PHASE ONE – NO INDOOR CONGREGATIONAL PROGRAMMING / STAFF & WORSHIP CREW ONLY – PARKING LOT SERVICES, ETC.
Phase One is appropriate anytime there is not a stay-at-home order in effect.
During Phase One, we will continue online worship services for home participation by anyone. We may provide drive-in worship services following CDC protocols for parking lot worship services.
Depending on the decision of the pastors and staff, we may also provide drive-up Communion. If you participate in drive-up Communion, cars should enter from the south and approach the West, driving in an easterly direction. Participants should bring a plate for each person in the vehicle. Pastors will be masked but not gloved, with well-washed hands. We will put Communion on your plate without touching the plate. Communicants will place the glasses in a basket (w/ a towel).
There will be no in-person meetings inside the building. Someone may hold a meeting outside the building (generally on the patio) as long as the following stipulations are complied with: Members schedule the gathering in Church Community Builder, all participants agree to wear a mask, groups not be greater than ten in number, members maintain social distancing from those not in either household at all times. For example, if two people share a picnic table, they will sit at opposite corners.
Throughout this pandemic, we will continue to provide remote participation for those who should not attend in-person. Congregants are encouraged to maintain good hand hygiene, washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. We require cloth face coverings with an exception for those younger than 2yrs of age. Those with exposure to a person diagnosed with COVID-19 stay home and self-monitor for symptoms, and follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop. Do not attend if you are ill or are aware of having been exposed.
Typically, unless there is a compelling reason not to, all groups and staff are expected to meet only by zoom.
During Phase one, our Operations Staff will mitigate hazards within the building. Water fountains should be kept safe from Legionnaires’ disease and other diseases by turning off water fountains and putting signage on them. Support the worship services by setting up and taking down sound equipment, painting X’s on the lawn before worship, and create communication, signage, and markings.
We will engage in infection control by developing a cleaning & disinfecting protocol, providing hand sanitizer for all entrances, maintain adequate supplies of soap, hand sanitizer 60+% alcohol, and tissues. We will clean areas that staff would often touch. For other information, see ELCA guidelines under “virtual worship.” We will use technology to help people at home to be active participants and not just observers. Indoor worship will only involve Musicians, Technicians, Worship Assistants. Ten or fewer people will be in attendance.
During parking lot worship, each household should be in a different car. Carpooling does not comply with social distancing. Attendees must remain within the vehicles in which they arrived. Attendees may roll their windows down; cars should park at least 6 feet apart. People may bring lawn chairs and sit outside, provided they are masked, and observe social distancing. Markings on the lawn will be present to aid in maintaining the proper distance. Vehicles should enter from the south entrance and exit the event using the West exits. There should not be passing of objects or physical contact between cars. As people enter, ushers will distribute the Communion elements. We will be collecting the offering after worship as you exit in your vehicles. Worship helpers will wear face masks when approaching vehicles before, during, and after services.
Regarding drive-up worship, we will make the event brief. Except for Communion, no food or beverages will be present. We won’t provide public or portable bathrooms because this creates a risk of transmission. We’ll limit the number of speakers to the smallest number possible and ensure they avoid close contact (e.g., within 6 feet) with others. Speakers should not congregate and should return to their vehicles following their parts. Whenever possible, we will use individual microphones if multiple speakers will participate. When a microphone has to be shared, we will clean it between speakers or leaving it untouched on a stand.
We will partner with local public safety officials, so they are aware of our event. We will promote social distancing at services and other gatherings by all.
During Phase 1, we will provide safety training for the staff. We will establish health screening protocols for the team coming to work. (Taking temperature) We will ensure social distancing at work. Will will initiate a protocol related to the office staff’s use of the copier. We will maintain physical distance between the church staff and the public of at least 6 feet when interacting. Our staff will meet via Zoom.
The staff will be encouraged to maintain good hand hygiene, washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. We will cease physical contact (e.g., shaking hands, hugging). We will advise staff and congregants with symptoms of COVID-19 or who have tested positive for COVID-19 not to return to the facility until they have met CDC’s criteria to discontinue home isolation. We will provide training on the safe & correct application of disinfectants. (taught by Karen) We will strongly encourage everyone to wear cloth face coverings in public space. We will provide protections for staff and congregants at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. In our recording of worship & in music practice, we will have one masked singer placed at least 12 feet away from all others.
Throughout Phase One, the SMART Team will monitor the department of health information, and the Council will update its phase decision as appropriate.
Our church council has granted these exceptions:
No matter what phase we are in (including phase-one), we will make an exception to the “no in-person meetings inside the building” rule for public elections. We will take extra care to clean areas used by the public for this civic event.
Red Cross blood drives will still be held at the Church.
We will make an exception for small weddings & funerals. They are not to exceed 50 participants in total. We will post signs with screening questions at all entrances, and a church representative will be available to take temperatures.
The high school youth may meet as long as they do so: Outdoors only with social distancing guidelines. Parents/guardians must sign waivers, youth in attendance will take their temperatures, and group size is limited to ten. Everyone must agree to wear a mask
Distribution of ministry items may also take place. If possible, items to be distributed will have had 1-3 days of no people contact. Using protocols similar to restaurant take-out orders – [minimal person to person contact, LOL representative wearing gloves and masks] Individuals may come to the church for pick up of items – pulling up to the front doors and staying in their cars.
The black box continues to be a place where items can also be distributed or exchanged.