Worship News The ReOpening Team, carefully considering the health and safety of all, balanced against our congregation’s shared life of worshiping and serving God, proposes: -That beginning March 28, 2021, 9:30 AM worship will resume in the sanctuary by reservation, with 50 or fewer in attendance.
We understand that there are many who should not, or do not wish to, gather in person, and so we are committed to continuing a quality online worship experience. For those who choose to worship on-site, the procedures will be as follows:
Call or email the office (518-399-5144 or firstname.lastname@example.org) by Thursday EACH WEEK before noon if you plan to attend the following Sunday. Provide your last name and the first names of those you expect to be with you and a contact phone number. You will receive a confirmation call or email at which time the attached COVID questions will be asked. Attendance will be “first come, first served”. (If your plans change after Thursday, please call Libby Horn at 518-698-4043 to cancel or check on additional openings)
Plan to arrive AT LEAST 15 minutes early.
Plan to use bathroom before you come. The bathroom with the electronic door nearest the sanctuary will be available in emergency. Use elbow on electric door opener going in and coming out. One person at a time unless related. Please spray with Lysol all surfaces touched before you leave the restroom. Wash hands for 20 seconds.
Please park in large lot near Route 50. Please leave handicapped parking spaces for those who need them. Please maintain social distancing even in the parking lot.
Put on your mask to cover nose, face and chin. Please come up the long walkway from the parking lot and observe social distancing in line. There will be 2 stations under the portico. Be prepared to answer again the COVID questions on the laminated sheet on the table for all in your party; if any answers to these questions are “yes”, please wait until the end of your quarantine to attend.
Use hand sanitizer if needed. After registration, please wait outside the main door until door opened from the inside to let you in. We will be watching and will indicate when you need to wait a few moments as only one party can be in the narthex at a time. Once inside, you will be assigned an usher and seat/s. Please appreciate that we are working with parties of various sizes and want to fit as many people as we can safely. Please be accepting of your seat even if further forward than your preference or on the “wrong side”. Some will be asked to move to the middle of the pew, most to sit as close to the aisle as possible. We will not ask you to sit behind a pillar. We may be looking for attendees who would be willing to sit in a chair in the side aisles.
Before being seated, pick up a bulletin and put your offering in the plate if you are not mailing it in. (In-person offerings will be deposited in the safe before we leave the building.)
Your party will be seated together. Please do not engage at length with the usher as he/she needs to get back to the narthex to seat the next party.
Please recall that music will be prerecorded and the words of hymns will be on the screen. We will not sing; humming is encouraged.
Please remember that hugging and handshaking still need to wait for better days; acknowledge others with gestures that do not include touch.
Also, please understand that we rejoice with all who have been able to be vaccinated, yet having the vaccine does not release one from the responsibility of masking and observing social distance.
If you have young children, bring your own items for them and do not share with anyone outside your household. Do not bring food as your face covering should stay in place throughout.
At the end of service, after the pastor has carried out the light, the ushering team will indicate when and where to exit starting from the back of the church.
Please be aware and follow all these instructions and those provided by the Welcoming Team. Our volunteers are trained to assist you. They are using the guidelines we are required to follow. Please respect them and thank them for their service to our congregation. Thank you for your understanding, and your commitment to your church and to our God.
Group Leader? Planning a meeting? Further information for leaders of groups meeting in church building Team chairs, please remember: 1. Please schedule Knight Hall with the church office. 2. Ask your group members to sign in AT YOUR MEETING, not at the back door, where bottlenecks can occur. Gather a roster of ALL in attendance, including phone numbers, and provide a copy for the church office. 3. Read to your group members the “Covid questions” (laminated copy available in Knight Hall); anyone who cannot answer “no” to the screening questions should be encouraged not to be present that day. 4. Sanitize chairs, tables, doorhandles after use; a bucket of supplies and instructions are provided in Knight Hall. Thank you! It is wonderful to see your (masked, but lovely) faces!
Guidance and Protocols from the BHUMC Re-opening Task Force
The pastors have convened a team of leaders to address the steps needed toward re-opening the building for meetings and gatherings. This task force is meeting regularly, and carefully studying recommendations and practices from our denominational authorities, as well as from county and state health agencies.
The team affirms that the life of this church has been accessible and responsive during this pandemic, with worship, study, prayer and fellowship continuing and growing. We are grateful that congregation members are reaching out to care for one another in many ways.
The team intends our building to be truly a sanctuary, a place where soul and body are respected, nurtured, and kept safe. Therefore, in order to guard the health of church staff and church members, the re-opening task force has put in place some protocols for use of the building. We understand that these practices are new, and here is why: As people stop isolating and begin to interact more, there will be increased potential for infection. We provide these protocols for the safety of all:
Your voice and thoughts are desired but for now, please rely on telephone, electronic or written communications in reaching out to staff and fellow church members.
The building will have one entrance, which is the door nearest to the Administrative Office. (Any key currently in your possession will only work at this one entrance.)
Please do not visit the church building if you are ill. Take your temperature before you arrive to be certain it is normal. Be prepared to wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth while you are in the building. Your hands should be washed thoroughly before you arrive and, as necessary, use hand sanitizers as you progress through the building.
There will be cleaning products on hand, to spray any surfaces you have touched which could be likely to serve as “transfer” points (bathroom faucets, door handles etc.)
Everyone must sign in upon entering the building. You will enter your name, the date, the time of entry, the purpose and destination of your visit and the time you leave. You will be expected to respond by checking a box about the current status of your health. This may sound invasive, but it will be important to track what spaces are being used so they may be cleaned thoroughly. Also, this information will aid any tracking of the Covid-19 virus that could be required by the State or County.
Enter any space respectfully by staying six feet away from other persons. As much as possible, do not touch surfaces. Keep your mask in place and do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your hands.
Knight Hall will be the only location available for meetings for your group. No more than one group may meet at a time, to avoid overlapping traffic. The number of attendees is limited to 30, if using half of the room, or 50 if using the whole room.
If you have reason to be upstairs in the building, you may see doorknob hangers on classroom doors – these are to signal that the room is unused since its last cleaning. If you have reason to enter/use a closed room (remember, groups are to meet downstairs in Knight Hall!), please flip the door hanger to signal that the room should be re-cleaned.
Thank you for your cooperation. These directives may seem burdensome, but they are a burden we all commit to share. Let us work together to remain welcoming and supportive to one another while guarding the health of all.