We will be resuming in-person worship on Sunday, July 5 (10:30 AM). Below is listed our social distancing and safety protocols, which all in attendance will be required to follow:
GUIDELINES FOR RETURNING TO IN-PERSON WORSHIP FOR RICHVILLE UCC
These guidelines where created using the Heartland Conference UCC recommendations for Phase 3 which include the following:
· 4 weeks declining COVID-19 case counts in your area (we have decided that our church will be looking at a 2 week decline).
· Widespread availability of testing.
· No PPE shortage.
REQUIREMENTS ONCE WE RETURN TO IN-PERSON WORSHIP
1. In–Person Worship of 50 people maximum (many of the guidelines ask for no more than 25 people, but we are confident that, given our sanctuary size, we can safely accommodate 50…and have done so for funerals, under the maximums previously-established by Gov. DeWine’s office).
· Continue holding online worship along with in-person worship of no more than 50 people.
· Encourage those at high-risk to worship online.
· Family units will be permitted to sit together -with an empty pew in front and behind them.
· Single persons/family-units will be spaced 6’ apart in the pew.
· Face masks are required of all in-person worship attendees. All attendees are encouraged to provide their own face mask. If you do not own a face mask, one will be provided for you at the door before entering the church.
· Avoid physical contact with those who are not part of your immediate family unit.
· Cover coughs/sneezes with tissue/inside elbow (dispose of tissues immediately).
· Wash hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer after coming in contact with surfaces and coughing/sneezing.
· Refrain from touching facial areas (eyes, ears, nose).
No Singing at In-Person Worship (we are still discussing the particulars of how to pull this off & how long to maintain this practice).
· Hymns will be played by the organist and worship attendees can hum to themselves.
· All hymnals will be removed from the pews and the words to songs will be printed in the bulletin.
· Special music involving 1-4 people will be permitted on the raised stage of the sanctuary keeping at least the 6’ distance from the first row of worshipers & utilizing individual microphones &/or microphones which pick-up multiple voices free-of-touch).
No Personal Touch Rituals of In-Person Worship (including the following)
· Offering plates will be located in the back of the sanctuary to leave envelopes before or after service. We continue to encourage other means of giving such as using Paypal, online transfers or payments, credit card transactions etc.
· No Fellowship pad and pew Bibles will be used. Attendance will be taken by a designated person including the name of each person present and the pew they were sitting in. Attendees are permitted to bring their own Bibles for personal use only.
· Children’s sermon will take place but the children will remain in the pews and not come forward
· No communion plates will be passed. Individual packaged communion elements will be available in a basket to pick up before entering the sanctuary
· Contact such as hugging or shaking hands with other family units is strongly discouraged.
No Fellowship food before or after worship
· Your Consistory and Church Leaders greatly discourage mingling in the fellowship hall or the parking lot before or after the church service.
· The exterior entrances to the church will be opened at 10:15 AM and closed 15 minutes after the service ends.
· Door handles will be disinfected by the janitor before and after all services.
· Hand sanitizer will be available within all rooms of the church.
Children’s Church and nursery
· Children’s church will take place outside only, weather permitting, encouraging social distancing
· Opening of the nursery will be determined on a weekly basis. If 1-2 children need watched, the adult with them will be required to wear a mask and limit the use of toys.
We are additionally developing protocols if we should discover an individual in our fellowship has tested positive for Covid-19. These include deep cleaning, contact-tracing, notifying our worshippers/health-department (abiding by all HIPPA regulations) & postponing further in-person activities until such a time as we can determine it is safe to regather once more.
Thank you for your time & attention. If you have ANY QUESTIONS, please don’t hesitate to contact Pastor Will, the Safety/Reopening Team, the office &/or your Consistory. We continue to be deeply grateful for how faithful you all have been in these trying days & for all of the ways The LORD has enabled us to remain connected & effective in our mission/ministry amidst the safety measures we’ve been undertaking.