March 5, 2021
As COVID numbers are dropping and increasing numbers of people are vaccinated, we as a staff believe it is time to start reopening the building again. Our intention is to return to “Phase 1” guidelines (as in November), beginning with the Sunday morning worship service on March 14 (still at 10:00 am). We look forward to seeing you again in person! We will continue to live-stream the service as well, so if you are not yet comfortable in a public setting, we understand and invite you to join us virtually through the website. The building will also be available - on a scheduled basis - for use by various small groups.
As in November, we want to reconnect for fellowship which we all need, yet to do so in a way that is safe for everyone, manageable by our staff, and done with excellence. Things will still be different from what we’ve known before; however, we confidently believe God always has better things in mind for our future than what we’ve known in our past. So let’s hold onto that hope, and work together to create a meaningful experience for every member of our family, as well as all those God desires to reach through us!
Below, are some of the ways we can cooperate to make all of that happen.
Sunday Worship Service
Those planning to attend worship are strongly urged to register in advance. You can pre-register by clicking the button above. This will take the place of our attendance form and will allow us to do contact tracing should the need arise. It will also help us to manage capacity (the sanctuary cannot exceed 125 persons).
Relevant Procedures for the Worship Service
- The building will only be accessible on Sunday mornings through the 2 sanctuary entrances on Park Ave, including the corner entrance and handicap-accessible ramp.
- Doors will open for check-in at 9:30 am, and the service will begin at 10:00
- Those who enter the church building must wear a mask that covers both mouth and nose during the entire service.
- On entry, all participants will check in at 1 of 2 tables in the narthex, have their temperature taken, and be asked a few essential COVID-related questions. Those showing a fever of 100.4 F or above will not be permitted to enter the worship space.
- After check-in, an usher will guide people to their seat. Everyone will remain seated before and during the service, and no handshaking, hugs, or other physical contact will be permitted.
- The nursery will not be available; all children will remain with their parents during the worship service during Phase I.
- Offerings can be dropped off in a collection box when leaving the sanctuary each week. On communion Sundays, you can pick up a prepackaged, single-serve communion cup at the doorway as you enter the sanctuary
- The narthex restroom at the back of the sanctuary will be available
The sanctuary and 2 sides of the parlor will be available for groups to use at this time. These groups must be scheduled in advance in order to manage capacity and to be sure all used spaces are properly cleaned between each use.
- Small groups of 20 persons or less will be required to use the Parlor
- Small groups greater than 20 persons will be required to use the Sanctuary
Group leaders should contact Pat Gunning to schedule their group (firstname.lastname@example.org or (609-792-4441) and must agree to the procedures below.
Relevant Procedures for Small Groups
- Groups that meet in the sanctuary will enter through the corner or ramp doors on Park Ave, and groups using the parlor will enter through the door on Dayton Ave
- Those who enter the church building must wear a mask that covers both mouth and nose during the entire gathering.
- Group leaders are responsible to keep attendance for every gathering, including names, phone numbers, and email addresses. These lists will be provided to the church office immediately following any event.
- Temperatures will be taken at each gathering.
- Seating in gatherings should be arranged to keep a 6’ distance between members
- All food & drink services provided by the church will be suspended until further notice. People may bring their own food and drink, as long as no food or utensils are shared between those of different households.
- Restrooms will be available. Groups meeting in the parlor will use the restrooms outside of the gym and great room; groups meeting in the sanctuary will use the restroom in the narthex (back of the sanctuary). Masks are to be worn in our restrooms.
Once again, we are so excited about the joint responsibility and privilege that we have as a church family, stepping forward together in this unusual but exciting season. God will continue to guide us and bless us and use us as we move together with our eyes on Him.
In Christ's Name,
The FUMC Staff & Church Council