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Gathered Worship – Phase II Guidelines

Grace and peace!  Having come through the “livestream only” phase of our worship life during the coronavirus outbreak, we now move into the more joyous, but also challenging, phase of coming back together for in-person worship services. As much as we would like to see everyone gathered on Sundays, we recognize that many of you are not yet ready to join us in person. We encourage you to make the decision that is best for you.

The guidelines below will help us to love each other and our neighbor as we regather for worship in person beginning June 28 at 9 and 11AM. When we follow these guidelines, like mask wearing and checking temperatures, we are doing this for the benefit of others. Thank you in advance for your cooperation, as they enable us to gather during this pandemic as safely as possible. 

As you enter

Ushers will welcome attenders (touchless) at the main exterior entrance and ask if they have pre-registered for attendance that day.  If not, they will be asked to wait until the top of the hour to be sure there is room for them. Then an usher will ask each family if anyone has COVID-19 symptoms, like fever or shortness of breath.  An usher will also check everyone’s temperature with a touchless thermometer held near the forehead.  If they have an elevated temperature (100 degrees or higher) or have been sick, the usher will inform them, for the safety of all involved, that they may not enter that day, but to please return when symptoms have dissipated.  

Those who enter will be asked to wear a mask, if they are not already doing so.  If they need a mask, the usher will direct them to a table with disposable masks they may keep.  Everyone will be asked to use hand sanitizer before entering the Nave. If they are not willing to wear a mask or face shield, the Usher will inform them that they may not enter. Parents must keep their children with them at all times; children are not allowed to wander the building.

While in the Nave

When all family members are present at the Nave entrance, an Usher will seat the family in an appropriate section of the Nave with the correct number of chairs.  Stay at your seats during the service and do not move around the Nave, other than for Eucharist or bathroom breaks, until dismissed at the end of the service. After receiving Eucharist, you may approach a prayer minister up front, and you will likely be asked to step outside for prayer.

Dismissal after service

After the service has ended, families will be dismissed by rows or sections so that social distancing guidelines may be observed. Please continue to observe social distancing after the service, inside or outside.

SAFETY PROCEDURES FOR GATHERED WORSHIP IN THE NAVE.

Anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms, such as a fever of 100 degrees or more, at the first sign of illness, should not attend gathered worship; they are invited to join us online.  If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 – within 6 feet for over 15 minutes – in the last 14 days, please do not attend in person worship for two weeks after the date of your exposure. 

The seating capacity in the Nave will be reduced to approximately 50 people so that social distancing of at least 6 feet may be maintained between family groups. Seats will be arranged for family members to sit together.

For now, only the Nave, Fellowship Hall, Vestibule and main restrooms will be accessible to congregants. Other areas of the building will be locked or roped off to minimize the cleaning burden and to maximize safety.

For now, if you plan to come in person, we ask that you pre-register by email each week by Friday afternoon, so we know how many and who expect, and we can set up chair groupings accordingly.  You can email Monica@HolySpiritLeesburg.org to let her know how many will be coming. If you don’t let us know ahead of time, you may have to wait till after the service starts before you may be seated.  As we get more experience with this, and figure out how many are likely to come, we will relax this requirement.

For now, face coverings are required for everyone, except people speaking at a microphone. You are asked to bring your own mask. If you do not have one, we can provide one for you.  Congregants who cannot wear masks due to medical conditions will need to get approval in advance from Harold Jones, Harold@HolySpiritLeesburg.org,  and use alternate methods, such as face shields (we have these) or sitting in the conference room.  Mask wearing during the service makes singing possible indoors. 

For now, we will not have a regular coffee hour/fellowship time after worship.  If you’d like to chat, we encourage you to go outside in the open air, with appropriate social distance.  You could use the sidewalk, the outdoor benches by the back parking lot, or the two picnic tables on the sidewalk between our building and the one next door.   Indoor conversations should be relatively brief, done with a mask, and at 6 feet of distance. 

Children and Youth classes and groups will be held either online, or outside with social distancing, for a while.  Since we have relatively small classes and groups, we will evaluate the ability and comfort levels of how these groups may meet in person, inside or outside, in the coming weeks.  Elementary age children will not gather together for a while.

All aspects of the worship experience from entry into the building until exit after the service will be as touch free as possible.

-When possible, all doors will be in the open position. Bathroom doors will have arm and/or foot pulls. 

-Social distancing will be required. All forms of personal contact will be discouraged in favor of waves, virtual hugs, etc. Signs will be posted.

-A touch free tithing box has been installed in the rear of the Nave. No offering plates will be passed during the service. Congregants may drop off their tithe either before or after the service. All are encouraged to give online, preferably directly from your bank, so we do not have to pay the fees we incur when you give through our website.  

-The Peace will be touch-free.  Please do not move around the building to greet people, but greet the people closest to you.

-Eucharistic bread will be served by a gloved pastor using individual wafers.  Per Bishop John’s advice, for now, we will not serve wine or grape juice.  Each congregant or family will come forward and receive the bread. Please extend your flat, open hands, and the pastor will drop the wafer in your hands, avoiding any touching.  Please do not attempt to take the bread from the pastor’s hands with your fingers. Social distancing guidelines will be in effect for coming forward.

-We’re looking at how to do “Prayer Rail ministry” after worship.  Likely, you will be asked to step outside so we can pray for you there.

-For now, all forms of paper (bulletins, etc.) and common books (including Bibles) will be removed from the Nave to avoid cross contamination. Congregants are encouraged to bring their own paper or electronic Bible. Information will be on the monitors.

-Sanitizer will be available throughout the building.

Disinfecting of Building

The Nave, Fellowship Hall and main restrooms will be cleaned with a disinfectant before and after each service.  An electrostatic mister for hydrogen peroxide droplets (purchased but not yet delivered) will be used before and after each service in any occupied rooms. The HVAC system will have the fan on several hours before, during, and after each service.  Weather permitting, the church entrance doors at front and side will be opened to allow for cross ventilation throughout the building.Congregants will be asked to use hand sanitizer as they enter the building.An electrostatic mister for hydrogen peroxide droplets (purchased but not yet delivered) will be used before and after each service in any occupied rooms.

The HVAC system will have the fan on several hours before, during, and after each service.  Weather permitting, the church entrance doors at front and side will be opened to allow for cross ventilation throughout the building.

Congregants will be asked to use hand sanitizer as they enter the building.