Our plan is to reopen for in-person morning worship services only on July 12 as long as there is clear evidence of a declining and low level of infection in our community. With concern for the safety and well-being of our congregation at the forefront of our thoughts, we would ask those of our church family with pre-existing health conditions or vulnerable immune systems to continue to join us in worship through our website links.
Though other churches in the area have already opened, we decided as a staff to err on the side of caution and follow the original guidelines of the governor and wait until our state moved into phase 4 at the end of June. Our conference superintendent asked the Wabash churches to wait two weeks following the state’s guidelines for reopening.
The first service will begin at 8:45 and the second will begin at 10:45. This will allow ample time for sanitization between services.
There is quite a disparity when it comes to opinions people hold regarding the efficacy of face masks, and each side turns to science to support their positions. Our staff has concluded that the best scenario at this point is to have our 8:45 service be one where wearing a mask is mandatory for all who attend for the entirety of the service. Masks will be provided for those who do not have them. During the 10:45 service wearing a mask will be optional once one is already seated and safely socially distanced from others. The only exception is while we are singing, and we ask that everyone wear a mask during that time. When one is moving around in our church facility we ask that all of us wear masks as we consider our brother or sister’s safety and our freedom to be determined and shaped by the needs of and love for our neighbor.
We are planning to allow up to 25% of normal seating capacity which would be between 65-70 people.
You will be greeted by our parish nursing team who will quickly take your temperature and may have a few questions for you asking about symptoms and possible exposure to anyone with Covid-19. We ask that everyone be especially mindful of distancing. We've put spots on the carpet in the foyer to guide the line to the worship center. Sheryl will be there to let you know where you will be seated and I (Pastor Herb) will help you find your seat.
We have already significantly reduced the seating in the sanctuary which widened each aisle. We still have 3 sections but there are fewer rows per section with extra spacing between every two rows. Our plan is to have odd-numbered rows used in the first service and even-numbered rows used in the second service.
Yes. Please email, call, or text us so we know which service you prefer to attend. We will have a whiteboard with a diagram of the sanctuary seating, largely filled in prior to people arriving at the church, indicating where people will be seated. (Sheryl and I have a pretty good idea where most people normally prefer to sit. We’ll try to organize things so people can be close to their area of comfort.) We won't turn people away, but making a reservation in advance will certainly help us juggle all of the particulars.
Coming 10 minutes prior to the service will be helpful. With reservations already made, we will already have assigned seating so any waiting in line should be rather brief. However, we will want to make sure to allow enough time and to keep social distanced while waiting to be seated in the sanctuary.
Singing has always been part of our DNA as a congregation at worship. We are mindful of the fact that singing increases the risk of transmission of the virus by projecting respiratory droplets. We are addressing this by asking that everyone wear a mask whenever we sing, and sing softly.
Yes. Hopefully, soon we will be able to do either a livestream of the morning worship service or record it and upload a video of it later in the day so that people can view the service online. Until then, we will be offering a prerecorded service as we have been doing these past few months. A committee is diligently working on this.
Bibles and hymnals will be removed. All music and Scripture used in the service will be projected on the front wall. We will not use connection cards for the immediate future. We will have someone at the welcome desk who can record contact information of new visitors. We will not pass offering plates, but will instead have an offering box placed near the entrance for people to deposit their tithes and offerings. We will have a sealed pre-filled cup with soft wafer in the communion cup holder at each seat on the Sundays we partake of the Lord’s Supper.
We will not be doing that at this time as we will seriously seek to practice social distancing. We encourage all to do their fellowshipping outside as outdoor activities are relatively safe since coronaviruses are generally neutralized by sunlight, fresh air and the heat.
We will dismiss people by rows from the back of the sanctuary first. All will be asked to exit the building. Fellowshipping can take place outside.
Cleaning volunteers will work to disinfect high-touch areas between services: doors, restrooms, foyer and sanctuary. Hand sanitizer stations will be located throughout the facility.
Sorry, but that will have to wait. At this point, no food or drinks.
We assume that if a person is not feeling well that they will not come to the church building. However, because anyone who walks into a church could be an asymptomatic spreader, we will seek to set up a system to collect information for all participants, recording name, contact information and where each person is seated. We know that speed is of the essence when it comes to contact identification and tracing.
They will continue online for the immediate future. Eventually, we will work them back into the flow of our in- person church ministries. For the time being, the online Sunday school classes will meet at 6 pm on Sunday evenings. Stay tuned for details.
We are processing this decision. Though our nursery will be sanitized, we will not be staffing the nursery in the immediate future. Parents with children are very welcome to join us in the sanctuary for our worship service. If a child becomes unruly, we encourage parents to utilize the foyer, quiet room and nursery as needed.