Gathering During COVID: How It Works

After going all-virtual for a couple of months at the outset of the pandemic, in June we started gathering again in person on Sunday mornings, following the guidelines and recommendations from the governor's office. We removed half the chairs in the sanctuary so that we could achieve the 6-foot distancing protocols, and we started offering two more or less identical worship services (9:30 and 11:00) to accommodate for the reduced number of seats. Here are some of the details:

  • We ask people to sign up (a new link is posted here each week) if they're planning to come on Sunday, so that we can assign seats with appropriate separation between households.
  • Following the CDC guidelines, we recommend that everyone wears a face mask (to reduce potential risk to those around them) any time they can't maintain the 6-foot separation — e.g., when they're on their way to or from their assigned seats. A few disposable masks are available in the foyer if you do not bring your own.
  • We're trying to maintain a "touch-free" environment, with doors propped open, no one handing out printed bulletins, and refraining from hugs or handshakes.
  • Chairs and other surfaces are wiped down with disinfectant before and after each service.
  • The 11:00 service is live streamed in its entirety each Sunday for those whose health or circumstances require them to keep their distance. The link for that is posted here each week. A recording and video of the sermon is available for retrieval starting sometime Sunday afternoon.
  • Obviously, we ask you to stay home…
    • …if you're experiencing any of the COVID symptoms,
    • …if you've been exposed to someone suspected or confirmed to carry the virus (unless you're a health care professional wearing appropriate protection), or
    • …if you have traveled outside northern New England on public transportation (e.g., airplane) in the past 14 days.
  • As of August we are not offering any children's ministries, so families sit together in the worship service. (We are working on plans to reopen our nursery and our children's church program for younger children up through second grade sometime in September.)