The information we are receiving about the COVID-19 virus and the impact it is having in our community is changing almost daily. Of great concern is the emergence of the Delta variant. This, coupled with the large number of people who have chosen not to be vaccinated, is causing infection rates to go back up. We are seeing people in our community become ill, many of them seriously. I am deeply concerned about the new developments, especially as it relates to our desire and plans to continue to gather for in-person worship and meetings.
The Church Council and the Worship Committee have been formulating new guidelines for worship, based on available data and information fromgovernment agencies and health care professionals, only to find that the recommendations are changing. I wanted to share the approved guidelines, but also to note that the CDC and state of NC have issued revised guidelines that we will need to be aware of, and could cause these guidelines to change again.
- The number of persons attending a service in the sanctuary is no longer limited.
- Signing up to attend a service is no longer required.
- We will continue to try to record those in attendance, and also to monitor social distance seating.
- Connection cards are being developed and will be available in the next few weeks.
- We continue to encourage vaccination for everyone who is eligible to receive a vaccine, and to remind everyone that children under the age of 12 cannot be vaccinated.
- Mask wearing is still required, but with changes to our previous guidelines.
- To reduce risk of infection, all worshipers are required to wear a mask when entering the sanctuary and until they are socially distanced seated. (This may change pending new information and recommendations.)
- Vaccinated worshipers may then remove their mask if they choose, but the Worship Committee strongly recommends that everyone continue to wear a mask for the safety of others, especially those too young to be vaccinated.
- Unvaccinated persons must remain masked at all times when inside.
- Children can come up front for the Children’s Time, but must be seated on the markers on the floor for social distancing.
- Singing continues to be an identified risk and concern.
- We will continue to have vaccinated individuals to sing in small groups.
- We will remain seated for all music until the last hymn.
- We invite everyone to wear their mask and stand to sing the last hymn.
- Please continue to wear your mask as you exit the sanctuary as quickly as possible after worship and visit with others outside.
- Entrance into the Narthex and Sanctuary will be through the main doors and they will be open as worshipers arrive.
- Hand sanitizers and masks will remain available in the Narthex.
- Offering plates will be by the entrance doors.
We are trying to balance our need to show love for our neighbor, especially our children, with the need to share our common life as the Body of Christ. Many thanks for your patience, and for your commitment.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions or concerns.