Best Practices:

  • Reopening Task Force: The churches will set up a Task Force to oversee and coordinate our reopening plan (and if need be another closing and re-opening). This will include the pastor, lay leader, chairs of church council, trustees, PPRC, worship, and any laity who are medical professionals wishing to be on this task force. We will hold a phone, online, or in-person meeting to review the plan, decide which steps we will take, and who will be assigned to which tasks.

    • Part of this group’s responsibility will be to come up with an emergency plan for the church for short term emergencies such as power outages, water line breaks, etc. 

    • They will also come up with a more comprehensive plan for emergency closures that may last a month or more in the future.

●Preparing Church Building / Worship Space for Reopening

  • Closing Off Unneeded Spaces: Some rooms are needed to be accessed currently so they will be marked as such and remain cleaned and unused. 

  • If people are using the area that is closed off, they need to address it on the sign-in sheet so the custodian is aware that an are has been used and clean it appropriately.

  • Dave Mock is our Pandemic Safety Officer for Calvary, that means he is in charge of knowing what parts of the building were used so that he can keep them clean for everyone’s safety.  Darrin Burt is the Pandemic Safety Officer for Plumer.

  • To keep traffic inside the building down during the week, we ask that if you need to be in the church for some reason, that you contact the church office or Dave Mock who will allow your key card access when you request admittance. 

  • A sign-in/out sheet is provided that everyone must sign-in/out when entering and exiting the building so we can keep a thorough log of who was in the building as per Gov. Wolf’s Building and Safety Order. 

  • Due to the nature of being asked to do as much work offsite as possible (telework), Rebecca will be in the office on Thursdays from 9-2 but other hours may be at home.  If you have business in the office, please plan on conducting it on Thursday or call Thursday to make other arrangements.

  • Deep cleaning surfaces before and after gatherings:

  •   We will be following the CDC guidelines of disinfecting our building. While

    it was not in use there was a deep clean done throughout most of the

    building.  The carpets were not cleaned but the rest was sanitized

    and polished and scrubbed.   https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-    ncov/community/disinfecting-building-facility.html

  • Worship Space

    • Hymnals and Bibles will be removed in the sanctuary for use by members.  All other material will be removed from pews as well.  Plumer will leave their items in the pews as everyone will sit in the same place each week.

    • The attendance sign-in pew pads will be removed as we will not be passing items one from another.

    • Offering plates will be stationary in the rear of the church for you to put your tithes and offering in.  There will be gloves provided for counters handling such offerings.

    • Microphones will not be passed around anymore during announcements, joy and concerns, or other times during worship.  If you have an announcement, please have it in writing and turned into the lay leader at the start of service, preferable emailed.  Joys and concerns will be shared without a microphone and the leader will repeat the information to the congregation via their microphone.

    • The liturgist will use the front microphones.  The preacher will use the pulpit microphone or headset.

    • Bulletins will not be distributed during worship.  If you wish to have a bulletin, please give the secretary your email address and one will be sent to your email for you to print and have during worship.  Otherwise, all information will be on the screens during worship and weekly events/announcements will be placed on our website and Facebook page.

    • The cards usually signed by members of the church will continue to be distributed to those unable to attend, birthdays, recent hospitalizations, etc.  One person will sign the card from the church family. 

    • Cleaning of surfaces will need to occur weekly after people have been in the building. Deep cleaning should be considered on a monthly basis until a vaccine becomes available.

  • Communication about cleanliness: how we have prepared the church for parishioners’ arrival will be shared via the church website, email, social media, and notes on the doors of the building.  Also, one detailed letter will be sent to all members explaining what has/is happening in preparation for in-person gathers.

  • Remind staff and membership that if they are experiencing any symptoms, they should stay home, seek medical advice from their primary care physician, and follow isolation protocols.

 

 

●Preparing for people to gather for worship

  • The most important church reopening principle is you must, as much as possible, limit exposure to droplets in the air which could contain the COVID-19 virus. Therefore, social distancing measures must be followed.

    • The virus is spread through droplets that come into the air from breathing, sneezing, coughing, and singing. Religious ceremonies, as they take place in relatively enclosed spaces where many people are present for longer than 10 minutes, are at particular risk for spreading the virus to large groups of people. This is an excellent guide to how the virus is spread and why social distancing measures are necessary. https://www.erinbromag-.com/post/the-risks-know-them- avoid-them

    • Building occupancy limits will be set by the PA Dept of Health. By law, these guidelines must be followed.

    • Hand sanitizer is available in various locations throughout the building for you quick protection.  We also advise washing hands as much as possible. 

