After nearly three months of not being able to gather for worship in the sanctuary many are beginning to ask, “When will we be able to worship at church again?” The Council and Pastor Wayne have begun to work at finding answers to the more important question, “When we do, what will our protocols and procedures be to diminish the risk of worshipers contracting the virus until a vaccine is developed and administered effectively?” We don’t have all the answers yet, but here is what we know as a minimum.
- Only the Wayne Avenue sliding doors will be used initially. All people entering the building must use this entrance to minimize use of door knobs and handles.
- All people entering the building will need to wear a mask. No exceptions. Pastor Wayne will be unmasked when leading worship up on the chancel (the wood floored part of the sanctuary) but will also be masked everywhere else.
- Everyone must sanitize their hands before moving past the Wayne Avenue lobby area. We are installing two stations for use and will have additional bottles available.
- Seating will be pre-determined in certain pews to guarantee social distancing and the capacity of the nave (where the people sit) will be limited to the percentage designated by state re-opening guidelines.
- Singing in worship, both the hymns and the liturgy, will likely not be possible as it projects water droplets almost three times further than simply talking. This will be one of the most challenging disheartening facts we will have to face.
- Bulletins will contain all that is needed to participate in worship to eliminate the use of the Evangelical Worship Books in the pews and thereby minimize virus contamination.
That’s what we know for sure for now. Pastor Wayne and the Congregation Council are seeking information and ad-vice from our synod, national church office, insurance agency, as well as collaborating with pastors and congregations of Haddonfield and the Delaware Mission District to determine what practices would work best for all our congrega-tions.
Our nation may have had more deaths per capita than just about any other nation but we did not have as many as projected because of our citizens’ willingness to participate in social distancing and practicing the protocols set by the CDC, scientists and doctors that greatly diminished the number of infected and those who would die. In order to prevent a second wave of infection it is just as import, and loving toward our neighbor, that when we do re-open we continue to do our part in keeping this virus at bay until a vaccine is developed. We will continue our livestream going forward for those who feel it best to remain at home for worship and pray for the healthcare workers and scientists who both care for the sick and are developing a vaccine.