The PUMC Governing Board held a special meeting on September 20 and, with the help of some guiding questions from the District Superintendent, has approved the following protocols for worship at PUMC, effective Sunday October 4, 2020.
The following are PUMC’s new worshipping guidelines:
- The service will be held at 9:00AM live in the sanctuary, televised in the fellowship hall, and broadcasted through Facebook.
- The sanctuary will continue to have the sections roped off to maintain 50% capacity, and the fellowship hall will be set up to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
- Masks are required to enter, exit, and move throughout the building.
- Greeters will “greet” and inform attendees of guidelines before entering the building.
- Attendees will be encouraged to make use of the multiple sanitizing stations.
- Singing is permitted.
- Attendees will be asked to use a Covid-19 symptom tool (see attached) to determine if they should or should not attend. When in doubt, an attendee should just stay home.
In the sanctuary:
- Masks may only be removed once seated in the pew, or may still be worn, if so desired.
- Pews will be dismissed at the end of the service to help maintain social distancing; anyone who removed a mask must put it back on at this time.
- Families are encouraged to sit together and to sit towards the center of the pew, so as to allow the ends to be open for others. (This keeps people from having to crawl over others to get to a seat in the middle.)
In the fellowship hall:
- Service will be televised.
- Masks will be required at all times.
- Social Distancing guidelines of at least six feet between families will be required.
- With worship taking place at 9:00AM, Sunday School and SMASH (Students Meeting and Serving Him) will now occur at 10:15AM.
- SMASH will be meeting in the education wing of the church.
- As a support for SMASH, Pastor Ryan will begin convening a Sunday School group for parents and young families; those interested should initially meet in the Social Hall after dropping kids off for SMASH.
- For the first few weeks, Adult Sunday School will take place as one large group in the Social Hall, gathering at 10:15AM.
- If adult attendance to Sunday School rises as weeks progress, smaller group sizes and classes will be encouraged to break out throughout the building.
- The study for the first few weeks of Adult Sunday School will be based on 2 Peter 1:3-11 and Dr. David Jeremiah’s book Everything You Need.
- All sanitizing and safety rules apply during the Sunday School hour.
Note: If people are not comfortable coming to worship in either the sanctuary or the fellowship hall, they may still view the service through Facebook from the comfort of their homes. Likewise, anyone who has or exhibits symptoms of illness is asked to use the attached symptom tool before arriving for worship, or simply choose to worship from home.
These new guidelines come after much prayer, discerning the risk level in our county, and considering the reopening plans of some other churches in our and in nearby counties. We believe this plan offers effective safety measures, while also providing a variety of worshiping options to meet the many different comfort levels within our congregation. Please note, these protocols are subject to change, modification, and improvement as the pandemic situation continues to unfold. Thank you for your patience, prayers, and understanding.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to me or to any Governing Board member. Our hope is that these guidelines will be another opportunity for each of us to extend the love, compassion, and care of Christ to one another.