The Return of In-Person Worship By The Rev. Dr. Andrew H. Mann Jr
On Tuesday evening, the NPC Session voted to begin In-Person worship again on Sunday mornings. The committee tasked with bringing this about is made up of Drew Mann (Minister), Jacqui Edwards (Worship), Barb Erdmanis (Worship Chair), Val Erdmanis (Facilities and Head Usher), Kathie Pisciella (Facilities Chair). Andy Chen is serving as our Public Health consultant.
Our target date to begin (assuming all goes well) is October 18th. The service will be held both in person at 10:00 AM and will continue to be broadcast on Facebook so you can choose for yourself how best to worship.
The guiding principle of how we will worship is a non-negatable “Safety First.” Safety will require that we approach worship quite a bit differently than what we remember as “normal.” These things may change over time as new information and experience present themselves to us. We will need to be flexible going ahead.
In order for us to best anticipate how to manage this new protocol, it would be extremely helpful if we could have some estimate of how many of you want to return to in-person worship. For now, if you think you are going to be coming to the building on Sunday mornings, please email Val Erdmanis at firstname.lastname@example.org. Once we actually open, we will ask you to make a reservation each and every Saturday evening with Val by 8:00 PM at his email address or at his cell phone (215-485-0434) and leave a message.
To Session, “Safety First” looks like the following:
Masks for the safety of others and social distancing will be mandatory. Sanitizing gel will be available. Masks will be available for those who have forgotten their own.
PLEASE DO NOT ATTEND IF YOU ARE NOT FEELING WELL OR HAVE BEEN EXPOSED WITHIN THE LAST TWO WEEKS TO SOMEONE WHO HAS TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19.
We would discourage those over 65 years of age or anyone with a chronic health condition from attending in person for the present Ɵme.
As a reminder, one should not shake hands or hug others. An elbow bump or a foot tap is best.
There will be no social/coffee/educational time before or after worship.
The cloak room will not be available.
There will be only space for 50 people in the sanctuary. We ask you to be flexible as we seat you to maximize safely distanced attendance.
You will be seated from front pew-to-back. You will be dismissed back pew-to-front. Again, please be flexible about seating; you will very likely not be siting in your old accustomed seat.
The available restrooms will be limited to the nursery and new wing bathrooms.
We invite families to worship together in the sanctuary. No childcare will be available at this time.
Bibles and Hymnals will not be in the sanctuary. You are welcome to bring your own Bible if you choose.
Music in worship will also be very different from before. Music will be exclusively instrumental for the present. Because of the extraordinarily high risk of exposure inherent in group or solo song, we will not be singing hymns or solos. Vocal singing has been shown to be a super-spreader activity. Generally speaking, we want the “flow” of the morning to look like this:
After parking your car, enter by way of the narthex entrance. That is the only entry door that will be open.
The floor will be marked at six-foot intervals to aid in spacing. We will ask that you seat from front pew to back; if you have an accustomed seat, we ask that you be flexible and sit in designated seats. The usher/s will guide you.
There will be no handheld program or worship materials. The bulletin will be shown on the sanctuary screen.
Offering plates will not be passed. There will be a collection point in the narthex upon exiting.
At the conclusion of worship, we will dismiss you beginning with the rear pews and moving forward.
As you leave the building, we will ask you to move directly to your car so others can easily exit the building without bunching up. If anyone must converse with another please do so in the parking lot, maintaining your distance and masking.
We hope that this all makes sense to you. Considerable effort and thought have gone into this design as we try to afford you both the physical sense of community and the safety of appropriate spacing. Whether you choose the Facebook broadcast or in-person worship, we will still join with one voice every Sunday morning in praise to our God. If you have any questions, please let me know at email@example.com.
In Christ: Drew