“We are still the church!” has been our refrain throughout the pandemic. The past 15 months have had plenty of opportunities, challenges, and adjustments. There are plenty of encouraging signs in the process of emerging from it all! In many ways, this is very nuanced and complex time. We have folks who are vaccinated, some who are not, and some (including our children) who are not yet able to be vaccinated. Some of us, regardless of vaccination status, have to be more cautious due to health vulnerabilities, either ourselves or in those with whom we live or interact regularly. We’re at differing levels of comfort with re-engaging. There are plenty of layers when it comes to living in faithful community with one another right now. This time calls us to mindful of one another, offering compassion, gentleness, and support.
Following the updated CDC guidance released on May 13, we took an extra week to allow for any further guidance as well as reflection. The Executive Committee of the Board met last night to review and update our guidelines. This group has worked faithfully throughout this pandemic process with a challenging task and I’m personally grateful for them. You can find the full updated guidelines below, but here’s a thumbnail sketch of the main details for worship & group gatherings going forward (all effective immediately):
Outdoor Worship– 9:45 in the side yard- will continue through July 25; masks not required (though you are welcome to continue to wear one as you desire); Children Worship & Wonder story will continue with storyteller and children masked during this time; bulletins, prepackaged communion, and offering boxes will be available at yard entrances; congregational singing will resume with hymnals available at the entrance tables & lyrics printed in the bulletin
Indoor Worship– 11:00 in the Sanctuary & livestreamed at www.facebook.com/fccgeorgetown
We’ll move to one indoor service on Sunday, August 1, with the livestream continuing to be offered and the church nursery resuming care that morning as well
Group Gatherings- Buildings and yard area available for groups; masks not required for fully vaccinated; unvaccinated folks should continue to mask while in the building; for outdoor events, attendees may bring their own private food/drinks or individually packaged food & drinks may be shared
Thank you for your commitment, understanding, patience, and compassion throughout the pandemic and during this present nuanced time as well! If you have any questions about any aspect of the guidelines, please feel free to contact me email@example.com) or Barb Southworth, Board Chairperson firstname.lastname@example.org)
Grace and peace,
Updated Covid-19 Guidelines-FCC Georgetown
Effective May 25, 2021
- Honor system will be in place regarding vaccination status.
- No masks are required for fully vaccinated people; masks are still required for unvaccinated individuals when indoors. However, anyone who is still more comfortable wearing a mask may do so.
- We will continue social distancing for indoor worship until August 1st with every other pew roped off.
- We will continue prepackaged communion and offering drop boxes for now or until Worship Committee determines how they would like to proceed as part of the worship services.
- Congregational singing and choral music may begin immediately.
- We will continue outdoor services until the end of July. We will then move to indoor and on-line services on August 1st.
- Nursery will begin again August 1st. Further information about this will be shared at a later date.
- Groups may use the church facilities. Masks will be required for unvaccinated individuals when indoors. Individually packaged food and drinks may be shared at outdoor meetings/activities. Attendees may bring their own private food/drinks as part of an event if desired. This will be revisited at the end of July.
- For weddings, social distancing is still encouraged. Masks for unvaccinated individuals are required, unless they are speaking as part of the ceremony, at which time they can be removed. It is encouraged that as much photography as possible be done outdoors. However, if necessary, the wedding party may opt for brief photography indoors while the unvaccinated individual(s) are unmasked. Attendance up to 150 is permissible.
- We will discontinue tracking attendance but do encourage individuals who become ill with Covid-19 and have attended one of the services or activities to call the church office so this information may be passed on.
- Should the governor’s mandate regarding masking change, we will reevaluate the church’s guidelines at the end of July.