Current Guidelines and Rationale
Reopening and Safety Plan for In Person Worship at the Church
Remember, when using a mask and social distancing, you are not protecting yourself from others, you are protecting others from you, even if you are not displaying symptoms. Each person must decide what is in her/his own best interests, and those of other worshippers, for maximum safety and protection. It is in the best interest of all worshippers that unvaccinated persons over the age of 16 and those with underlying health conditions attend worship virtually.
- To make decisions out of an abundance of caution for health and safety, not emotional reaction.
- To safely meet the health, safety, social and worship needs for each member of our church family.
- To create an environment that is guided by health and safety considerations.
- To offer the opportunity for in-person gatherings at an acceptable level of risk.
General Guidelines for Worship
- Sanctuary capacity will be limited to 90 people.
- There must be 12 feet of distance between the Pastor and worship attendees.
- Worship attendees will be asked to perform self-screening (i.e., temperature check and Covid-19 symptoms) prior to arrival at the church. Persons exhibiting symptoms must attend worship virtually.
- Parents are expected to keep children with them at all times.
- We are unable to provide childcare at this time.
- Scripture readings will be printed in the bulletin.
- Congregational out-loud singing, humming, whistling, or wind instruments are not permitted during worship at this time.
- The collection plates will be placed on stands at the rear of the church.
- Worship attendees are not to gather inside the church following the worship service.
- Serving of refreshments following the worship service is not permitted at this time.
Baptisms and funerals must conform to the Cornwall Presbyterian Church Safety Plan guidelines provided in this document. Receptions following baptisms and funerals are not allowed at this time. Answers to questions about and approval to hold Religious Rites are to come from Rev. Calahan.
Worship Service Attendees Shall:
- Sign-in with the usher upon arrival for the worship service.
- Maintain social distancing while entering, attending, and leaving the sanctuary.
- Wear a mask over the nose and mouth at all times during the entire worship service.
- Use hand sanitizer upon entering and leaving the building.
- Follow directions given by the ushers for seating and dismissal.
- Refrain from contact with non-family members (no passing of the peace, hugs, elbow bumping, etc.). Gestures such as arms crossed on your chest or a polite bow have been suggested as substitutes.
- Leave the building at the conclusion of the worship service.
- Observe social distancing when using restrooms, carefully wash hands with soap and water after using the facility, use a paper towel to open door on your way out and then discard the towel in the basket provided.
- Notify pastor if they test positive for Covid-19 after attending worship services so that contact tracing can be completed. Information will be kept confidential.
The sanctuary, seating and implements used will need to be thoroughly cleaned with a disinfectant following its use before being reused. The sexton will be responsible for cleaning following worship services.
The CPC Next Steps Task Force recommends to Session that decisions be made based on current factual scientific information and out of an abundance of caution. Should it be decided to hold in-person worship services, they should be permitted only if all the above procedures are followed, and the spread of the virus does not increase in our area. It is important to understand that we are facing a constantly changing menace that is largely invisible and causes serious health effects.
These recommendations will be consistently reviewed and revised as circumstances dictate.