Posted by on Jun 18, 2020 in COVID-19 Updates, General | 3 comments

We have added some small revisions as of 6/22, in red.

5/31 Ad Board Meeting

Following were discussed during our May 31, 2020, Ad Board meeting via conference call:

  • Safe distancing (outdoor/parking lot worship when weather permits)
  • Masks required (we expect to have some masks on hand if needed)
  • No group singing (not decided – we’re talking about this)
  • Changes to our monthly Holy Communion
  • Changes to normal procedures for offerings and prayer
  • Stay home if you’re not feeling well
  • Vulnerable persons (age/health conditions) should not attend
  • Continued online worship opportunities
  • Meetings via video or telephone conference call
  • Enter/Exit only via the handicap ramp, door at the rear of the church
  • Recommend use of upstairs rest room only (the handicap restroom)
  • No monthly fellowship meals

Proposed Details

Now I’m going to make specific proposals and flesh them out a bit:

  • Do not return to in-person worship until the governor declares Lancaster County to be “green” status. Do not feel compelled to dive in the moment this happens, we can wait until we are ready (a week or two is fine). Since the governor will move Lancaster Co. to “green” status effective June 26, we can plan a date for re-opening. Pastor suggests nothing earlier than July 12.
  • As much as I like the idea of going outside, it’s a lot of Sunday morning work to make it happen. We would need a sound system (we have it, but someone must set it up and take it down), hymnals/Bibles outside (or pre-print content in bulletin/handouts). Note that we could sing if we’re outside. Bring lawn chairs, practice safe distancing. Where will we do this, what about parking? How to handle visitors/guests who were not informed about the outdoor plan and don’t bring lawn chairs?
  • Fellowship meals, etc., discontinued until future date to be determined.
  • Following supplies will be needed: Hand sanitizers, disinfectant hand soaps, spray disinfectant, disinfectant wipes. Please start purchasing these as you’re shopping, and bring them to church. We expect to receive a supply of cloth masks to give to those who do not have them.
  • General rules/requirements
    • Older persons in vulnerable age groups, especially those with certain health conditions, should not attend.
    • Do not attend if you are ill, ESPECIALLY if you have a fever, cough, sneezing, etc.
    • Note: We can obtain a “touch free” thermometer for about $65. Should we do this? I’m thinking we should, because we could then be reasonably assured that church attendees are not  actively symptomatic with Covid-19, and could sing with reasonable safety. It appears that 1 or 2 thermometers will be donated.  Settled.
  • Safe distancing
    • Single entrance/exit – handicap entrance from rear parking lot.
    • No physical contact, including handshaking, hugs, etc.
    • Rope off every other pew. Open rear doors for additional seating with safe distancing. Determine maximum number permitted in worship (CDC and PA “green” guidelines appear to set a limit of 100, but practical limit for our sanctuary is less – we must determine a number). Probably 50% of our seating capacity.
    • No weekly adult Sunday School for the time being.
    • Sit in same pew EVERY SUNDAY to minimize our need to sanitize, which includes hymnals and Bibles. Families sit together, all others practice safe distancing.
    • Do not use downstairs restrooms, only the handicap restroom. It must be sanitized frequently. Who will do this, what are procedures?
    • Masks required. We will arrange a “just in case” supply.
    • No group singing. (Studies show this is BAD, and masks don’t help.) But check the note above about the no-touch thermometer. Our District Superintendent believes singing is OK, based on our other safe distancing provisions.
  • Worship changes
    • Communion – Use only prepackaged wafer/cup. Must pick up from table when entering church/sanctuary. Remain in place, no group circle around the altar. We will need one or more trash receptacles easily available. I am ordering a package of 100, which should last 3-4 months. The shelf life is about 4 months. Pastor Roger plans to locate or produce a short video showing how to use these; it can be a little tricky.
    • Offering – No passing the offering plates, put plates near the exit from the sanctuary. Encourage online giving.
    • Children/youth message – Children must stay in place and not come forward.
    • Prayer time – Pastor Roger will not move among congregation, no “hands on”.
  • Pastor Roger will continue to provide online worship experience, but it will be somewhat shortened from what we’re doing currently.
    • Announcements
    • Prayer
    • Sermon
    • Will be pre-recorded video, uploaded to Facebook and released for viewing at 11:00 AM each Sunday (to coincide with our worship time).
  • Special events – Funerals, baptisms, Advent/Christmas (seems likely we will continue into next year)
    • Funerals must follow worship procedures above. However, note that we must sanitize the facility afterward, including pews, rest rooms, door handles, other common surfaces. NO hymnals/Bibles available. This will require volunteers, especially after a Saturday funeral!
    • Require funeral homes to observe these restrictions, and follow safe distancing procedures in the cemetery for graveside services.
    • No luncheons, etc., in Wesley Hall.
  • Fairfield July 4 Yard Sale – My thinking is that we should not participate. Reasons:
    • No air circulation in Wesley Hall, just ceiling fans.
    • Would have to limit the number of people in Wesley Hall concurrently.
    • We haven’t been receiving donations (hasn’t been practical).
    • We would have to require masks.
    • No public access to rest rooms.