The Official Board voted to reopen the church building on June 21 (Father’s Day). The decision was made realizing that some of our members, particularly those in a high-risk category, may not be ready to return. We fully understand and do not want anyone to return who is not yet comfortable with it or has any signs of sickness. We urge love and understanding for the feelings of each individual.
The following are the guidelines we expect to follow when we open:
- We will space ourselves at recommended distances in the church. Every other pew will be blocked off and we expect that only family members will sit together in the open pews. Our church is more than large enough to accommodate everyone and maintain recommended social distancing.
- Facemasks will not be required, although many may feel more comfortable with them, especially on entering and exiting the church. Anyone desiring may wear one throughout the service.
- Physical greetings of any kind will be discouraged with any visitation/fellowship being done outside, after church.
- Hand sanitizers will be available at the bottom and top of the stairs for those wishing to use them.
- As per CDC recommendations, the windows will be open and fans on (it is also summer).
- The restroom will be thoroughly cleaned before each service and material in them for individuals to use before and after they have been in them.
- We will try to keep the downstairs closed so only the sanctuary and restrooms need to be sanitized. The chairlift will be sanitized after each use.
- Instead of the usual offering we will have plates in the rear for members to use for giving to the Lord so we will minimize human contact.
- At least initially we will not sing hymns. Current recommendations are against that, although newer studies may change that. Initially we plan to have a familiar hymn played and the words displayed for meditation.
- Special music is still an issue. Initially we hope to make use of individuals who can bring their own music (i.e. instruments) so as to avoid multiple individuals touching equipment such as microphones and sound.
As an added note, we are going to experiment with video recording at least part of the service and making that available to those who are unable to attend for any reason. Pray that it works as we hope it will.