12 steps to safely resuming in-person ministry
- Stay home if you feel sick or even a little off. Even if you think it's nothing, please stay home.
- Make sure you are wearing a mask over your mouth and nose from the time you exit your car until the time you return your car.
- When coming into the church, avoid congregating in groups closer than 6 feet together.
- Prepare for a temperature check. If there is a problem with your temperature reading, we will take it again to confirm.
- We will utilize a one way enter/exit system. Entrance doors will always be the glass doors between the church and Hicks Hall. The exit doors will be the north Hicks Hall Entrance (for those gathering in Hicks Hall) and the north/organ door (for those gathering in the Sanctuary)
- Restrooms use will be limited to single use or use only by members of the same household at a time.
- Sanitizer will be available for cleaning hands. Masks will be available for those who need them. Sanitizing wipes will be available for surfaces for those who want to self-disinfect.
- For the time being, coffee, water and refreshments will not be served.
- Seating in both Hicks Hall and the Sanctuary will be socially distanced. Members of the same household may sit together, all others spaced 6 feet apart.
- Avoid congregating in groups while participating in church ministries and while on church grounds.
- When worship resumes: any papers or communion elements must be picked up on the way into the church. Baskets to leave offerings or prayer concerns will be present. Take all items you’ve handled with you to keep or to dispose of on your way out.
- If you develop symptoms, are presumed positive or test positive for COVID within 3 days of attending an in-person church event, please let us know so contact tracing can be done.
COVID Fall 2020 Update Frequently Asked Questions
Will we be back to church by Christmas? We don’t know yet. If the criteria are met, we may have a modified version of our Christmas worship services.
Will some people fall out of the habit of attending church and never return because our building has been closed for so long? Yes, some people will fall out of the habit of attending church. It is incumbent upon all of us as a church family to encourage those who feel it is safe to start attending when we resume in-person gatherings.
My soul desperately needs to worship in-person, is it ok that I attend another church until we resume in-person worship? Yes. We care deeply for our spiritual health and if it is essential for you to worship elsewhere we understand and we pray for your physical safety and that of all who are meeting in person.
My group/family gathering can wear masks and gather safely, can’t we use the church for our meeting? Once the established criteria are met, using the church building for groups may resume. We also have to consider the costs of heating and sanitizing an entire building for a short meeting of a small group of people and if that is good stewardship of the resources on hand.
Why is it ok for all the other churches/businesses/schools to be open and we remain closed? We have laid out the criteria for our decision above. We continue to evaluate the criteria and current best practices monthly. We can’t speak to what others are doing. But this question reminds us of the parenting axiom: “Just because all the other kids are doing it, doesn't mean we should.”
Why is the Council and Pastor so afraid of this virus? We are concerned about the virus. Some may personally be afraid. We are not acting out of fear, but out of the self-sacrificing love of Jesus, who put the needs of others before their own.
Isn’t doing online and radio ministry harder than resuming in-person? At this time, resuming with all that is required to keep us safe, worshipful and welcoming is not harder than focusing on the broadcast for those not ready to return and doing a separate worship for those who meet in person. Admittedly, it is emotionally difficult and spiritually painful to be separated from our church family, but not more so that the emotional and spiritual toll of just one church family member being permanently injured or dying from contracting Coronavirus while at church.