What will Sunday mornings look like for those who re-gather in person, and what can I expect if I plan to continue to participate by livestream?
We will have two services, one beginning at 9am for adults (and youth ages 15 and up), and one beginning at 11am for families with young children. The Family Service takes place later in the morning, offering more protection to older members of our community, who will worship first. The timing also allows for adequate time to clean and disinfect between the services. We ask you to diligently follow our guidelines noted below.
Current plans are to live-stream both services, which will be almost identical, except for a few adjustments for children in the second service. It is not a ‘children’s service,’ but our usual liturgy along with some accommodation for those who are younger. We will offer Hospitality Zoom most Sundays and are considering timing options.
Key principles to remember in person
1) Follow instructions of Sunday Support Team Members for seating and one-way movement in the building, 2) avoid milling about with those outside your household, 3) wear masks and use hand sanitizer, 4) stay home if you or anyone in your household feel unwell.
Please plan to arrive 10 minutes before the service start time, as you will see we have added a few steps to the arrival process and it will take some time for us all to get used to moving around the building.
Each week, we ask that those planning to attend the upcoming Sunday service register on-line by the end of the day on Tuesday. We plan to use Sign-Up Genius for this and will send out easy to follow instructions for sign-up. We will check those arriving on Sunday morning against the registration list, so that we are sure to keep the attendance under 50 people and so that we have a record (should we need it) for contact tracing of who was in attendance. If you forget to pre-register or if guests arrive and we are not at capacity, we will be able to accommodate you.
Arrival and entry into the sanctuary
When you arrive at the church you will be greeted outside and asked a series of common COVID questions while your temperature is being taken with a forehead thermometer. Those with a temperature, or who answer “yes” to any of the screening questions will be asked not to enter. The specific questions will be made available on our website and when you register online to attend a service. Upon arrival, you will be reminded to wear your mask and sanitize your hands. You will not be admitted without a mask. Once inside the sanctuary, a Sunday Support Team Usher will show you to an available seat. There will be bulletins on any seat that is available to be used, and chairs will be pre-arranged to ensure proper 6’ distancing.
In the Anglican tradition it is accepted that to receive communion in one kind is equivalent to receiving both. Also our Bishop has advised that we are to serve bread (wafers) only. So only the Celebrant will drink from the chalice, which will be a symbolic act for our community. The congregation will remain in their seats while the Celebrant brings communion to each person, dropping the wafer into the communicant’s hands. This will help to cut down on movement in the space, and avoid potential distancing issues while queuing.
With regret and after much research, we’ve concluded that we will not promote congregational singing. It seems that this extra breath is a common denominator in many super-spreader events. We still will have music! Our pastoral staff will give guidance and suggestions on ways to try and enter into this time of worship.
Children's Ministry and Nursery
The Family Service will have a short time of teaching focused on the children (think Children’s Sermon), in addition to the usual elements of our worship. However, the children will remain with their families for the entirety of the service. No nursery care will be provided. The lower level (with a TV showing the worship livestream) will be accessible if children need to be removed from the service.
Hospitality and after-service gatherings will not take place
At the end of the service, ushers will release people by rows, and direct them to the nearest available exit. After the Adult service especially, we need to have congregants leave the building without delay, so that we can clean and disinfect, and to avoid being in the building longer than necessary. The doors will not open for the Family Service until the cleaning and disinfecting have been completed. We will not serve any food or drinks, and ask that if you choose to socialize after the service, that you do so in the park across the street, and continue to observe best case practices (social distancing, etc).
Other logistical details
The restrooms will be available for use. There are diaper changing tables in both the men’s and women’s bathrooms for those tending to infants. All movement throughout the church will be “one-way traffic,” so please follow signs and Sunday Support Team member instructions. The lower level will be available for those who need to step out of the service, with equipment showing a simulcast of the service from the sanctuary. We will have offering baskets available where you can place Prayer Request Cards or if you prefer to place a check in the basket as you leave instead of giving online. We will open all the windows in the sanctuary to improve ventilation. During the week, each week, a professional cleaning service will clean and disinfect portions of the building.
Our intent is to hold in person services as long as Illinois remains in Phase 4 of re-opening and allows for gatherings of up to 50 people indoors. Please remain prayerful for wisdom for our pastoral staff and re-gathering team as we adjust to new circumstances weekly. We remain open to modifying our plans and protocols, and aim for ways to improve, simplify and make meaningful our gathering together.
Everyone has a role in making sure our communities are as safe as possible to reopen and remain open. For you this may mean continuing to attend services virtually, or deciding to attend in person. No matter your decision, everyone is being called to slow the spread of the virus through social distancing and prevention hygiene. In addition to our physical health, we need to be caring for one another spiritually and emotionally. Please be looking for ways we can creatively minister to one another.