Recommended Changes for Reopening the Church

The Church Board asked a team of our health care professionals to make a recommendation to the Board about reopening the church. Kevin McCafferty, MD; Linda McCafferty, RN; and Emily Comstock, PA  met by Zoom and determined it was safe for us to reopen with certain precautions. The Board approved this step in line with the Governor’s Phase One. Our team is asking all of us to observe the considerations below.

GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS:

      • Signs should be on all entry doors, to include the following information:
        – Everyone entering the building must wear a face mask/covering
        – Please maintain social distance of at least 6 feet from others
        – People at high risk should not enter the church; services available on Zoom
        – Anyone experiencing fever, cough, or cold/flu-like symptoms should stay at home
      • No temperature checks required for church entry
      • Members should be encouraged to bring their own face masks; a limited number of extra masks will be available from greeters for anyone arriving without one (recipients of masks should keep them for all future worship services they attend)
      • Anyone with sewing skills is encouraged to make masks to have on hand for members/guests
      • Family members should sit together, at least 6 feet away from other families (with at least 2 chairs separating family units); greeters will remind attendees about seating/social distancing/mask guidelines
      • Greeters will follow social distancing guidelines, avoiding personal contact and directing attendees to pick up programs which are spread out on tables in fellowship hall
      • Rows of chairs will be spaced 6 feet apart; if necessary, overflow seating is available at the tables in the fellowship hall or possibly an extra row or 2 of chairs
      • Minister should wear face mask except while preaching
      • Musicians should wear face masks except while singing
      • Zoom access to worship services should continue indefinitely (preferably until a coronavirus vaccine is available) for those unable to attend in person
      • When weather permits, windows and doors should remain open to bring in fresh air and eliminate need to touch door handles; ceiling fans should be configured to pull air upward
      • Everyone should be encouraged to bring their own small bottle of hand sanitizer, as well as to wash or sanitize hands and refrain from touching their face
      • Three children’s tables should be place around the perimeter of the sanctuary, with children from the same family occupying each table. Any additional children will need to stay seated with their parents
      • Coffee hour should be eliminated
      • Everyone needs to keep away from Marjorie for her protection

COMMUNION PROCEDURES:

      • Congregation will come forward to communion table; minister should encourage people to use their own judgment on whether or not to participate in communion ritual; minister should also instruct parents of participating small children to supervise them in communion process
      • Two deacons will be at the table, one on each side, maintaining proper social distance from congregation but providing assistance as needed
      • All 6 of the juice trays will be used, 3 on each side; each tray will contain cups for juice as well as cups holding a small piece of gluten-free cracker (only one tray on each side will be placed at the outside corners of the table, replaced by the deacons with full trays as needed). Juice cups and cracker cups will be paired together, spaced one slot apart; participants will each take one pair of cups, serve themselves, then dispose of cups in trash can provided at front of communion table
      • Procedure for coming forward to table is as follows:
        – One row at a time from each side will exit to the outside (window side) while maintaining 6′ spacing
        – There will be 2 small tables near the front of sanctuary, one for each side, holding an offering plate and bottle of hand sanitizer; participants should deposit any offering, then remove their masks and sanitize hands
        – When the previous participant has finished at the communion table, the next in line will proceed to the communion table to take a juice/cracker pair, partake in communion, discard the cups in trash can, and return to his/her seat and put on mask
        – Following the worship service, communion preparer will wash all trays/dishes in hot soapy water.