Here are the protocols we will be following as we move to in-person attendance to church services:
- Please, if Sunday comes and you are not feeling well, just stay home. You might think this would need to go without saying, but I am sure there have been many times that you have attended church, even when you weren't feeling the greatest. I know I have often come in even though I was quite sick. We cannot do this at this time. The symptoms of the coronavirus are so varied and unpredictable, there is no way to be certain that you do not have it. Even if you feel it is just a little cold, a little fever or headache that would not ordinarily prevent you from doing everyday things and you feel quite sure you do not have this virus, it would be a ministry to others to just wait until you are feeling better to come and be with the rest of the congregation.
- The nursery will remain closed.
- We will not have the children come up for children's time. (Although if children are in attendance, we will have a special children's message to be presented.
- Children's church will resume on October 11.
6. AWANA will resume on October 7. Please see the AWANA article on the front page for options for AWANA
- Entrance to Building
- The water fountains will be closed off. If you feel you may need a drink of water while you are here, please try to bring some bottled water along with you.
- Facemasks - Most of you, by this time, have acquired face masks that are to be worn in public. Please wear them as you come into the building and during the worship service. If you do not have one, we will have a supply of disposable facemasks that you can use and throw away after the service.
Those speaking from the pulpit or leading worship will not be wearing masks as they speak or sing. However, wearing masks while singing as a congregation will help protect from the risk of expelling droplets, which we are told is greater from singing than it is from even coughing or sneezing.
- Hands - We actually ask that you do not bring in gloves that have been worn outside the building. The potential for cross-contamination is greater than the protection they would provide. If you bring gloves that have not been previously worn, by all means, feel free to put them on during the service if you would like. We will not be providing gloves.
- The Worship Service
- A seating plan is being worked on that would enable us to be spatially distant from one another. Of course, members of the same household may sit together, but we want to sit at least six feet apart from those from different households. The plan will most likely consist of sitting in every other pew, but may be adjusted according to the number of people present. Chairs will be set up in the back for additional seating if needed. There will be someone to help you figure out the best place for you and your family to sit.
- We are now printing 1 page paper bulletins for the service to include the order of service, prayer requests, brief announcements and the sermon outline. We will remove pencils from the pew racks, but will be leaving the hymnals, Bibles, cards and envelopes.
- We will not be doing our fellowship and greeting time. As hard as it will be to refrain from greeting one another with hugs and handshakes after not being with each other for so long, we ask you to try your best to do so. (I may have to walk around with my hands behind my back to inhibit this instinct!)
- If you have prayer requests, please write them down and get them to me before the service, and I will read them from the pulpit. We will not be passing the microphone around as we are accustomed to doing.
- Offering plates will be placed on a table in the back of the sanctuary.
- Communion - We have ordered pre-packaged, individual communion kits that will be placed on a table in the back of the sanctuary. On communion Sunday, just pick one of those up and keep it with you until the end of the service when we observe the Lord's Table.
- Dismissal - In order to prevent the instinctive congregating and fellowship around the sanctuary after our worship services, we are going to dismiss you row by row. If you would like to visit with folks outside in the parking lot, that would be much safer than the indoor closed quarters.
May God be with you and bless you all, and may we thank Him for His goodness to us as we continue to grow and learn to trust Him to take us through this trying time.