Dear First Church Members,
The time has come for First Church in Pembroke to resume gathering in our beautiful sanctuary for Sunday worship!
We will be returning to the sanctuary for worship on Sunday, October 4, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. Reservations will be necessary; please call the Church office (293-2584) and speak to Kristen. The maximum allowed in the sanctuary is 25.
FCIP is following advice from national, state, and local leaders and has prepared the church building for our re-entry. There will be many differences in our worship, and you will notice some new features as soon as you enter the building. Those changes and new features are explained in the attached letter.
Please read them carefully so you will be familiar with the expectations when we regather. As time goes on and the health risks continue to lessen, we will continue to return to our more typical practices.
We ask that those in the high-risk category due to age or health condition refrain from regathering right now and continue taking advantage of online services.
We look forward to seeing you on Sunday, October 4, 2020, at 10:00 a.m.
PROTOCOLS FOR RE-STARTING
As we gather at church, all of us must make changes to usual routines to stay safe.
Welcome back to our Sanctuary. On October 4th First Church will again worship together. Your health is important to us. The COVID-19 virus is a disease similar to any communicable disease like a cold or the flu, but far more dangerous for elderly and medically compromised individuals. It is possible to have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus but not exhibit any sign or symptoms, yet you could still pass on the infection. “Social Distancing” nationwide has been credited with the reduced transmission of the Coronavirus. In reopening the Sanctuary to Sunday Services, the Diaconate are following precautions mandated by government agencies in the efforts to illuminate the potential for transmission of pathogens in the church. We hope that the following procedural information will allow you to make decisions about how you want to participate:
- Sunday worship will begin at 10:00 A.M. and will be approximately 30 to 45 minutes in duration. Please do not arrive more than 15 minutes prior.
- Reservations are required as we are limited to a total of 25 people within the Sanctuary. Please contact Kristen at (781) 293-2584 by Friday noon (if there is significant interest in attending services, a second service may be considered).
- If you are not well, or may have been exposed to the virus less than 14 days prior, or you are at higher medical risk, or just nervous, you must refrain from attending service in the Sanctuary until such time as you are healthy and/or willing to visit. Please visit FirstChurchInPembroke.org to view services at home.
- When you arrive, you will be greeted outside the church by a Deacon who will record your name and temperature using a contactless thermometer. The Deacon will provide a dollop of sanitizer to the palm of your hand (or offer gloves) and insure you have a properly fitted mask. You will then be led into the Sanctuary where you may choose a seat that has not been blocked off. Families will be allowed to sit together. Please remain in your seat until the end of the service whereupon a Deacon will present to you another dollop of hand sanitizer and lead you outside.
- We are not currently able to worship with live music.
- Offering plates will be available as you enter and exit the sanctuary.
- Except for wheelchair access, Fellowship hall is closed. There is no post service coffee hour. Bathrooms are also closed (except for an unanticipated emergency)
These procedures are designed to alleviate many of the fears we are all experiencing regarding the threat and spread of the COVID-19 virus. By working together this pandemic will pass and we can all get back to (a new?) normal.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.”