First Presbyterian Church
In-Person Worship Announcement
May 31, 2020
I am excited to share with you that we will begin offering in-person worship on Sunday, June 21! For the past couple of weeks, the Worship Committee has had several meetings where we look at information/recommendations from the Presbyterian Church, (USA), the Presbytery of Coastal Carolina, the CDC, Health Department, and various other sources. We have also taken a look at how other churches are approaching resuming in-person worship.
We take worship very serious…and we take the health and well being of our members and community very serious as well. The aim of the Worship Committee was to put together a plan and process that will allow us to invite people back into the sanctuary while also providing a safe space for our gathering.
This afternoon following our service of worship the Session met, via Zoom, to hear and take action on a proposal from the Worship Committee. So, beginning Sunday, June 21 we will once again open our doors to allow us to worship face to face. But we feel in order to do so safely we must make some changes to our old normal, so the Session has approved the following guidelines for in-person worship.
-· As you arrive for worship, we will have outside doors open so no one will have to touch handles in order to enter
– Everyone needs to wear a mask/face covering when entering and exiting the sanctuary. These masks/coverings may be removed once you are seated.
– If you do not have a mask/face covering, we will have masks available.
-· As you enter and exit the sanctuary, hand sanitizer will be available.
-· Prior to June 21 we will mark the pews in the sanctuary, possibly with blue painters tape, providing guidance for appropriate social distancing. We recognize that families will be seating together so ushers will be available to provide guidance.
– We are trying to stagger seating so people are not sitting directly in front of or behind one another. (It won’t be too complicated…together we can handle this!)
-· As we begin returning to in-person worship we will not have a choir. Hopefully we can return to choral music in the near future…we will continue to monitor best practices.
·- Initially congregational singing will be limited since singing is a much more forceful push of air.
– When we do resume congregational singing, hymns will be printed in the bulletin to eliminate the need to use hymnals.
-· We will have someone keeping attendance so we can have an accurate record of who is present on what Sunday. (In case we need this information at a later date.)
-· Worth Hall will be closed except for bathroom emergencies.
– Cleaning and disinfectant supplies will be outside of bathroom doors. We would ask anyone needing to use the bathroom facilities to help wipe down/disinfect surfaces touched before leaving.
-· At this time we will not be offering nursery care.
-· Exiting the sanctuary will be by quadrants, utilizing all doors, including those near the front of the sanctuary, to better keep social distancing.
In addition to these guidelines we would encourage everyone to carefully assess their own level of risk before deciding to join us for in-person worship. We will, as we have for the past several years, continue to offer on-line worship. While we want to see everyone, and worship with everyone, we also recognize that not everyone is comfortable being in close confines with others for an extended period of time. As much as we long to see everyone, we also value everyone’s safety more.