Our COVID Plan for Re-Entry Revised September 8

Our COVID Plan for Re-Entry Revised September 8

This update provides our COVID Re-Entry Plan revised September 8, 2020. The plan is effective immediately and will remain in place until government restrictions change

First United Church
COVID-19 Plan

Relaunching Guidelines: In Person Ministry

Executive Summary

REVISED September 8, 2020
First United Church Emergency Response Committee

Click HERE for downloadable document

Looking Forward in Faith

In Newfoundland and Labrador, our churches are permitted to resume operations with MANY restrictions at Alert Level 2, including “no more than 100 people, or 50 per cent capacity, whichever is less”.

Faith-based services pose a risk of COVID-19 transmission through:

  • Gatherings
  • Sharing of ceremonial objects
  • communion
  • singing.

Individuals over 60 and those with chronic conditions are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

Our community of faith is required to make a plan that fits with our needs, taking into consideration the activities undertaken and the demographic of our church community.

First United Church will be moving to re-entry to the Sanctuary for the congregation very slowly. The restrictions that are currently in place require a number of actions for us to take that will detract enormously from the church experience. For example:

  • Capacity restricted to 58 maximum in total based on our space available – who do we say no to?
  • All congregants will have to register by calling the church between 10am and 1pm on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday each week to reserve their place. Do not leave a voicemail to reserve your place.
  • Congregants wishing to use the assisted listening devices must bring their own headsets
  • Coat racks will not be available for use
  • Maintain physical distancing in the vestibule and in the sanctuary (pews will be closed off ensuring physical separation between all family units).
  • No gatherings before church; congregants will be seated by an usher upon arrival and registration
  • No gatherings following service. Congregants will be directed out of the building immediately on the conclusion of the service, by row, by an usher.
  • Ushers will seat congregants starting at the front of the sanctuary and dismiss congregants starting at the rear of the sanctuary
  • Singing will not be permitted
  • No choir
  • No passing of the peace or shaking hands
  • Congregants will be required to wear masks.
  • Bulletins will not be used
  • No hymn books or bibles in the pews
  • No Sunday School
  • Members of the Congregation in vulnerable categories (> 60 years old or with underlying medical conditions) are advised not to attend.
  • Continuously advise any congregants who are symptomatic or have been advised by public health 8-1-1 to report their symptoms, to self-isolate and stay at home (Fever above 38C, a new cough, or worsening cough, headache, sore throat, runny nose, fatigue, muscle pain, diarrhea, loss of sense of taste, loss of smell, and in children, purple markings on the fingers and toes)
  • Church sanctuary, vestibule and washrooms will be completely cleaned after each service
  • Persons who have arrived in the province less than 14 days prior must be self isolating and are not permitted to attend
  • Only church members will be permitted to attend. No visitors will be admitted

The current on-line service is well attended and appreciated and will continue.

Gatherings:

  • Funerals will be held at the church under exceptional circumstances only.
  • Weddings will be held at the church with strict adherence to public health directives.
  • Infant baptisms will be held at the church with strict adherence to public health directives.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting will need to be completed after every gathering.

Visitation and Pastoral Care:

  • Visitation and Pastoral care will be through phone or other virtual methods.
  • Hospital visits can be arranged with the hospital Chaplin.

Members of the congregation are encouraged to use the secure mail slot to the right of the main entrance to drop off their givings and/or prayer requests or to use online methods for donations or other contacts. Email, phone messages and the mail slot are checked regularly.

September 8, 2020

First United Church Emergency Response Committee

Click HERE for downloadable document

UPDATE on Worship Services

First United will be holding its first Worship Service in the Sanctuary on October 4th

PROTOCOLS

Capacity restricted to 58 maximum in total based on our space available
All congregants will have to register by calling the church between 10am and 1pm on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday each week to reserve their place.
Please do NOT leave a voicemail to reserve your place

Click HERE for a detailed list of current COVID-19 protocols

The current on-line service is well attended and appreciated and will continue

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