COVID-19 Reopening Policy

COVID-19 Reopening Policy

What will being together look like?

  • Masks will be required. There will be masks available at church if anyone forgets theirs.
    • If you have a medical reason not to do so, please let Pastor Alina know so we can plan accordingly.
  • There will be hand sanitizer available. Please use it, especially when you first enter the building.
  • DO NOT come to church if:
    • You have been sick in the last two weeks.
    • Someone in your household has been sick in the last two weeks.
    • You don’t feel well this morning.
    • You have been in contact with a diagnosed or suspected case of COVID-19 in the past two weeks.
  • We will be taking your temperature when you arrive. Anyone with a temperature above 100.4º F must leave.
  • Remember, Pastor Alina and the other staff will be following the same guidelines!
    • We do have plans for a lay-led service in case Pastor Alina feels sick on Sunday morning.
  • Social distancing guidelines must be followed at all times. That means you must stay at least six feet away from all other people.
    • The only exception is if you come to church with your family. You’re all exchanging germs anyway–feel free to sit together!
    • Unfortunately, that means no chatting after church–not with Pastor Alina, not with your pew-mates, not with anyone.
    • That also means no hugging, handshakes, or any other forms of touch! I know we love each other and are excited to see each other, but please help keep everyone safe.
    • Please be aware of your surroundings as you get out of your car and wait to get out if you’ll be too close to another person or group.
  • We will take attendance each Sunday. That way, ifsomeone does get COVID-19, we can notify only the people who need to know that they have been exposed. We will ask all visitors to share their name and contact information and will use this information only if we need to share that they have been exposed to COVID-19. 
  • There will be only one set of restrooms open. If you do use it, please use the provided wipes to clean every surface that you touched and wash your hands when you’re done.

What will worship look like?

Please know that, in order to keep everyone safe, worship is going to look significantly different than it did a few months ago. Remember, though, that God is worshipped even when we completely change up how we worship!

  • We will be worshiping downstairs.
    • Chairs will be social-distanced. Each chair will already have a bulletin on it.
    • If you are able, please wipe down your chair before you leave. There will be a disinfectant wipe in a plastic bag on each chair, and it would be a huge help if you can wipe down your own chair. If you don’t, please leave the wipe there so we know the chair needs to be cleaned.
  • There will be no singing and no communal responses. Both spread the virus much, much further than speaking, even if the singer is wearing a mask.
  • There will be an offering plate by the door for you to place your offering as you enter or leave. We are reducing what you and others touch as much as possible.
  • We will not be using hymnals. Absolutely everything you need will be printed in the bulletins.
  • We may do passing of the peace, but there will be no touching. We will stay in our seats and wave.
  • Communion will be very different. 
    • A pre-bagged communion wafer will be on each chair. Like everything else on your chair, it will be prepared by someone wearing a mask and gloves and placed there several days before worship. That way, there’s very little chance there is any virus left on any of these materials.
    • Pastor Alina will proceed with the communion liturgy as usual, but everyone will stay in their seat to take part.
  • We will continue to have online and call-in worship services for those who cannot come to church for whatever reason. Stay safe–if you need to stay home, please do. 
    • Obviously the time of the call-in service will be different–stay tuned for more information about that!
  • The usher will be dismissing people by row to reduce the traffic jam in the lobby. Please wait to leave until you have been dismissed!

What else do I need to know?

  • If Allegheny County returns to the yellow phase, we will stop holding worship in person.
  • If someone attends church while they have COVID-19, church service will be cancelled for the two following weeks and everyone who was present will be notified that they were exposed.
  • Other than communion, there will be no events with food for the foreseeable future.
  • There will be a few people responsible for making sure these rules are followed. Please know we’re not interested in nitpicking–there will be no one with rulers, yelling at people for standing 5′ 11″ apart–but we do need to make sure that everyone at church is as safe as possible. If there is continued unsafe behavior, Pastor Alina will stop or refuse to start the worship service.