Updated Covid Protocols for Regathering

The Covid Task Force continues to meet, noting together the increasing positive news about vaccinations and a drop in the number of covid cases in our community. We are encouraged and heartened by the way our community has returned to in-person worship each week! Thank you for your part in making our return so meaningful!

We acknowledge that this phase of the pandemic represents a season of increased personal responsibility, of each household assessing risks and using their wise judgment on how to engage. Just as we’ve done together for the past 15 months, we’ll continue to extend hospitality and compassion to one another, celebrating the broad reach of our beloved community that unfolds in person and online.

Starting on Sunday, July 4, the following changes to all in-person gathering protocols, including Sunday worship, will be made:

  • Masks will be optional for fully-vaccinated individuals. Those who are not yet fully vaccinated, including all children under the age of 12, must continue to wear masks. All adults working with children will continue to wear a mask regardless of adult vaccination status. 

  • Physical distancing will no longer be required in the Sanctuary. We will create a designated section in the Sanctuary for those who would prefer more physical distancing between folks in worship. 

  • Pew rack items will return. We will return to our use of physical hymnals, Bibles, connection cards, pencils, etc. 

  • We will celebrate communion as is our custom. All will be invited to come to the front to partake in the holy meal. Ministers and Deacons will bring communion to any in the room for whom movement is a challenge. 

  • Our offerings will continue to be collected at the doors. This change, among others, will help us keep our worship service under an hour. 

We continue to practice the following protocols:

For church-related outside gatherings:

  • Youth over the age of 12 and adults are no longer required to wear masks at outside gatherings, regardless of vaccination status. 

  • Ministers in coordination with parents of children under the age of 12 will use discretion on whether or not to ask that masks be worn depending on the outdoor activity and context.

For small group indoor gatherings (off-site and on-site):

  • All individuals who are fully vaccinated are no longer required to wear masks or practice distancing in small group settings. Those who are not yet fully vaccinated must continue to wear masks and practice distancing to the best of their ability. 

  • In the church house, masks will be worn by any staff member or volunteer who is not vaccinated and interacting with any member or guest in the building. 

  • All adults working with children will continue to wear a mask regardless of adult vaccination status.

Should you have any questions or concerns, you can send them to any of the members of this task force (Roper Halverson, Gary Stiffler, Gary Knight, Joy Gambill, Linda Lewis, Scott Hudgins, Ka’thy Gore Chappell, David Williamson, Amy McClure, Emily Hull McGee) or to coronavirus@firstonfifth.org, and we will get back to you promptly.

Thank you for your part in keeping our community a place of bold love and boundless compassion for all!

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