Dear Sisters and Brothers,
We are so pleased to begin assembling together for worship, even under unusual circumstances that will call for significant adjustments to our services.
As elders, we have approached these decisions prayerfully with the goal of ensuring our worship service is pleasing to God and safe for members of the congregation. We have consulted local and state guidelines, recommendations from the CDC, and examined the practices of other congregations in areas that have already begun reopening.
Barring any unforeseen changes in guidelines, we plan to resume meeting in the building June 14, 2020. When we gather, we will be following CDC and state guidelines which include maintaining 6-foot distance and wearing masks in public places. We have re-arranged the seating in the auditorium and are able to accommodate all our members and visitors.
ATTENDANCE: First, and foremost, as we begin our return to worship at the building, anyone who is feeling ill should not attend. We recommend that people take their temperature at home to check for signs of fever before coming to worship.
We also recommend that those who are in groups identified by the CDC as more vulnerable to COVID-19 stay home, as well. Those who do not wish to wear a mask during the service should worship at home out of consideration for others.
If you feel uncomfortable for any reason, we encourage you to stay home. We will continue the live stream of our service, including the Lord's Supper, for those who are unable to attend.
SERVICES: Our worship service will start at 10:30 a.m. To reduce the amount of time inside and ensure social distancing, we will continue suspending classes at the building and focus on worship and the Lord's Supper with a revised order of service:
- Call to worship
- Opening Prayer
- Lord's Supper introduction and prayers
- Closing Prayer
- Ushers will dismiss by row, front to back.
- Congregational Singing - Outside
The Wednesday evening online Bible study will continue with participants joining by Zoom from home.
THE BUILDING: The building will be thoroughly cleaned between services with additional focus on high-touch areas such as handles and light switches. Seating has been reconfigured, with assigned seats provided for individuals or families, to ensure we meet the required 6 feet between attendees.
- Masks: Following state guidelines, masks will required for those ages 5 and older inside the building. Please bring your own, if at all possible. We have a small supply of masks available for visitors. Ushers assisting in the lobby will wear masks and gloves.
- One entrance, one exit: We will enter the building through the lobby and exit through door at the left front of the auditorium. Weather-permitting, doors will be propped open for a contactless entry.
- Reducing Contact: It has been hard to give up hugs and handshakes, and will no doubt be even more difficult as we gather as a family of God. Nonetheless, we ask that members refrain from physical greetings and lingering in the foyer before or after services.
- Handwashing: Hand Sanitizer will be located throughout the building.
- Socially distant seating: As mentioned, seats have been assigned to accommodate the required 6-foot distance. Additional chairs will be provided, spaced apart, in foyer for visitors.
- Other facilities: The nursery and the bathrooms will be available. Please use paper towels to turn faucets off and for contact with other surfaces.
- Individually packaged emblems of the Lord's Supper will be available in the lobby for those who plan to partake. Each person will pick up the package as they enter and dispose of the packaging as they exit.
- Alternately, members may wish to bring their own emblems from home for their personal use.
- A collection tray will be placed at the exit, so members can continue to lay by in store.
- For the time being, we will not engage in congregational singing in the building, but rather will sing songs outside of the building after we dismiss from the auditorium.
- We will continue exploring ways to add singing back inside.
Again, we look forward to seeing you at services when you are healthy and comfortable in your attendance. Given these challenging circumstances, no one should feel pressured into resuming attendance at the building until they are ready.
Thanks so much for your support and understanding as we do our best to serve God and serve the congregation.
Tip and Craig