Plan for a Return to In-Person Worship

 

Entering worship

  • Post questions on the door related to COVID-19 (Do you have a cough, fever, etc.) and ask anyone answering yes to any questions to exhibit care for their fellow Christians and return home and participate via FaceBook.

  • Require masks at all times inside the building. Have masks on hand for those who forget. (In lieu of a mask, it may be helpful to provide a clear face shield for Pastor so he is more easily understandable for those that rely on lip-reading to aid in comprehension.)

  • Prop the front door and sanctuary doors open until the service starts to avoid touching handles.

  • Ushers who hand out bulletins will be masked and gloved and will stand back as much as possible. Bulletins will also be available for download prior to the service so people can bring their device or print their own prior to the service.

  • The offering plate will be placed on a table near the Baptismal font and will not be passed.

  • People will be asked to social distance and to enter the sanctuary immediately rather than congregating for conversations, etc. in the narthex. For the same reason, block off the entrance to the fellowship hall and remove the chairs from the hallway.

  •  Keep the baptismal font covered unless there is a baptism.

 

The Sanctuary

  •  To maintain social distancing, rope off every other pew. Available pews will have some seats X’d out.

  • Provide both hand sanitizer and wipes in the pews; increase level of weekly church cleaning.

 

Worship

  •   To start, maintain the current order of worship with minimal liturgy and no Communion. This allows people to get used to the seating and other changes prior to navigating Communion. Once we see what works and what needs adjustment, we will add Communion. 

  • There will be a lector, but there is no need for an assisting minister until we add Communion. To minimize walk-by contact, lectors will be asked to sit near the front.

  • There will be only two hymns with limited verses (as we are currently doing). Initially, people will be asked to read the hymns and sing only in their heads. (We are waiting for more studies on the effects of large group singing in enclosed spaces.)

  • Institute the “waving of the peace”. Smile, wave at your friends. Matthew will play to add sound.

  • At the end of the service, Pastor will usher people out which both controls crowding and allows him to greet everyone.

  • People will be asked to go directly outside and, if they want to have conversations, to have them outdoors at a safe social distance.

  • The Council is considering several ways to safely distribute Communion.