In the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), we empower our congregation to make important decisions affecting the life of the church. With that in mind, our Moderator, Julie Bogguss, put together a team of medical professionals from within this congregation to explore and recommend guidelines for in-person gatherings. We continue to worship on Facebook every Sunday but hope these recommended guidelines can eventually lead us to some new options.
When we are ready to meet in person (when our Board makes that decision), this team of medical professionals recommends:
- All participants will wear masks, including children old enough to walk. Non-ambulatory babies may attend unmasked.
- Congregants will enter the building through the Dilworth Road, East, doors and leave through the East Blvd. doors.
- Deacons will seat people, starting up front and working towards the back of the sanctuary.
- We will not conduct singing, responsive readings, or the spoken Lord’s Prayer.
- There will be no physical hugging or shaking of hands; elbow bumps will be the only permitted physical contact.
- Congregants will sit in a family group or solo, always at least six feet from others.
- In the sanctuary, there will be no hymnals, pew bibles, or paper bulletins. Congregants may pull up digital bulletins on mobile devices and watch the screens to follow along with texts.
- Communion will be pre-packed or you are welcome to bring your own elements. Congregants will dispose of wrapping.
- Deacons will document everyone in attendance every Sunday.
- We will individually deposit our tithes and offerings in a dropbox in the narthex (church entryway), through electronic means (our website or giving app) or through the U. S. Postal system.
- There will be hand sanitizing stations on both sides entering the sanctuary.
- The Education Building will be locked and not accessible.
- Reverend McElroy will need to remain six feet away from all members.
- Cleaning and sanitizing will occur after each service.
- There will be no in-person services for at least two weeks if someone tests positive, with a thorough cleaning of the sanctuary during that interlude.
They also recommend you carefully consider your risk in attending worship services or other FCC gatherings in-person if you meet any of the established high-risk criteria:
- Over 60 years old
- Underlying health conditions such as chronic kidney disease, lung disease, heart disease, diabetes
- Over-weight by medical criteria
- In a family group with anyone having the above conditions.
We certainly will not be requiring congregants to show proof of age or health. Simply know the more boxes you check, the higher your risk will be if you contract COVID-19. Also, please recognize these guidelines are subject to change as any new information from the CDC or other reliable sources come to light.
Please join us online on Sundays, on Thursdays over zoom for Bible Study at 7 (to inquire send email to email@example.com), on Saturdays at 10 for Prayer and Fellowship over Zoom (email firstname.lastname@example.org for that link), and/or consider being part of our mission and volunteer with us/contribute to our efforts in the ways outlined on the missions page (link to missions or volunteer page). Even though we are distanced physically, we remain a robust and connected community continuing to do God’s work even now!
Grace and Peace to You,
Jolin Wilks McElroy, Pastor