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Our Response to Covid: Trinity’s Plan for Continuing Public Worship Services – Update 3
As most of you know, Trinity resumed public gathering for worship on Sunday, May 10. We resumed offering Holy Communion as part of our services on May 31. The following includes a review of our guidelines along with new revisions to our service information and procedures. For background on how initial decisions were made in consultation with physicians in our congregation and CDC guidelines, see prior versions for our Public Worship. Based on that information, the following outlines our most current service and safety procedures.
First, as of February 7, 2021 we are transitioning from two services back to one. We have held two services since reopening public worship in May to assure adequate safe social distancing. With the combined total attendance we have had in worship, the Elders and Pastor feel comfortable we can continue to gather and safely social distance with one service at this time.
To comply with safety guidelines, we continue to ask that everyone closely observe the minimum 6-foot social distancing guidelines. So that that we are best prepared on a weekly basis, we continue to ask that you sign up for the service. A weekly email will continue to be sent out with a link to sign up. If you prefer, you may call the church office to sign up.
A few important further notes. First, we still encourage/recommend worshipers to wear masks during the service but are not requiring it, that is as long as 6-plus feet of social distancing is maintained at all times during the service. There are two caveats to this. One is that we still request that everyone wear a mask into and out of service until seated in the sanctuary, as entering and exiting present more difficulty with maintaining adequate social distancing. The second caveat is with singing. If you choose to sing in the service, we request that you do wear a mask for singing; or, if you choose not to wear a mask during the whole service, please do not sing. … Second, we will continue to livestream the service during the 10:30 time for those who are unable to attend worship or are not comfortable attending yet. This obviously does not replace being gathered with the body of Christ in Church, but it does allow anyone to participate in worship who is not able to come for health or other reasons. As a reminder, you can go to our Facebook page – TrinityMemphis – to access the service. Also, we will continue to post the worship bulletin and Trinity Today on our website if you would like to use them to follow along with the service. … Third, for Holy Communion see the procedures we are following below. … Fourth, if you have any symptoms of illness (coughing, trouble breathing, fever, etc.), out of respect for the health of others, we respectfully request that you not attend worship until you are well. … Fifth, if you are a person who is at higher risk to contract Covid-19, such as being immunocompromised, having other respiratory or heart conditions, etc., we encourage you to consider staying home and watching the livestream for your own health and well-being. … Sixth, we request that you maintain the minimum 6-foot distance with others at all times, avoiding shaking hands, hugs, etc. … Seventh, we ask that you take your bulletin home with you after the service and dispose of it yourself or place it in the recycle basket on the floor just outside the sanctuary in the narthex. … Eighth, for the time being the nursery will remain closed during services. If you need to take a young child out for a few moments, we suggest the fellowship hall. We will also not be making the “busy bags” for young children available for now until we can get a safe and quick disinfecting plan in place for between services.