Questions About Re-Opening
Will there be an occupancy limit for worship?
At this time, recommendations are that no more than 50 persons be in the same space together. CDC, WHO, and IDPH guidelines recommend limiting groups to 25% of the space’s capacity, which would put us around a 60-person limit. We are anticipating not going over that limit due to many folks not feeling comfortable coming back to church quite yet. If you plan on attending worship in-person, please contact the office so we can prepare accordingly. We can expand to multiple services if numbers exceed the 60-person limit.
How will seating work?
Every other pew will be roped off and we will designate 6’ physical distancing sections for individuals and families to sit. Families of the same household will be able to sit together. Ushers will be happy to assist you if you have any questions or concerns.
What about masks? Will they be required?
We are currently suggesting that anyone who would like to attend in-person worship be required to wear a mask. Studies on this are overwhelmingly clear that although masks cannot perfectly protect you from getting COVID-19, if everyone wears them, it can cut the chance of transmission down by as much as 95%. Masks will be provided for those who do not have one or forget to bring one. Children under 2 will not be required to wear a mask. Remember, masks don’t protect you, they protect others around you if you would happen to be a carrier. Here’s a helpful video: https://youtu.be/0Tp0zB904Mc
What if I have a medical condition that prevents me from wearing a mask?
If you have a medical condition serious enough that it prohibits you from wearing a mask, we encourage you to stay home and take advantage of our online streaming of the service that will continue for the foreseeable future. If you adamantly refuse to wear a mask, we are considering having a section in the sanctuary for those individuals to sit. Due to insurance, IDPH guidelines, and for everyone’s safety, we must follow guidelines set forth by state health organizations. More information can be found at: https://www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19/community-guidance/places-worship-guidance
How can I sing and respond in worship if I am in a mask?
Singing has been proven to be one of the most contagious and dangerous practices one can currently do in an enclosed area. We have no plans to integrate communal singing or responsive liturgy into worship at this time. There are options for communal practices if they are done outdoors but there is no guarantee with an enclosed/circulating air system.
Can I still shake hands/hug my friends before and after church?
We are highly discouraging physical contact of any kind unless it is with family of the same household. Although transmission data seems to suggest COVID-19 is primarily spread through droplets and aerosols, we are still erring on the side of caution.
Where did all the hymnals and bibles go?
We have removed anything that might be “communally touched” in order to make sanitizing and disinfecting easier for our staff. Don’t worry, they are safe and will be back as soon it is safe to do so!
I didn’t see the offering plate or attendance pad go by, where did those go?
Same as hymnals and bibles; everything that could be touched by multiple individuals has been removed. We encourage you to drop your offerings in the plates on your way out of church or to donate online at: https://www.faithpresmonmouth.org/donate-1 For health and safety, and to more easily notify folks in the event of positive cases from our worship service, we are requiring people to sign-in at the door.
Where will I go when I arrive at church on Sunday?
There will be one access point in which you will enter and exit (most likely the southeast door by the sanctuary). It will be marked, as well as tape marked along the sidewalk where you are to stand in case there is a line. We ask that you do not bunch up while entering and exiting the building. The other doors will still be unlocked due to fire code and safety, but we please ask that you enter the designated door for screening and seating.
What about bathrooms?
Bathrooms will still be available and cleaned weekly. We will have sanitizing stations located around the church and as always, we encourage you to sanitize and wash your hands frequently.
Are we still going to have social hour?
Social hour is currently planned to take place outside, weather permitting, where studies have shown it is much safer to meet. We cannot offer shared food or drink at this time, but we encourage you to bring your own snacks and drinks as you catch up with everyone after service.
Will there be Adult Education/Bible Class?
We are still offering classes at 9:15 and plan to meet both in-person, and through Zoom. The location will depend on class size and that will be assessed the first Sunday we are back.
Will service still look the same?
Many of the service elements will feel familiar, but there will be some modifications that will need to be made. One such change will be a shorter service. This is not only to keep you all comfortable in masks but is also to lessen the amount of time that we are in an enclosed space together. It will feel different but oftentimes different can still be good.
What if I don’t feel safe coming back to worship yet?
We will still be offering online worship through our livestreaming capabilities. We encourage you to tune in at 10:30 for worship on our Facebook or YouTube pages.