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Worship Restart


St. Matthew’s In-Church Worship Restart

(Please note changes in red)
General Information

  • Public services will begin after Memorial Day with a service on Thursday, May 28, and two services on Sunday, May 31. 

  • Service times will be Thursday at 6:30 pm and Sunday at 8:00 and 10:30 am.

  • We will have seating available in the church and in the fellowship area downstairs where the service will be live-streamed on the large screen.

  • Service times and offerings will be adjusted if needed, based on attendance.

  • The 6:30 pm Thursday service will continue to be recorded and posted on the website for viewing at home.

  • We will ensure proper distancing and sanitation to the best of our ability in the church and fellowship area.

 

Encouragements

  • Those who have any of the symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home.

  • Those who are at high risk of serious illness are encouraged to stay home.

  • Those who are uncomfortable attending services at this time are encouraged to stay home.

  • You are welcome to wear a mask, but masks are not required.

  • Everyone should practice safe distancing and good hygiene.

 
Distancing

  • Every other pew will be closed, ensuring six feet of distance between members.

  • One household will be allowed per pew (or two in longer pews, with six feet between them).

 
Cleanliness

  • High contact surfaces (like pews and tables and door handles) will be disinfected after every service.

  • A deeper cleaning will be done after services each weekend. 

  • Hymnals and Bibles will be removed from the pews.

  • The entire service will be printed in the service folder so that Bibles and hymnals will not be needed.

  • Those who are accustomed to following along in Bibles and hymnals are encouraged to bring their own.

  • Service folders will be made available on tables in the narthex, not distributed by ushers. They will be discarded after one use, not reused.

  • Baskets will be available in the narthex for offerings; offering plates will not be passed.

 
Before the Service

  • Hand sanitizer will be available at the doors.

  • There will be no hand shaking before the service.

  • The doors from the narthex to the sanctuary will remain open at all times. 

  • Councilmen or other members will be present in the narthex to guide people in these new procedures.

  • Those who attend worship will be ushered to their seats by ushers to ensure proper distancing.  Seating will be from front to back.  Those who attend will also be ushered out after the service beginning with those in the back pews.


Worship

  • Those who gather in church for worship will be invited to sing the liturgy and hymns. 

 
Communion---will be distributed at a later date

  • The elements for Holy Communion will be prepared by the pastor. This will reduce the number of people in the building and the number of people touching the elements.

  • Those who are distributing the Sacrament will clean their hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer immediately before distribution.

  • Communion will be celebrated using the continuous flow method.

  • Wafers will be placed on a large tray for communicants to take for themselves, and individual cups will be spaced out in the trays for communicants to take for themselves.

  • Communicants, whether individuals, couples, or families, will queue in the aisle on the pulpit side of church, spaced six-feet apart.

  • In turn the communicants, whether individuals, couples, or families, will approach and take a wafer from the table on the pulpit side, and then an individual cup of wine from the table on the lectern side, depositing the used cup in the receptacle provided as they leave.

  • Communicants will stand. 

  • The common cup will not be used for a time.

  • Those who do not wish to commune or are not comfortable communing at this time will be free not to do so, with absolutely no stigma.

 
After the Service

  • Pastor will not shake hands with people as they exit the sanctuary.

  • Members are encouraged not to stay and socialize in the narthex or fellowship hall. This is something that can be done more safely outside, if desired. 

  • We will not hold Bible class between services during the summer so that we can focus on sanitizing the church between services.

Confirmation Sunday

  • Please note that the 10:30 service on Sunday, May 31 will be our Confirmation Service.  We will be reserving the church for the confirmands and their immediate families.  We are announcing this in advance so you can consider using either the Thursday service or 8:00 a.m. service if you are not in involved in confirmation.

 
Volunteers Needed

  • We will be needing volunteers after each of our services to stay around for a few minutes to clean and sanitize the church.  If you are willing to do this, please plan to stay after the service you attend for a few minutes.