Dear Trinity Family, July 1, 2020
Do you realize that it has been 16 weeks since we last met together, in person, on a Sunday morning? A lot has changed in our world, in our local communities and for our church since then. One thing we've heard consistently from you is that you long for the day we can again worship together in person. Toward that goal, your Consistory has put together a plan for reopening our church. Please understand that this plan is a work in progress and may change from week to week, as we work toward the goal of opening during July.
We have seen several unexpected blessings as we worshiped during this time of "safer at home". We would like to continue to use the technology enabling our worship services to be available online, both live and as saved recordings. We also want to continue the Sunday breakout sessions.
Building Reopening Guidelines
When we begin to reopen the building for Sunday morning worship, our goal is for everyone to feel comfortable in our building yet create a worshipful and safe atmosphere. With that in mind we ask that if you do not feel well on a Sunday morning, worship with us online at home. If you do happen to fall ill, give yourself 3 weeks of worshipping with us online at home before returning in person.
Only the carport entrance will be accessible with one greeter there plus at least two more inside the narthex to give instructions and explanations regarding the new procedures. The greeters at the doors will prop open the outside doors for people and have something in each hand to remind them and others not to shake hands.
There will be one usher at each of the three Sanctuary doors. No bulletins to hand out, remind everyone of the seating arrangements, being sensitive to the seating for families and couples. At the end of the service dismiss by rows those seated much like what is done at funerals and weddings.
The CDC recommendations that we maintain 6 foot spacing; if you can't, they suggest wearing masks. Following those guidelines, Family units and non-family members who regularly spend time together may sit together; all others should maintain 6 foot spacing minimum. Seats will be pre-marked for 6’ distancing, and some pews will be blocked off. If you are unable to maintain recommended social distancing, we encourage you to wear a mask. Also, please respect the wishes of others around you regarding this matter.
Offering plates will not be passed, and a new collection process using donations boxes placed at the doors will be used. An explanation of the offering process will be given during the service.
Music and Message
Most of the messages will be pre-recorded until our STM is in place, with live music. Congregants present can expect combinations of live and recorded pieces of the service.
No staffed nursery will be available.
The cry room will be open but limited to one family unless mutually agreed upon by both families.
No snacks will be served after the service. Coffee will be available from a coffee attendant, who will serve wearing a mask and gloves.
Person to person contact will be discouraged including hugs, handshakes, high fives, etc. but again, if the two parties agree . . . If others are taking actions you aren't comfortable with, please stay clear. Remember that some of us may have already contracted Covid and are no longer capable of spreading it anymore, so allow grace as we may not know everyone's motivations.
Congregational singing is a potentially controversial issue, as some believe that singing or loud shouting with others present increases the chances of spreading germs, but the evidence is uncertain. Therefore, we encourage everyone to participate in “silent singing”; that is, enjoy the music from the praise team and reflect upon the words in your heart and mind.
Hand sanitizing stations will be set up in strategic locations for use before, during, and after service.
Hand sanitizing stations will be set up in strategic locations for use before, during, and after service. Disinfectant wipes will be available in each restroom to wipe down doorknobs, faucets, sinks, and toilet handles before and after use. Installation of new lever handled bathroom doorknob on bathroom outside of front office. Cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces will occur before and after each service.
Note: It is possible that many of these opening guidelines may be phased out or modified or even added to as the weeks go by.