Guidelines for Worship Services

It has been a difficult time of social distancing over the past two months.  So much has happened in our lives, the lives of our families, and our community both local and national. In the past, dealing with these difficulties and victories would have been much more bearable and celebratory as we attended worship together.  The good news is we are ready to begin to meet again in our sanctuary for worship on June 7th!  We will hold one service at 11:00 AM in the sanctuary. While we are excited for this time of praising God together again, it will be very different than the worship that we shared pre-pandemic.  In consultation with our Conference leaders and the Methodist medical community we have been presented with clear guidelines we must follow to hold a worship service in our sanctuary.

Listed here are the guidelines we will be following:

 -All hymnals, Bibles, and pew materials must be removed from pews

-Every other pew will be available with non-available pews being roped off

-Six foot distance between worshiping individuals or families

-Hand sanitizer available as attendees enter the building

-Face masks are required

-We will not have congregational singing, passing the peace or passing offertory plates

-We will have a basket near the doors as we enter and exit to receive offering gifts

-There will be no printed bulletins

-An usher will be taking attendance at the door to ensure we have record of all who attend and a valid phone number to contact them in case we find that someone who has attended service has tested positive for COVID-19

In order to adhere to these guidelines we have had to make certain changes to our standard service order and the physical space we share. To implement these guidelines we will:

-Ask that you please bring a mask of your own; we will have a limited number available if you do not have one

-Ushers will seat people in pews starting with the seating that is furthest from the door to help social distancing

-Doors into the sanctuary will be opened by ushers to limit touching of door handles

-The sanctuary will be cleaned after each service

-We will not have children’s chat during service and there will be no children’s Sunday school

-We have also removed pew cushions so they will remain sanitary

-The only doors that will be unlocked are those that lead into the sanctuary main entrance and the handicap accessible side door into the sanctuary

By taking these precautions we believe that we can provide a safe, socially-distant environment for worship.  These are not small changes.  These changes are not going to work for everyone.  We know that now may not be the time for you and your family to return to the sanctuary for worship.  While we do not anticipate it to be a problem; we may have to turn away people who wish to worship with us due to the lower capacity of our sanctuary under these guidelines.  However, our diligence in following these guidelines is essential to following John Wesley’s first general rule to give Christians a guide for living a faithful life, “Do no harm.”  Please pray first over attending worship under these guidelines and then make the right decision for you and your family.  We hope to see you soon.  If you have any questions about our new guidelines please call the church office at 936.825.3342.