Worshiping Together at the Emmanuel Baptist Church Building
The elders met to develop COVID precautions and a plan to safely return to worship in the church building.
1. We can meet with 160 people present (50% room capacity). We have chairs set up for 82 people, our normal attendance, our normal attendance prior to COVID-19.
2. If you are sick, or think that you may have been exposed to the virus, please stay home.
3. We have taken chairs out of the sanctuary to maximize social distancing. We’ll set up to have a minimum of 29 feet from the platform to the first pew and a minimum of 6 feet between pew clusters.
4. There will be no nursery.
5. We will continue to broadcast on Facebook Live for those who are at risk or have concerns. In fact, we will continue to broadcast our services indefinitely as our attendance has risen dramatically through our online worship platform. We might not be able to display the words for music or for the sermon message. We continue to work on this feature.
6. We will all wear a mask. If you are unwilling to wear a mask, please stay home for a few more weeks. Apparently, singing is one of the most dangerous activities for virus exposure. I will personally sing or hum softly in my mask. I may even wear a mask to preach if necessary. We are still evaluating how the worship leaders can lead worshiping and preaching without endangering anyone.
7. We will follow extensive preparation for public worship to minimize risk. We are anticipating following the extensive plans of Brotherhood Mutual Insurance which have been vetted by professionals.
8. Sunday School and small groups will continue to meet on Zoom for the time being. Sunday School will go from 9:00 to 10:00 to allow for people to travel to the church building for worship at 10:30. We will reassess these groups week by week.
9. We will enter the building through the welcome center and exit the sanctuary row by row through the south sanctuary doors (the old entry doors). We will block off and lock the doors to all non-essential areas of the church including the educational building, the fellowship hall, kitchen, and preschool area.
10. We will sanitize the entry, hallways, sanctuary bathrooms, sanctuary, and sanctuary chairs, etc. before services and all essential doorways will be propped open to reduce physical contact with any surfaces.
11. We’ll have a “no-touch” policy—no handshaking. There will be no bulletins or offerings received. A box will be available for offerings so those who handle money and checks will be able to sanitize materials and their hands in a controlled environment. Additionally, the Bibles have been removed from the sanctuary chairs.
12. When we have the Lord’s Supper it will be in prepackaged units like we distributed for the Good Friday service.
13. We’ll have a no-judgment policy for those that feel safer staying at home longer.