Worship in our sanctuary is resuming. Many of us are excited, but we all need to understand that our worship situation will continue to be very different for some time.
We will have sanctuary worship services at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. For at least the next few weeks, there will be no other group activities in the building, including Sunday school.
We also will continue to offer online worship opportunities. If it is unsafe for you to attend in-person worship, please take advantage of these online worship events, which will be publicized on the church website, Facebook page and email system. We trust you know how to assess your own health risks. If you have any questions regarding your health risks, please contact your family physician.
For an unknown amount of time, on-site worship will be considerably different from what once seemed normal. Please read these items carefully:
- To attend, you will have to pre-register during the week for one of the services. You can do this by calling the church office (865-376-7040) or emailing the church office (firstname.lastname@example.org). Timestamps on voice mails and emails will determine the order in which people registered. To maintain proper social distancing, we cannot have more than 50 worshipers in attendance in a single service. If the demand for seats exceeds 100, we will consider adding a third service at 1 p.m.
- To attend, you will have to put on a mask before entering and keep the mask on while in the building. This is non-negotiable. Please bring your own mask.
- As you approach the building’s front, main entrance—the only entrance that will be open—ushers will check your names against the registration list. They also will ensure you have a mask and offer you sanitizer, and help you understand seating arrangements. The sanctuary and main entry area, including the associated restrooms, will be the only parts of the church open. Please do not attempt to go elsewhere in the church building.
- People living together in a household will need to sit together in the sanctuary, with six feet separating them from other households. We also will be following “no touch” rules before, during and after the services—stay six feet away from people not in your household and touch as few objects as possible. All pew hymnals, Bibles, notepads and such have been removed, so bring your own Bibles with you.
- During the service, there will be no congregational singing, as group singing in an enclosed space has proven to be one of the most rapid ways to spread the COVID-19 virus. We will have music from a pianist and a soloist, as well as preaching. The three worship leaders will wear masks when not speaking or singing, and the speaker and singer will be behind plexiglass when active.
- You will be dismissed from the services by rows to make it easier to maintain an appropriate distance while leaving.
We also assure you there is a plan in place for thorough cleaning of the entry area, bathrooms and sanctuary before and after each worship service.
We know—this is a lot of change to comprehend. We will have to work together in Christian love, which includes mutual care for one another, to make this work.
We want to get this right so we can continue to keep Roane and Meigs counties as free from Covid-19 as possible, moving toward a day when we sing loudly and move about our building freely once again.