    • Doors will be propped open for 10-15 minutes prior to the start of SS and worship, and 10-15 minutes following worship so less people have to touch the doors.  Someone will close the doors at the start of SS and they will be locked as normal during worship.  Plumer doors will remain open as normal, both inside and outside.

    • To keep traffic inside the building down during the week, we ask that if you need to be in the church for some reason, that you contact the church office or Dave Mock who will allow your key card access when you request admittance. 

    • Reminder that if you are not feeling well for any reason, we ask that you stay home until you are feeling better.

  • High Risk Members

    • Anyone who does not feel comfortable attending in person should continue to shelter in place and engage with online services. The church leadership should be sure to keep in touch with these members until it is safe for them to come back to in-person worship.

    • It is recommended that people who are immunocompromised to continue to shelter in place and engage with online services.

    • Prayerfully consider not bringing children who are too young or people with special needs who

 can’t be expected to wear a mask for the full length of the service to church. Children can also become infected with COVID-19 and are frequently vectors for spreading the disease.

  •   People who work in essential services, such as health care, may want to continue to shelter

       in place and engage with online services depending on the level of contact they have with

       the general public.

  • People who work in skilled nursing facilities, prisons, or meatpacking facilities are strongly encouraged to shelter in place and engage with online services due to the high rates of transmission within these facilities.●Preparing for a worship service

  • Continue Online Worship:

  • We will continue to provide a worship opportunity for those who are still at home.  The service will be aired live on Facebook during the in-person time together and then uploaded to Facebook and the website for later viewing as well.

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  • ●In-Person Worship Guidelines:    

  • Everyone present during the worship service must wear a mask, even the pastors. Use microphones and increased voice volume to overcome muffling that might be caused by the mask.   Masks will be available for those who do not have one.

  • There are those who for medical reasons cannot wear a mask, for those people, we have designated the area in the sanctuary on the far left back section for all people unable to wear masks for medical reasons.  Being in one area, those that have vulnerabilities can then find seating away from this group and feel safe while worshiping together.

  • Greeters: As members enter the building, greeters will verbally welcome people and point out stations for hand sanitizers, offer masks if someone needs it, show designated seating safety, explain worship protocols regarding passing the peace, singing, and offering, and anything else germane to the service.

  • Children’s Messages: We will suspend children’s message time together until we have more information on school openings. 

  • Attendance: Attendance will be taken at any gathering including worship to adhere to the Gov. Building and Safety Orders.  If no one test positive for COVID-19 in a 30 day time frame after the attendance sheets are taken, they will be discarded.

  • Social distancing: Encourage members to sit at least 6 feet apart from each other throughout the service. (This can be accomplished through using every other pew and stagger seating.)    Families may sit together.  We ask that everyone monitor this personally, we hope to not have to rope off sections etc. 

  • Bulletins: If you wish your own copy, let the secretary know your email address and she will send them prior to the service for you to print and bring with you, otherwise, it will be projected on the screen.  For Plumer we are working on some solutions for sharing this information.

  • Singing: It is heartbreaking to consider that we will have to discontinue singing at this time; the risk of spreading COVID-19 with singing is quite high. However, let us perhaps hum along to the organ, piano, guitar, or video that is playing and look forward to the joyful noise we will make when a vaccine becomes available!

  • Offering: Passing a common offering plate increases the chance of virus spread. If worshippers bring their offerings to church, direct them to place their gift in a designated basket.

  • Passing of the Peace: We will no longer share in this ritual.

  • Benediction Response: We will not have a benediction response nor will we hold hands in some united fashion to conclude the service.

  • Shaking hands after service:  The pastor will be available after the service if you need to talk about something but there will be no shaking hands at the dismissal.

  • Baptism: If someone wishes to be baptized there will be many safeguards in place for this to occur including but not limited to: 

  • Pastor: sanitize before and after the baptism.

  • Water for baptism: boil water before and after use.

  • If more than one person is being baptized at the same time, have separate amounts of water available for each person.

  • Communion: As per the Bishop’s guidelines, we will not offer communion until further notice.   We may have other special and meaningful service pieces until we can safely resume the sacrament of communion.

  • Not following guidelines: Church leadership sincerely hopes that all those in attendance will follow these guidelines for everyone’s comfort and safety.  Those that come in good faith believing everyone will be following the guidelines may not be comfortable and understandably may leave at any time.  Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi and DS Jodie Smith both have expressed that if the pastor does not feel safe if proper CDC and State Health guidelines are not being met by everyone in the congregation that they do not have to participate in the events taking place.

