Reopening Guidelines

In person worship will resume on Sunday, June 21st at 9am in the Sanctuary.  We are so excited to welcome you all back to worship!

What will in person worship look like on June 21st and every Sunday for the immediate future?  Here are the guiding principles given to us by our Bishop and FL Conference leadership that we are going to be following for the immediate future:

  1. We will be having ONE SERVICE at 9:00 am on Sunday mornings in the SANCTUARY for the immediate future.
  2. When you come into worship, please be prepared to sanitize your hands.  A masked, gloved usher will hand you a bulletin.
  3. We will NOT be having Sunday School or Children’s Church upstairs for the immediate future.  Children will be with their parents in the pews from the beginning of the service until the service is over.  We will have a children’s moment from the platform that will be geared, as always, for the children who are present.  There will be no dismissal though for upstairs ministry.  Bearing this in mind, we will be streamlining the service to maximize our time of worship and remove any unneeded elements that may lengthen the service unnecessarily.
  4. We will be practicing social distancing with the pews clearly marked as to where you are able to sit and where you cannot.
  5. There will NOT be a fellowship time with coffee/donuts.  Please, refrain from hugging, shaking hands, etc.  Let’s continue to greet each other in love from a distance.
  6. Congregating in the Fellowship Hall, narthex, etc. will be discouraged to allow for appropriate social distancing.  Please exit the sanctuary through the narthex to use either the women’s bathroom or the men’s bathroom, and please do not go through the fellowship hall.
  7. Everyone needs to wear a MASK to worship.  We will have a limited supply of masks for those who don’t bring their own, but we need for everyone to provide their own mask as much as possible.  Remember, we are just as concerned about our own health as we are the health of those we go home to.
  8. All areas will be sanitized prior to each worship service.  We will be wiping down doors, bathroom fixtures and other areas during worship as needed.  We will hopefully provide to each individual or family some sanitizing wipes so that you can wipe down your pew when worship is over and any other surfaces that you touch.
  9. We will be celebrating communion; hopefully on 6/21 but definitely as soon as possible.  We will be using for the immediate future the self serve communion cups.  An usher wearing gloves and a mask will give each person the elements when you come into the sanctuary.  At the close of the service we will celebrate communion as usual in the pews.  The altar WILL BE OPEN for individual prayer, but it will be restricted to the number of people who can come at a time and must be wiped down after each person has finished praying, in preparation for others.
  10. No one should attend worship if they have been in contact with an infected person, are exhibiting any flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, chills) or just simply don’t feel well.  If you feel fine, you are welcome to attend in person worship.  Some of us haven’t been able to participate in worship online during the COVID pandemic…welcome back!  Some of us feel it is the right time for our families to return…welcome back!  Some of us would rather worship online for the immediate future.  That’s ok!! Either way, we are supportive of the choices you make for you and your family.
  11. We are being encouraged to use only soloists or small praise teams for worship, so there will be no orchestra for the time being.  Congregational singing will be permitted but we ask that you please wear a mask so as not to expel any droplets into the air.  Thank you for your help in this!
  12. We will NOT be passing the plate for the offering time.  The offering boxes will be placed in the narthex so that you can place your offering their either before or after the worship service.

That is a lot of guiding principles, I know, and seems very restricting.  These guidelines will not last forever, but with cases rising in 20 states due to the re-opening of our economy, we want to make sure that we are “over the top” careful with all who come to worship.  We are so thankful that our God has loved, provided for and protected each and every one of you.  Let’s continue to protect each other! 

With all that being said, we realize that there are those of you who do no twant to resume in person worship at the moment because of personal concerns for yourself or someone you love.  We support you, and we are in agreement that everyone needs to participate in worship however they feel comfortable and however they are ready to engage.  We are going to continue to post a YouTube worship link for each Sunday, and we are working to institute either a Facebook livestream or a YouTube livestream on Sunday morning  for the worship service.  So, you should be able to in the weeks to come to worship either in person, at home on Sunday morning "live" via Facebook/YouTube, or viewing the YouTube link that you have been receiving via email for the last few Sundays.  We are once again, "learning" as we go, so please be patient with us and each other as we seek to make worship as meaninful and accessible as possible for all.