Despite the fact Governor Murphy reopened places of worship back in the summer the collective wisdom of the Council and staff was to prolong Our Savior’s reopening of sanctuary worship until the risk of transmitting the Coronavirus was greatly minimized. With the transmission rate hovering at around 1.0, and there being no reported cases within our congregation, we now believe the time has come to partially reopen. Currently the state is restricting worship gatherings to 25% of capacity, which in Our Savior’s case is 80 of the 320 nave capacity indicated on our official schematics. Consequently Our Savior’s Worship and Music Committee has provided a phased reopening of our worship space beginning on September 20.
PLEASE NOTE: We believe the threat of contracting Covid-19 is still an issue, and recognize houses of worship have been indicated to be common locations and events that have created hotspots for outbreaks. In the event the transmission rate increases significantly we will not hesitate to suspend sanctuary worship to minimize transmission risk. In order to minimize, but not eliminate, the risk of contracting the virus the following worship schedule and details will begin on September 20.
8:00 Worship in Sanctuary:
For no more than 80 worshippers, including worship assistants. Please adhere to the following:
• Enter only by the sliding doors on Wayne Avenue.
• Wear a mask covering both nose and mouth prior to entering the building. We will have some in case you forget to bring your own, but they will be required. Pastor Wayne will not lead worship if there is anyone unmasked in the congregation.
• Use the hand sanitizer available upon entering before moving to the sanctuary by the stairs or elevator if needed.
• A Worship Assistant will direct you to the next available pew as seating will be from the front to the back and every third pew to maintain a 6 foot distance between worshippers.
• Bulletins and communion elements (self-contained wafer and grape juice cups) will be in your pew for use during worship.
• There will be no singing or liturgy requiring congregational response to reduce the spread of water droplets. The order of service will basically be the Prayer of the Day, Readings, Sermon, Prayers, and Holy Communion.
• Worshippers will exit worship by the doors closest to the pulpit and directly out to the street from the stairwell exit doors.
• There will be no Coffee Hour in the narthex until the threat of Covid-19 is no greater than a regular virus infection.
• Bathrooms will have wipes available for users to self-sanitize the surfaces they use.
9:15 Zoom Reflections Worship:
Since this is a much more interactive worship between attendees we have been using Zoom Meetings for participants to engage in this worship experience. Singing is included as well as an opportunity to participate in the Meal portion of worship using bread and fruit of the vine elements in your home. Go to our website for Zoom link to join.
10:30 Facebook Live Worship:
Given the restrictions that must be in place for in-sanctuary worship that include the restriction of congregational song and vocal participation in the liturgy it has been decided to keep this service as it has been during the quarantine until such time as the threat of Coronavirus transmission is no longer deemed a public health danger. We will not be admitting people to worship at this service, except for those providing worship leadership in the sanctuary (e.g. readers, vocalists, instrumentalists) as well as baptisms where only the family members are present. Go to our website for the link to the livestream or Our Savior’s Facebook Page. NOTE: YOU DO NOT NEED A FACEBOOK ACCOUNT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE WEEKLY LIVESTREAM. The link on our website takes you directly to the livestream without having to log onto Facebook itself.