Grace and Peace,
New guidance from the CDC recommends vaccinated and unvaccinated people wear masks indoors as variants spread. Adams County is currently in the high category for rate of transmission. As inconvenient and frustrating as it is to wear a mask, it is recommended to wear one to help keep everyone safe and I support that. However, people are not required to wear a mask.
Flohr’s Lutheran Church Re-opening Plan
The Church Council has prepared a plan to ensure the safety of worshippers for our re-opening while inside the building by encouraging social distancing, face mask wearing and using proper cleaning practices. Following are excerpts from that plan which the congregation needs to be aware of and follow.
Before you attend — Before coming to an indoor service, each worshiper and family needs to ask themselves the screening questions:
Do you have a fever, flu or cold symptoms, and/or loss of taste or smell?
Have you been exposed to anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 during the 10 days prior to the service? If you have been exposed, feel sick, or have any COVID-19 symptoms, please stay home.
Signage — The following "Worship Guidelines" will be posted:
A mask is recommended but not required during indoor services.
Music will be played, but there will be no congregational singing. Words are printed so you can read along.
As we share the Peace, no handshakes or physical contact should be made. Waves, “peace signs”, or other touch-less greetings may be used.
Be gracious! If someone forgets established guidelines - kindly remind them. If you forget - graciously accept a reminder.
Initial Schedule — Alternating indoor and parking lot services.
Starting in May, services will be held indoors on the 1st & 3rd Sunday of the month and outdoors (parking lot services) on the 2nd, 4th, & 5th Sunday. Indoor services will be at 9 AM and outdoor services will be at 10 AM.
Future schedule and times — The schedule of services and times will be reevaluated on a monthly basis.
Sanctuary — To maintain adequate social distancing, every third pew will remain open.
Fellowship Hall — Once the sanctuary capacity has been reached or a worshipper does not feel comfortable sitting in the sanctuary, the fellowship hall will be used for additional seating.
Narthex — Bulletins and communion elements will be provided on a table for worshippers to pick up. An usher will be available to assist with lift chair operation.
Classrooms, kitchen, choir rooms, etc. will NOT be accessible during services
Operations During Services
Face Masks, Social Distancing, and Eating & Drinking
A mask is recommended but not required.
Everyone will adhere to social distancing.
No eating or drinking will be permitted in the building.
Entry Into the Church — All worshippers will enter through the main entrance, except those with disabilities and those who are assisting.
Seating and Exit Procedures
Various rows of pews will be roped off to assist in social distancing.
Ushers will assist worshippers to ensure filling in pews from front to back. Those with disabilities will still be accommodated.
After the service has ended, ushers will excuse worshippers by pew from back to front. Those who have no additional business inside the church should promptly exit the building.
Communion and Offering Procedures — Once congregants have partaken of the Communion elements, the containers may temporarily be place in the hymnal racks to then be taken along when departing and disposed of on the way out. An offering plate will be available in the narthex as worshipers enter and in the sanctuary as worshippers depart.
Socializing After Services — Socializing after services must happen outside the building and should follow current social distancing and mask usage guidelines.
Ventilation — Windows can and should be opened to allow fresh air into the sanctuary. Ceiling fans may be used.
Cleaning and Sanitization — The church will be cleaned and sanitized after services and events to limit the spread through contact surfaces.