Dear Church Family,
I am excited to announce that we are planning to reopen both of our church facilities on Sunday, May 31st. As always, worship services are at New Hartford at 8am and Whitesboro at 10:30am. No adult classes are planned to meet. There will be no child care or children’s classes. For now, when you bring your kids, they will sit with you in worship. Remember, after worship, children need to maintain 6 feet apart from others, too.
Your safety is important to us as well as your need to worship with your church family, which the Bible directs. Below is a list of things we have considered and are proposing, based primarily on the most recent (5/23) CDC communication on re-opening churches, found at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/faith-based.html.
I would like the first service back to be a celebration of God’s goodness to us during this troublesome time. I’m excited that things are working out for us to get back to worshiping together! But, if you need to, please don’t feel bad about continuing to watch from home for a while longer.
May God bless you all and I hope to see you soon!
Re-opening Church Details
Please, if you are not feeling well, coughing, or sneezing, please do stay home and watch online for now. Also, if you are higher risk because of your health challenges or simply your age, you may want to consider staying home for another week or more. This is your decision.
We will do our best to make the environment safe. We’ll have hand sanitizer available. We plan to have volunteers open the front door for you and to keep the handles disinfected, along with volunteers to disinfect the door handles and faucets in the bathrooms. Everyone will be reminded to cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue or elbow, and to please place tissues in the trash.
We plan to instruct everyone to maintain 6 feet of distance between each other, with the exception of family units. Please, let’s avoid hugs and hand shakes for now. The chairs in the worship center have been spaced 6 feet apart, but of course families are welcome to place their chairs closer together.
Everyone attending on the 31st, and until further notice, will need to wear a mask while inside the church buildings. I have noticed that the mask issue has been difficult for some. Please don’t consider masks a sign of weakness or lack of faith. Let’s let “love-one-another” be the overriding principle here. You may have seen in the news lately warnings being given about singing and loud, or forceful speaking as droplets are propelled much further than 6 feet. It may only take one asymptomatic infected person to quarantine all attendees, or to close down our reopening, or potentially cause severe illness or death of one of our family. People on the stage will be 6 feet apart and will wear their mask when they are not on the stage. Pastor plans to wear a mask when he’s not on the stage. Wearing a mask is a small price to pay, a mere inconvenience as we move forward together.
Please understand we will not be having coffee or snacks available at church for now. Please, just for now, do not bring food to share, except canned goods to put in the food pantry.
The water fountains are not to be used. We may have bottled water available, but ask that you would please place the bottle in the trash when you’re done with it. Please don’t leave it sitting around. Thank you.
Usually at the end of the worship service, pastor will invite people to come forward for prayer or to share a decision. Instead, for now, Pastor’s phone numbers and email will be available for sharing your response to the morning message.
When it comes to the time in our worship service for collecting the offering, this will be done differently. The offering plates will not be passed around the rows as usual, but instead you will be instructed when and where to place your offering. Thank you for your help.