First Presbyterian Guidelines for Worship during the Pandemic


Beginning June 14th, our church resumed in-person worship services after a 12 week period of online and broadcast services only. The following information was provided to our church members at that time. It has now been updated with the current (as of July 5th) policies for worship put in place by our Session on June 25th. The Session will continue to meet regularly and may make further revisions.


First and foremost, we hope that anyone who has any concerns about returning to in-person worship feels perfectly comfortable in staying home for a longer period of time. Our worship service will continue to be broadcast on Ste. Genevieve Community Access television and will be uploaded to YouTube. If requested, Pastor Steve can also provide you an email copy of his message or he will mail you a print copy of his message.


Secondly, we ask anyone who is not feeling 100% healthy on any given Sunday to stay at home. In addition, those who are at higher risk for the coronavirus, including: anyone over 65 years of age; anyone who has health concerns, especially respiratory issues; and anyone who may be immunocompromised - are encouraged to consider staying at home as well.


The following conditions will apply to all those who choose to worship in-person at First Presbyterian Church until further notice:


1) You will be asked to maintain social distancing with everyone attending worship, with the exception of your own family.

2) You will be met by an Elder or Deacon and you will be reminded about social distancing.

3) It is suggested that you wear a mask upon entering the building and at all times that you are inside – if you do not have one, masks are available at the church. This is a suggestion only, no longer a requirement.

4) Before entering the sanctuary, you will be asked to use the hand sanitizer provided.

5) All worshippers will be seated by an usher according to social distancing guidelines. Please understand that seats will be assigned and you will be expected to sit only in the area designated for you by the usher. Families will be seated together.

6) At the conclusion of the service, you are to remain seated until the ushers dismiss you – this will take several minutes as we will dismiss in a manner which will allow for social distancing.


Other notes about our worship service:

The offering will be collected by asking you to place your gifts in the collection plate as you leave the sanctuary.


There will be no communion until further notice.


There will be no congregational singing of hymns or congregational choral responses until further notice.


Hymnals and pew Bibles will be removed from the sanctuary. If you wish to use a Bible, please bring your own.


Bulletins will be placed in the pews which are to be used for seating - bulletins will not be handed to you upon entering.


Any type of physical contact is discouraged – no handshakes and no hugging. Social distancing (approximately 6 feet of space between people) should be maintained when at all possible.


The service will be streamlined: no Children’s Moment; only one scripture passage read; no hymns; etc.

Worship will last approximately 45 minutes to limit the amount of time anyone spends in the sanctuary. It will be “Short Service Sunday” every Sunday!


As space in our sanctuary is limited due to social distancing guidelines, some worshippers may be seated downstairs in the fellowship hall and will watch the service live via closed circuit television. All the conditions established for worship in our sanctuary will be followed by those worshipping downstairs.

 

We realize that these conditions may seem restrictive, but we believe they are necessary at this time for the safety of our church family. Please feel free to express your opinion of our worship conditions to any of our currently serving Elders: Donna Boyer, Becky Millinger, Ed Millinger, Kathy Roth, Rick Schaefer, Barb Sherry, or Bruce Terry – or to Pastor Steve.


In addition, the Session now will allow other groups of our church to begin meeting at the discretion of their respective group leaders. The Session expects these groups to practice social distancing and other safe practices during their gatherings.

 

Pastor Steve on behalf of the Session of First Presbyterian Church