The journey ahead of us, dictated by the presence of COVID-19 and government rulings, is uncertain. However, as a Council, we want to provide a set of guidelines taking into consideration our Pastoral staff and congregants. To that end we propose the following:
BEST PRACTICES FOR RETURNING TO WORSHIP AT CHURCH FROM THE CHURCH COUNCIL
- Continue holding online worship as we have been as many who are most vulnerable will not want to be in a community gathering which may include pastoral staff in the most vulnerable category.
- When Emmanuel decides to hold onsite worship, give permission to, and encourage, those who are most vulnerable to stay home for their health, realizing this may apply to our vulnerable pastoral staff also.
- Mark the place for people to sit on each pew with tape or other clear indicators.
- Restrict access to areas of the church other than the Sanctuary and closest bathrooms.
- OR use the Peace Lounge and mark the floor where chairs are to be set.
- OR meet outdoors ( will utilize our Peace Garden for such meetings).
- Remove all items (hymnals, Bibles, paper and pencils) from the pews including pew pads.
- Have bulletin information on the screen (slides).
- Congregational singing is discouraged as droplets/aerosols are spread even more widely. Soloists, song leaders, etc. need to sing from an area putting the greatest distance between them and the congregation.
- Encourage/require those attending worship to wear masks. Have some handy to distribute as people enter the building.
- Suspend use of classroom because of the difficulty of sanitizing all surfaces and items.
- Register everyone who worships in person. In addition, for those new to the congregation, use the Welcome Card and follow up with them before the next Sunday.
Our Sunday in-person worship service starts at 10:30 AM ET, followed by Coffee Hour in the Peace Lounge (also via Zoom*), alternatively, you can join us online as we live stream our services both on YouTube and Facebook Live.
During the week, we invite you to join our Discussion Group every Tuesday at 12:00 PM ET, which will also be held in the Peace Lounge, or in our new Peace Garden, weather permitting.
We encourage you to check our website for any updates or changes to our schedule and follow us on social media where we also share this information.
*We send the Zoom link to your email for Coffee Hour.