New Covid-19 Guidelines for Covenant Presbyterian (August 2021)

David Kling

August 5, 2021

Sheila Cloud, Chair of the Covenant Presbyterian Board of Trustees

Dear Covenant Family and Friends,

I am so grateful for your support of our church during this last year. I am particularly excited about how, in spite of obstacles, we have continued to execute our mission to “make disciples of Jesus Christ, who love God, love one another, and serve in the world.” I am encouraged by the wonderful work of our church staff and the growing momentum in our programming.

As the Chair of the Board of Trustees I want to share with you the results of our discussion on Tuesday night as we respond, once again, to the unfolding changes to public health in our community.

While our major operations will continue uninterrupted, we will nevertheless be making several important adjustments to mitigate the spread of the Covid-19 Delta Variant. Our goal is to support our community as we all work to slow the impact of the Delta Variant on our local hospitals.

The most important change is that we recommend and strongly encourage you to wear a mask while indoors at Covenant, even if you are vaccinated. This follows the current guidance from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html

In addition, we will be offering a worship space that exceeds CDC guidelines. The Fellowship Hall will offer a live broadcast of the service at 10AM. The Fellowship Hall will have socially distanced seating, masks will be required, and there will be no singing in this space.

The following outlines all changes to our policies. These guidelines will be evaluated by the trustees monthly at our stated meetings and we look forward to keeping you informed of future changes.

Worship and Programming Guidelines Effective 8/3/2021

We will offer three ways to worship. Each opportunity offers a different way to connect to your church family at a different level of risk.

  1. MASKS STRONGLY ENCOURAGED IN THE SANCTUARY (WITH SINGING): The sanctuary will continue to follow CDC guidelines. We therefore recommend and strongly encourage you to wear a mask even if you are vaccinated. The worship leaders will be unmasked on the stage and the congregation may continue to sing.
  2. MASKS REQUIRED IN THE FELLOWSHIP HALL (WITHOUT SINGING): The fellowship hall will require you to wear a mask. The service will be broadcast on a screen. We ask that there be no singing in this space during worship. A pastor will give the charge personally with a mask on and will dismiss this group a few minutes early to allow for socially distanced exit.
  3. AT-HOME WORSHIP ONLINE: The livestream worship will continue to broadcast live worship into the safety of your home.

Hospitality Hour will continue under the following guidelines:

  1. Following worship, the congregation should exit the church building to visit outdoors and avoid gathering in the sanctuary or narthex
  2. The back patio behind the fellowship hall will be the designated area for hospitality hour
  3. Food and drink during hospitality hour will be postponed until re-evaluation

Members of Staff have the following guidelines:

  1. Staff are expected to mask indoors unless they are alone in their office

Preschool Guidelines

  1. Teachers must mask during the workday
  2. Parents must mask when entering the building
  3. Children do not need to mask during the preschool day
  4. Preschool teachers should open windows when possible

Children’s Sunday School: 8:45-9:45 in the Middle Wing (age 3 – 5th grade)

  1. Children ages 3 and up must wear masks during indoor programming
  2. All nursery, volunteers, teachers, and parents entering the Middle Wing must wear a mask in the presence of children

Young Children in Worship: 10:00-10:10 (ages 3 – 3rd Grade); 10:00-11:00 (4th & 5th Grade)

  1. Children ages 3 and up must wear masks during indoor programming
  2. All children ages 3 and up will be joining us for the first 10 minutes of worship
  3. Parents have the option to worship as a family in
  4. the Sanctuary with masks encouraged and singing or in
  5. the Fellowship Hall with masks required and no singing
  6. Following the children’s message, ages 3 – 3rd Grade will exit both the Sanctuary and the Fellowship Hall and accompany the Children’s Director to the Middle Wing for Children’s Church
  7. Ages 4th and 5th grade will remain for the full worship service in either the Fellowship Hall or the Sanctuary according to their parents’ preference

Children’s Church: 10:10-11:00 (age 3 – 3rd grade)

  1. Your child will join you for the first 10 minutes of worship either in the fellowship hall or in the sanctuary according to your preference.
  2. Following the children’s message, the children’s director will escort children from both the Fellowship Hall and the Sanctuary to the Middle Wing.
  3. All nursery, volunteers, teachers, and parents entering the Middle Wing must wear a mask in the presence of children

Thank you so much for your attention and cooperation in making Covenant a safe home – spiritually and physically – for our congregation. By wearing a mask and getting vaccinated you support the efforts of our healthcare workers and the discipleship of our children. We have invited many neighbors to join us in worship this week. Let’s work together to make our church a safe and welcoming home for them as we follow Christ together.

In Christ,

Sheila Cloud, Chair

Covenant Presbyterian Board of Trustees

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