers) must be vaccinated.
  2. Arrival. Everyone arriving for in-person worship will enter through the portico in front of the sanctuary building where a check-in table will be set up. Each person will need to provide name and phone number (for contact tracing), have their temperature taken, and will be required to use hand sanitizer or a germicidal wet wipe before entering the sanctuary. Those with a temperature of 100.4 F or greater will be asked to return home to worship online or to join us at another time.
  3. Seating. Individuals, couples, and families must maintain a six foot distance from all other worshipers in all directions (12 foot diameter circle) when choosing a place to sit in the sanctuary.
  4. Masking. Due to the rising risk of the Delta variant, the Church Council decided at their 7/22 meeting that all worshipers must remain masked, regardless of vaccination status. Disposable medical procedure masks will be available. Because of their distance from the rest of the congregation, vaccinated worship leaders may be unmasked when speaking or playing on the chancel platform.
  5. Communion. We request everyone bring their own communion elements with them on Communion Sundays; some individual zip-top bags of communion bread or gluten-free wafers will be available for visitors and members who forget to bring their own.
  6. Offering. We will not be passing offering plates. Instead, wooden boxes will be set up in the front and the back of the sanctuary to receive contributions before or after the service.
  7. Fellowship time after worship will be in our back parking lot, weather permitting, with cold water, iced tea, and individual prepackaged snacks. We know that being together outside is much safer than indoor gatherings.

Congregational singing will be limited to one hymn at the close of worship. Worship bulletins will include this music. Other elements of the service we’ve had when we’re all on Zoom may be cut to keep the service as close to an hour or less as possible.

If after a week or two of universal mandatory masking in our sanctuary, we discover this is too oppressive in the August heat, we may allow vaccinated people to remove their masks when seated, provided they can show proof of vaccination at check-in. In that case, unvaccinated people must remain masked at all times. Once heating season begins and we can’t have the windows open for fresh air input, all worshipers must remain masked.
This will be a significant transition for all of us, and we ask for your patience as we adjust to all of the technical challenges we’ll be facing and the adaptations we will be making. We strongly encourage everyone who feels uncomfortable with the risk of in-person worship to remain worshiping with us online.