Westminster Is Open for In-Person Services
The re-opening task force realizes that the guidelines suggested below will not be adequate for all individuals; some people may feel safer worshiping from home until a later time. We will continue offering YouTube services for all who prefer that option. For the rest of the congregation, we are assuming they are willing to take the risk of being together and as adults who have been dealing with this pandemic for over a year are able to make decisions in their and their family’s best interest. The plan (broken down in categories) is as follows:
THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE: As we begin to reopen for the first time in over a year, this plan will be continually adjusted. Thank you for your adaptability and patience.
SERVICE TIMES: WPC will be offering two services each Sunday—a traditional service at 9:00 and a Contemporary Service at 10:30. Seating will be available for 60 participants in the sanctuary at each service.
MAKING A RESERVATION FOR ATTENDING A SERVICE: Pre-registration for services will be required. Online registration will be through a program called Plan Hero. There will be a link on the church website. People can also call into the church between 10 and 12 Monday-Thursday to make a reservation. Sign-ups will only be available starting on Mondays for the following Sunday.
ENTERING THE BUILDING FOR SERVICES: To preclude the desire to socialize, people will be asked to arrive no more than 15 minutes before worship. Anyone who is not feeling well is asked not to attend an in-person service. Everyone coming into the building must wear a mask and keep the mask on at all times in the building. Everyone must observe social distancing coming into and in the church itself. Inside the church will not be a place to socialize.
GREETERS: A “greeter” will open the automatic door (the one closest to the sanctuary) for attendees, offer a mask if they do not have one, and check them off the registration list. No one will be allowed to be in the church without a mask. A second “greeter” will provide hand sanitizer for all who come in the door and will direct participants to the sanctuary.
NAME TAGS: WPC will not be using name tags at this time as we will not be greeting each other in the sanctuary.
ENTERING THE SANCTUARY: Ushers will guide people to a seat, seating participants from the front to the back of the sanctuary leaving two seats between parties. You will have to decide who you consider to be in your safe “bubble” for seating purposes. This seating will allow maximum use of the space and ensure that no one is wandering around looking for a seat. We ask that participants stay seated and not move around to greet friends.
BULLETINS: At this time bulletins will not be provided. Attendees may want to bring a bulletin they printed at home or view it on their cell phone.
OFFERING: There will be a time in the service for the offering; however, we will not be passing offering plates. A box will be provided at the entrance to the sanctuary for people to leave their offerings either before or after the service.
PEW RACKS: The racks on the backs of the chairs have been removed, consequently no hymnals, registration materials, prayer request cards, offering envelopes or brochures will be available.
MUSIC: The Chancel Choir, Bell Choir, Worship Team, and other special music will prerecord their music at this time. Congregational singing will be allowed. Although research varies, singing with masks is supported by the research. Jeffrey will continue to sing at the Traditional Service, but he will be masked. Jeffrey’s singing the hymns will benefit those in the sanctuary as well as those at home.
CHILDREN: Sunday school will continue to be offered on Zoom at 9:45 am through the end of the education year, and use-at-home materials will continue to be posted online at salemwestpres.org/sunday-school. Please contact email@example.com for the webpage password. In addition, children of all ages are welcome to attend in-person worship services with their grown-ups (include them in your registration to attend). We will provide disposable worship bags with activities for pre-K through 5th grade. Unfortunately, we are not able to provide nursery care at this time. Please watch for updates or contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns.
PASTOR KELLY: Everyone is anxious to meet Pastor Kelly; however, for her safety and until she is fully vaccinated she will come into the sanctuary as the service starts and return to her office before anyone is dismissed. Meeting and greeting large numbers of people will have to wait until it is safe to do so.
LEAVING THE SERVICE: When the service is over, participants will be dismissed from the back of the sanctuary to the front to exit the sanctuary. They will be asked to go directly to the outside door closest to Boulder Hall to exit the building.
RESTROOMS: The restrooms across from the coat racks will be open. Spray disinfectant and disinfectant wipes will be available for use by anyone who may feel vulnerable.
SOCIALIZING: As hard as this will be to do, attendees are asked to please refrain from socializing inside the church building. All socializing must be done outside the building in the fresh air. Our goal is not to stymie friendliness but to keep everyone safe.
You may cancel your reservation for in-person worship until Noon on Friday. After that, we will not be able to process cancellations. We understand "life happens", and if for any reason you feel unwell on Sunday morning, please do not come to church. Stay home and enjoy the streamed service instead.