Impact at New Hope Presbyterian Church
Worship Update for July 5, 2020
NEW HOPE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH REOPENING GUIDELINES
Greetings to our New Hope Family and Friends! We look forward to July 5th when we will worship together again in the sanctuary. We pray that you are all healthy and happy.
Worship will continue at 10:00 am on Sundays for now. Of course, our worship will continue to be live-streamed online for those who are not able to join us in person.
Our Staff and Session have been working on our plan for reopening. We have studied many publications from PCUSA, Whitewater Valley Presbytery, Fishhook, the Governor’s Office and others. We have also garnered information from several churches in our area to see how they are or will be handling their reopening. As a result, here are our plans and suggestions to welcome you back to your church home.
Due to the nature of COVID-19 and its unpredictability, the following items should be addressed before returning to worship. Please stay home if any of these apply to you or members of your family:
- Suffer from any chronic health conditions or underlying risk factors.
- Have symptoms of fever, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, loss of taste or smell, cough or any other questionable medical issues.
- Have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
- Have yourself been tested for COVID-19 and are still awaiting results.
- Have travelled outside the country in the last 14 days.
- Have travelled within the United States by plane, train or bus in the last 14 days.
Given the concerns of how the virus particularly affects those who are 65 or older, we ask that you use your discretion about returning to worship if you fall into this category.
What to Expect on Arrival
With social distancing guidelines recommending at least six feet between people (except families), seating in the sanctuary will be limited to just over 80 chairs available for worship set in groups of two and four. Seating in the narthex will be limited.
- Greeters will compile a list of attendees each week should there be a need for contact tracing.
- Greeters will provide hand sanitizer upon arrival.
- Ushers will direct attendees to seats prior to the service and upon departure from the sanctuary following worship.
- No bulletins, bibles or printed materials will be available. You are encouraged to bring your own bible but must take it with you when you leave.
- Offering plates will be placed on the table in the narthex.
Masks and Singing
Most churches are requiring everyone to wear a mask while in the building and are prohibiting singing during worship. Numerous studies have shown that wearing a mask protects others from possible contagions. It has also been shown that singing has contributed to the spread of the virus as has happened within choirs and groups who have been in close proximity.
We strongly encourage everyone to wear a mask. Doing so shows compassion, love and care for each other. We hope to have masks available for those who need one.
However, it is very difficult to use microphones with a mask. Steve, Jennifer, Erin and members of the band will not wear masks while leading worship but will be encouraged to wear one at all other times. Please know that there will be at least 12 feet between those on the chancel and members of the congregation.
Please refrain from congregational singing if you are not wearing a mask. Thank you!
All areas of the building will be closed with the exception of the sanctuary, narthex, hallway and restrooms.
- Doors to the building and the sanctuary will be propped open.
- Outer doors to the restrooms will be propped open.
- Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the open areas.
- Drinking fountains will be blocked off.
- Coffee will not be provided. You may bring your own beverage but must take it with you when you leave.
- No Sunday School or nursery care will be provided.
- The building will remain closed throughout the week with the exception of small groups/meetings as needed.
We are grateful and blessed to be the church with all of you during these challenging times.
We will be evaluating these guidelines and adjusting them accordingly as the situation continues to present itself. Thank you so much for your patience and understanding!
May God bless you and your loved ones! Grace and peace to you!
Steve Ebling Sandy Baetzhold
Pastor Worship Arts Director