Returning to Worship in the Sanctuary: Screening, Cleaning and In-Betweening

We cannot create a risk-free environment, but we can put in place procedures and policies recommended by the CDC and other organizations that minimize the risk of transmitting Covid-19. For the plan to work, we all have to do our part.

Before you come to church, make sure you have SCREENED yourself for any signs of illness. If you do not feel well, please stay home and worship with us online!

For those who are symptom-free and have not been exposed to anyone with the virus, we invite you to come to church. Here is what to expect:

Service times and locations

Services will be at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. in the sanctuary. Plan to arrive early because we will need to socially distance as we enter. The sanctuary can hold 160 worshipers while maintaining appropriate social distancing. Seating will be on the main floor and in the balcony.

  1. Arrival: When you approach the church, please make sure to keep your distance from other members and friends. The doors will be propped open (weather permitting). You will find a sanitizing station at the entrance where you can clean your hands and pick up a mask (in case you forgot to bring yours.) EVERYONE MUST WEAR A MASK.

  2. Entering the building: The greeters and ushers are trained to answer questions and guide you towards the sanctuary. Greeters and ushers will wear masks, name tags, and gloves in order to facilitate handing out bulletins. You are encouraged to view our bulletin from your smartphone (or other smart device) by going to ThePeoplesChurch.com and clicking on the link for 'Bulletins & Newsletters.' OR, you will also be able to access a link to our bulletin in the Sunday morning email that will go out prior to the 8:30 a.m. service.

  3. Sanitizing stations: These will be at the entrances and will provide hand sanitizer, tissue (possibly gloves) and masks (in case you forgot to bring your own). We will have a station by the elevator, the northeast door and the northwest door.

  4. The sanctuary: The sanctuary will have the first two rows of pews roped off to provide distance from the chancel. The ASL interpreter will be on the pulpit side, in case you need those services. Beyond the first two rows, the pews will be divided to provide for social distancing. There are no bibles or hymnals in the pews.

  5. The service: You’ll notice the ministers and musicians will maintain social distance during the service and will wear masks when not engaged in speaking roles. We invite people to participate in the liturgy, but we do ask that you REFRAIN FROM singing the hymns.  
  • There will be a children’s message BUT the children will not come forward.
  • Communion will NOT be celebrated until the fall.
  • There will be a no-contact passing of the peace.
  • The offering will be collected via baskets at the exits.
  • Fellowship time is suspended until a later date.
  • After the benediction, the congregation will be dismissed by rows starting at the back.
  1. Sunday school: There will be summer Sunday school in the Robertson Room at the 10:30 a.m. service beginning July 19. Each family or individual child will have a separate table and materials to use. We ask parents to prepare their children for this format, and encourage the children to wear masks. There will be no nursery care for the immediate future.

  2. The Elevator: Only one person (or couple) at a time may use the elevator and anyone entering the elevator should wear gloves and a mask.

  3. The restrooms: We will require that only one person or family at a time use the bathrooms. There will be sanitizer available at the entrance, paper towels available for opening doors and trash cans placed in convenient locations.

  4. Water Fountains: The water fountains are turned off. You are encouraged to bring a water bottle if you wish.

CLEANING (and DISINFECTING) 

  • Maintenance staff have received certification in post-pandemic cleanup and disinfection.
  • Touch points and high traffic areas will be disinfected frequently throughout the day.
  • Maintenance staff are using enhanced cleaning techniques and new disinfection equipment. Disinfectants and cleaning methods are following CDC and LARA guidelines.
  • Unused areas of the church will be closed and locked to reduce the workload of custodial staff. Unnecessary chairs, tables, sofas, etc. are removed and placed into storage to reduce the amount of daily disinfection. 

SOCIAL DISTANCING (IN-BETWEENING)

When we gather as a church, we need to practice safe social distancing. That means we all need to keep at least six-feet away from non-household members. 

  • When you enter the church, or even walk up the stairs, make sure to keep your distance from other folks who are coming to worship.
  • In the sanctuary, every other pew will be closed off to create more space between worshipers. Between the two services, alternate pews will be blocked off so that the second service worshipers do not sit in the same pews.
  • Follow the instructions offered by ushers and greeters, and use common sense.
  • When you leave the church, continue to maintain appropriate distance between yourself and other congregants.

 

GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS

The best ways for congregants and staff to protect themselves from COVID-19 is to follow the best practices recommended by the CDC and the Michigan Department of Health.

Wear a face mask: Protect yourself and others in public with a face mask, covering, or shield in public, particularly where it’s difficult to maintain a 6-foot distance from others. Try to avoid touching your face.

Cover your mouth and nose: When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve, rather than your hands. Properly dispose of your tissue in a trash can.

Practice physical distancing: Maintain a 6-foot distance from others.

Follow social distancing guidelines: Use virtual platforms and avoid group gatherings and crowded places.

Stay home when sick: Avoid leaving home if you are sick. If you want or need to connect with your healthcare providers, first do so by phone or through virtual visits.

Clean and disinfect: Use a virus-killing disinfectant to clean frequently touched surfaces such as phones, keyboards, doorknobs, handles and faucets.

Maintain healthy habits: Get enough sleep, eat healthy foods, drink plenty of water and exercise, if you are able, to help keep your immune system strong. Also stay in touch with friends and loved ones. Social connections are important even in a time of social distancing.

Wash your hands!!! Stop the spread of disease-causing germs by washing your hands often. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.