On this page you’ll find what our current gathering guidelines are, and when our next revision of those guidelines is expected.
Keeping our communities safe is our top priority, and we are grateful to everyone working together to do just that. Please contact us if you any questions or concerns.
If you are a church member and would like to host an in-person gathering, please contact a staff member.
|Over the past week, Council has been working to develop re-opening guidelines for the church. As you can imagine, many opinions and many ideas were voiced as they were developed. At the same time, guidance from the CDC, the state and the county is continually in flux, with the end result being that we will probably modify the guidelines several more times before things settle down.|
Please be open to these changes as they happen. We will do our best to keep you informed as changes are made, and also do our best to explain why any changes are being made.
As our church guidelines have evolved, we have consistently tried to be mindful of those at risk, including children that aren’t able yet to be vaccinated and people with compromising health conditions. For this reason, we believe a “soft opening” makes more sense for us even though it is more restrictive in the beginning than current state guidelines. We will also be continuing online worship as it has been on Facebook and YouTube on Sunday mornings. Later in the fall, we are planning to transition to livestreaming the in person worship. The following has been approved by the church council. As before, it will be adjusted as conditions change.
• Beginning August 15, worship will again be held in the church sanctuary. Attendance will be limited to around 100 people for the first four weeks in keeping with the idea of a soft opening. A digital signup sheet will be used; more information on how it will work will be provided early in August.
• We want to give as many people as possible the ability to participate in worship so ask that you limit your attendance to no more than two Sundays during this initial period.
• It is likely that many people will want to attend on August 15. Please think about waiting until one of the following Sundays, so that we can keep to our limit of around 100 people.• If no issues arise, attendance will not be restricted starting September 12.
• For people not vaccinated, a mask is required when in the church building. Conversely, a mask is not required for people who are vaccinated. As before, we are using the honor system. One section of the sanctuary (on the right side as you enter) will be designated as 100% masked for anyone who is more comfortable being around others who are masked.
• Singing will be limited to a soloist or small ensemble without wind instruments. The congregation is asked to refrain from singing at this time. We will be re-evaluating this decision moving forward as we recognize this is an important aspect of our collective experience.
• The first communion Sunday will be September 5. Details on how it will work will be decided by the ministerial staff and made available closer to that date.
• Coffee and tea will not be provided the first two Sundays we are back together. This decision will be revisited at that time as our goal is that we offer coffee and tea as we have in the past.
• All of us are thankful that through the efforts of many people on and off the staff we have had a high-quality virtual worship since the start of the pandemic. Perhaps less appreciated is that our virtual worship has become an important outreach tool for us as well. For this reason, we are committed to continuing our virtual service even as we begin in-person worship. Long-term, we need to change how we produce the virtual service so we don’t overtax our staff; however, it will continue unchanged in the interim until necessary equipment can be identified and purchased. Timing for this is still being worked out.
Stay tuned for more information as we have it. And thank you as always for your patience and presence.
General Guidelines as of July 20, 2021
1. During the week, masks are required in all shared areas of the church building including the atrium, restrooms, elevator, hallways and church office lobby.
2. In designated meeting spaces (sanctuary, chapel, rooms, and offices), masks are not required if all participants are fully vaccinated.
If all participants are fully vaccinated, singing and playing instruments without masks is permitted in designated spaces.
If some participants are not fully vaccinated, a designated space may only be filled to 50% capacity with 6 ft distance between households. Masks are required by all.
For musical rehearsals, vocalists may rehearse without a mask if they maintain 15 ft distance to others in the room. Wind instrument players must maintain 9 ft of distance and use masks and bell covers.
3.Outdoor gatherings are permitted without restrictions.
Note: To determine if all participants in an event are fully vaccinated, ask them and rely on the honor system.
Next Council Meeting to discuss guidelines: August 10, 2021