In an attempt to prepare for our Fall programming, the Session met during our regular August meeting to discuss our protocols related to mitigating the risk of spreading COVID-19. We reviewed our existing protocols that have been in place since we returned to public worship after the shut-down, to decide if they needed to change or be renewed. We also needed to make a plan for how we would respond in the event that someone who had been attending our public activities was diagnosed with COVID.
Our plan for Fall is:
1. We will continue with our existing protocols (listed below). These are good practices and we can even try to be more vigilant with them as school starts meeting.
2. If someone who has been attending our public activities is diagnosed with COVID, we will trigger an automatic 2-week shutdown. Our worship service will be exclusively online and all other activities will either be suspended or meet online until the 2-week period is over. The church building will also be thoroughly cleaned. If you are diagnosed with COVID, we ask that you contact the church office. We will of course keep your name confidential.
3. Sunday school classes will meet in the largest areas possible to make spreading out feasible. We will also meet outside for as many events as we can while the weather permits.
4. During Communion, we will serve the elements from more than one location to make it more possible to spread out.
5. We will continue to be careful in the preparation of any fellowship-time items. As has been the case, servers will wear masks, and we will keep trying to offer items that reduce the chances of multiple contacts.
6. We will keep an eye on circumstances as they may change. If adjustments need to be made, we will be sure to communicate across all of our platforms (website, Facebook, bulletin, in person announcements, etc.).
Decisions related to the COVID pandemic are difficult. We all bring a variety of different emphases, perspectives, and circumstances to what we think is the best response. Our hope is that this is a “middle of the road” course that acknowledges the need to act wisely, while also not acting fearfully. We recognize that we will need to be flexible as circumstances change.
It is a privilege to serve as your Session and we are praying for you all. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to talk to Pastor Shaun or any other member of the Session.
Protocols for Living Waters Worship Time to Mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19
• Please refrain from hugging, handshaking, and other physical contact.
• Rows of chairs have been moved farther apart. Please self-direct the spacing between household units to allow six-feet distance (at least two chairs) between families within a row.
• Please wash hands or use hand sanitizer prior to, or just after entering the building. Hand sanitizer dispensers are located near each of the sanctuary entrances.
• Cover coughs or sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow; not hands).
• Use of face masks is encouraged. Extra masks are available in the entryway.
• An offering plate and envelopes are placed at the back of the sanctuary to receive your offering as you enter, or as you leave the sanctuary.
• During the sharing of blessings and concerns, the worship leader will bring the microphone to you and hold it as you share. If you are able to step into the aisle to share, this will also help.
• Parents are encouraged to keep children sitting with their own family (and supervise before and after services) including going to the restroom. Drinking fountains have been turned off.
• The nursery is closed, and children are not allowed to play with the toys from the nursery.
• Please exit the sanctuary and building in an orderly manner while allowing space for social distancing.
• If you are not able to attend in person, the worship service is live-streamed, and then archived, on our YouTube channel. Audio-only recordings of the sermon can be found at our website: LivingWatersWendell.org. You can find a link to our YouTube channel and the audio recordings under the “Media” tab at the top of the page.
• Updates and announcements will be found on our Facebook page, on our webpage, and in the worship bulletin. You can subscribe to receive the webpage announcements as an email by scrolling to the bottom of our webpage and entering your email address where it says, “Follow Us via Email”.