Grace to you and peace from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Procedures for Resuming Sunday Services.
1. Members who are sick, or anyone from a household with a sick member should stay at home and not enter the church building. This means that no one should enter the building if they currently have symptoms or have been around anyone with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis in the last 14 days.
2. High risk individuals (those with underlying conditions), should continue to shelter in place.
3. Practice social distancing by maintaining appropriate distance between people. Folks will not enter the northwest door nor the northeast door. Those entrances shall remain locked from the outside and no one is to use them to enter. This will help to not spread germs in those areas. The basement will remain off limits for everyone except in case of an emergency use of the restroom. All interior doors should remain open to prevent touching handles. Pastor will greet people from a distance by standing near the top of the northeast stairs.
4. We will have two services in order to help facilitate social distancing. They will be at 8:30 and 9:45. For seating, we will have two empty rows of pews between each one row with people. There are 15 pews on each side. Let’s label them 1-15 starting from the front. During the 8:30 service, folks will sit in pews 3, 6, 9, 12, and 15 on the left; 2, 5, 8, 11, and 14 on the right. We will mark these pews with a piece of blue tape or some sort of sign. To mitigate unintentional spreading of germs, everyone should wear a face mask.
5. During the 9:45 service, folks will sit in pews 4, 7, 10, and 12 on the left; 3, 6, 9, 12 and 15 on the right. We will mark these pews with tan tape or some sort of sign. To mitigate unintentional spreading of germs, we recommend everyone wear a face mask, but it is optional at this service.
6. Children under the age of 2 should not wear face masks.
7. Please do not congregate in the entry area. Go right to a pew. An elder or usher will guide folks to their seats, filling in from front to back and leaving two empty rows of pews between. Rows on the left and right of the sanctuary will be staggered. Only one family per row. When the service is complete, folks will be dismissed from the back to the front aided by an usher. Again, please do not congregate in the entry area. Exit the church immediately and go outside. If you wish to chat with someone, feel free to do so outside. If you want to sit up front, come early. If you don’t want to sit up front, come later.
8. Extra masks will be provided at church if you don’t have one.
9. Maintain good hygiene by washing your hands frequently, using hand sanitizer, using your elbow to cover coughs, and not touching your face. If at all possible, disinfect your hands before you enter the building. Hand sanitizer and wipes will be available as you enter church. Please take a wipe or two to wipe down your pew. Hymnals will not be used. Bulletins, with the order of service and hymns, will be passed out by an usher who has just used hand sanitizer. No need to fill out communion cards.
10. There will be an offering plate at the doors of the sanctuary for your monetary gifts.
11. We will clean and disinfect work areas weekly paying extra attention to high-touch surfaces.
12. Pastor will continue to offer alternate forms of service for members and the community for those who choose to or might be required to stay home. This would include written copies of the service and sermon as well as a video of the service on Facebook and YouTube. Videos should be uploaded by 1:00 PM on Sundays.
13. Holy Communion will not be offered on Sundays when we first open. Pastor has agreed to meet with families privately (make an appointment with pastor) or he is willing to drive to your home if you are unable to drive to church. Call for an appointment (515-269-3289).
14. Candles will be lit by the elder before services (preferably before people start arriving) and extinguished by the elder after all folks have left the sanctuary. Might be wise to just leave the snuffer/lighter up by the altar to avoid going into the side room.
While we all know God is in control of our lives and that these steps are not foolproof, we can all make simple changes to allow us to reduce the risk of resuming in person worship with our church family. That’s all these procedures aim to do – provide the safest environment so that the largest number of our church members can gather again for weekly worship. These procedures will probably change as the situation we are in changes. Please be patient with us. May God bless us all and keep us all safe. We look forward to seeing you soon in church!
Pastor, Jon, Paul, David, Jeff, Frederick