Strategic Plan For In-Person Worship
Updated June 9, 2021
The State of New Jersey has lifted all COVID-19 restrictions. The state’s vaccination rate, while not at herd immunity, is quite high and cases have dramatically fallen. In light of this information, the Strategic Plan for In Person Worship is as follows:
- People are encouraged to stay home and participate in the online streaming service if they are sick, have a cough or fever, or believe they are “at risk”.
- It is requested that anyone worshipping in person let the church office and/or Pastor Eliza know if subsequently he/she has tested positive for COVID-19 or has been in contact with someone who tested positive. If this information is received, those who attended the previous week’s service will be notified of possible exposure.
- Worshippers can only enter the sanctuary via the 7th Avenue doors and exit only via the Green Street door (unless the chairlift is needed).
- Access is restricted to the sanctuary, the bathroom in the parlor and the chair lift, if needed.
- Masks are required for all (except those under the age of 2) while in the church building. Pastor Eliza is permitted to remove her mask while speaking behind the plexiglass panel. A supply of masks, individually packaged, are available on a table outside the entrance for anyone who forgot to bring one.
- Singing by the congregation and speaking in unison is permitted.
- There is no greeting line after worship.
- Fellowship time following worship will be outside, weather permitting.
- Bulletins available on a table for worshippers to pick up.
- Offering plates will be placed by the entrance and exit doors.
- Communion will be “served” using prefilled, sealed juice & wafer cups. Those entering the sanctuary are requested to pick one up on their way in.
- Virtual learning Sunday School will take place until September, 2021, at which time in person Sunday School will resume with all proper precautions in place.
- Nursery will not be provided until September, 2021.
- At this time, the Chancel Choir and children’s choirs will not be allowed.
- Two soloists are allowed to lead music with a mask on, behind the plexiglass panel in the choir loft and with a HEPA air filtration machine nearby.
- The Covenant (bell) Choir, the Praise Band, and individual instrumentalists may be able to play as long as they are socially distanced from one another and others in the sanctuary.
- No weddings will be performed in the church until further notice.
- In accordance with the guidelines of PC (USA), baptisms can be performed in a suitable outdoor location with Pastor Eliza or another pastor, the Clerk of Session or another Elder representing the Session, the one being baptized and his or her family, if applicable. Others can take part and bear witness via livestreamed video.
- Funeral services for members only will be permitted.
Large Gatherings/Outside Groups
- At this time, church committees and boards are permitted to meet in person as long as they adhere to all our protocols including, but not limited to, socially distancing and mask wearing, that all members of the committee or board agree to the in-person meeting and that an option for virtual participation is provided.
- Boards and committees may hold events within the church property as long as social distancing and mask protocols are followed, with proper ventilation in the space, and a building use request has been approved.