  •  

  • Sunday School: adult classes, Bible Studies, UMW and youth groups:

  • continue to meet remotely whenever possible.

  • In-person meetings should not exceed size limits and should include all social distancing (6-feet apart, masks) and personal hygiene practice.

  • Attendance will be taken.  Attendance sheets need to be placed in the pastor’s mailbox outside the office for proper maintenance of records.

  • Builder’s Class will use the parking lot entrance of the fellowship hall and meet in the fellowship hall to maintain social distancing protocols.  If you need access to the elevator, you may use the side doors by the elevator and use the elevator as needed.  Upon leaving, if you are not attending church, please use the fellowship hall doors to leave allowing the main doors to be used by those coming into worship.

  • Becomer’s class will use the main door entrance or rear entrance of the church and meet in what used to be the Builder’s and Searcher’s Classrooms for now to maintain proper social distancing.  If you are not attending worship, we ask that you leave through the back door and around to the parking lot to allow main entrance access for those coming to attend church.

  • Other classes may meet as long as they can maintain social distancing in their classrooms or find a space that will accommodate them in social distance settings.

  • Meeting spaces will be cleaned before and after gatherings.

  •  Sunday School: children’s classes, VBS, Children’s Ministry

  •   Projects for families will be encouraged to build faith throughout the summer months.

  •   As children have a hard time keeping masks on, sitting still, not touching items, it is best that we do not have in-person events with children until we know more about this virus.  We will await information on what the state will be doing with schools before we proceed to in-person activities for children.

  • Church leadership may find other ways to engage children virtually.

  • Meetings:

  • meet in-person but also have the availability to attend remotely whenever possible.

  • Attendance will be taken. Attendance sheets need to be placed in the pastor’s mailbox outside the office for proper maintenance of records.

  • In-person meetings should not exceed size limits and should include all social distancing (6-feet apart, masks) and personal hygiene practice.

  • Meeting spaces will be cleaned before and after gatherings.

  • Pastoral Care:

  • Continue to connect with people remotely whenever possible.

  • In-person care should include all social distancing (6-feet apart, masks) and personal hygiene practices.

  • Follow the Bureau of Funeral Directing guidelines relating to funerals.

  •  Funeral Meals:

  •    Funeral meals have been suspended until we decide we have the space and volunteers to 

  •    offer this service again.

  • Rentals of the facilities:

  •    Until further notice, the church building may not be available for rental for special

  •    gatherings but as always in up to the trustees.  Due to social distancing, many times we

  •    will not be able to accommodate the needed guess attendance.

  • Back Door Café:

  •     Back Door Café may operate with a sack lunch format as needed. 

  •     In the fall, we will revisit if it is safe to have people congregate in the

  •                              building for meals bi-weekly and at what capacity.  If it feasible to start

  •                              them back up in person, attendance will be taken.  Attendance sheets

  •                              need to be placed in the pastor’s mailbox outside the office for proper \

  •                              maintenance of records.

  • Action Team:

  •     The Action Team will not do in-person visits with shut-ins until it is safe to do so again and

  •      nursing homes open up visitation.

  •      Until that time, it is encouraged that the action team still keep in close contact with out shut-

  •       ins and recently hospitalized by phone calls, letters, cards, etc.

  • Ladies Aid:

  •    Ladies Aid will meet in local restaurants over the summer and readdress this in the fall.

  • (Fundraising) Meals

  •    We would only be doing take-out if we did meals.

  •    No community meals before council meetings.  If there is a picnic, we will provide our own

  •    food.

  •  

  • Protocol if someone tests positive

  • If someone was in the building and tests positive.  They will notify the pastor or church office of such events.  The pastor will then look at the attendance forms to see who was in the building within 48 hours of that person and contact them stating that someone has tested positive and was in the building within 48 hours of you being in the building, please watch for signs and if you are feeling sick, please get tested.

  • Confidentiality will not be breeched, knowing that you were in the building thereafter someone who tests positive is enough information for you to watch for signs and get needed medical assistance.

  • If a staff member becomes infected, they are to quarantine at home for at least 14 days and return when they are cleared to return to work.

  •  

  • Throughout the church

  • There will be signs throughout the building reminding you to keep social distance from others, to wear your masks at all times while in the building, and to use hand sanitizer if you are not near soap and water.

  • Doors will be propped open as much as possible so that heavy traffic areas will not need to be touched as much.

  • Heavy traffic areas will be wiped down and sanitized on a regular basis throughout the week.  This includes door knobs, hand railings, elevator buttons, etc.