Regathering for Worship
Frequently Asked Questions
Updated August 13, 2020
Will the live stream continue?
Yes. While we long for the day when we will all return to gathered worship, we will continue to offer live streaming as a temporary measure for staying connected to as many of our Covenant Partners as possible during this pandemic. We are committed to live streaming through the end of 2020, at which time we will reevaluate the practice.
How many services? Why not 2?
Initially, we will regather for worship in one service rather than two. Practically, we want to be cautious of overstepping the capacity of our volunteers and staff as they ensure all of the safety/sanitation protocols (described below) in place. Additionally, our congregational survey suggests that the number of people who will regather when the time comes will be relatively small. Perhaps most importantly, though, is that we want our initial regathering to be a celebration of our unity as an entire body for a season before returning to our regular practice of two worship services.
Will there be a sign up to attend?
There will not be a sign up to attend; however, you and your household will be assigned seating upon arrival. This will help ensure proper social distancing and facilitate any needed contact tracing in the future.
Will certain ages be prohibited?
No ages will be prohibited; however, we strongly advise those who were at risk to take appropriate measures of protection.
Will there be childcare when we regather?
While WS/FCS are closed, we will not be offering childcare or regular on-campus programs for preschool or Elementary students.
What will the service look like—meet and greet/offering passed/bulletins?
When we regather for worship, we will initially have a worship service that assures proper social distancing. Worshipers will be seated to maintain 6 feet from others and our expectation is that all in attendance wear a mask. There will be no meet and greet in the service. There will be baskets placed near the exit for offering and continued online giving will be encouraged. We will not have bulletins and will rely on projection. There will be no hymnals, Bibles, pens, or other paper products in the pew racks or seat backs.
As progress is made in the containment of the virus and medical experts’ advise, we will begin to add many of these elements back into worship.
Will there be singing?
We will regather without congregational singing as the medical evidence suggests against at this time. Our Worship staff plans small ensembles to lead from a distance from the congregation and social distance themselves.
Will there be communion?
We hope to be able to begin offering communion sometime shortly following regathering for worship. We will not be utilizing our customary process of intinction, or dipping, for serving. We are currently working on viable and sanitary methods to serve communion.
Will there be a choir or wind instruments?
Our Worship staff currently plans to utilize small ensembles, both instrumental and vocal, in order to provide social distancing for the musicians and vocalists. We will not regather with the choir as Worship staff has concerns over being capable of rehearsing and performing while maintaining proper social distancing and the medical evidence that suggests choral singing at this time presents an environment that risks a higher chance for COVID spread.
How will service leaders and musicians be protected?
Service participants and musicians will maintain social distance from one another and maintain increased social distance from the congregation while leading the service from the platform. When not speaking the service participants will wear masks.
We will continue to sanitize microphones and microphone packs, lecterns, and keyboards, and other musical instruments as we have done since beginning virtual worship.
What cleaning will be done before, during, and after service?
Our facilities staff has a cleaning and sanitization schedule that assures the thorough cleaning of our buildings that comply with CDC guidelines. All common surfaces such as doors, door handles and push bars, and railings will be sanitized prior to services and during times the building is being utilized. Bathrooms will be thoroughly sanitized prior to services and re-sanitized at regular intervals while the buildings are occupied.
The facilities staff has purchased a fogger that will be used to sanitize the facility prior to and following services. This equipment is being used currently by airlines to sanitize aircraft prior to passenger embarkation.
Do we have safety supplies and what do we have?
In addition to the fogger mentioned above, the staff has been successful in acquiring a supply of disinfectant spray and wipes, hand sanitizer, and personal protective supplies including, gloves, masks for children and adults.
Additionally, both facilities staff and Children’s Ministry staff have purchased non-contact thermometers.
What will the pre and post service time look like—will there be a fellowship time?
Upon our regathering for worship, there will be no fellowship time until the virus allows for more relaxed orders and we are advised it is prudent to allow. The congregation will be asked to move through the health screening area immediately to their socially distanced seating prior to the service and when dismissed at the end of the service to proceed to their cars.
How will social distancing be enforced?
Markings on floors will help folks gauge proper distance and hosts will escort families and individuals to their seats in the worship venues. Alternating rows and spacing within rows will be employed to assure social distancing. Dismissal will also be done via rows to ensure social distancing following the service.
How will attenders be spaced apart when seated?
We will use alternating rows and spacing within rows to maintain social distancing in both worship venues.
What if someone refuses to wear a mask?
*Updated faq on August 13
When we regather masks will be required of all in attendance. The church has a supply of masks for both adults and children should someone forget to bring their own.
If an individual is unable to wear a mask due to a medical issue, a note from a physician will be needed and that individual will be seated with enhanced social distancing for their protection and the protection of other worshippers.
As a reminder to those who prefer not to wear a mask, the service will continue to be live streamed for the foreseeable future making worship accessible to all.
Will there be enough handicapped parking?
Signage will be employed to reserve the spaces in the lots closest to the campus buildings (Staff lot and the lots between Buildings B and C) for those needing handicapped parking. With many folks self-selecting to wait to regather for worship, we are confident we will have close parking in these lots to meet demand.
What will the screening process on arrival be like?
Everyone who attends will be asked a short series of screening questions concerning health symptoms, exposure to COVID positive individuals, and recent travel. The temperature will be taken via touchless thermometers and a mask provide should someone have forgotten to bring one.
We look forward to the day when we can gather together for worship! The Lord is with us!