Our Response to Covid – Continued

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.

Here are a few other requests / considerations.

Before Worship Services:
1.  Handwashing – We request that everyone be diligent in handwashing, washing hands for a minimum of 20 seconds.  This is one of the greatest defenses against the spread of this virus or any other illness.  Please wash before and after the service.  This obviously includes those who are serving at a given service.  Please wash before, during (as necessary), and after the service, and regularly use hand sanitizer when washing is not an option.
2.  Again, if you are sick or are someone who is at higher risk if you contract the virus (immunocompromised, respiratory or heart issues, other underlying health issues, elderly, etc.), please do not feel guilty about staying home for now.  For your own well-being and that of others, we encourage it, especially if health issues are a concern for you already.
3.  Greeters – We have requested that our greeters not shake hands or have other physical contact with worshipers as they enter or exit the building.
4.  Ushers – Ushers will continue to pass out worship bulletins to people as they enter worship.  They will be regularly using hand sanitizer as they do.

During Worship Services:
1.  “Social Distancing” – See above.
2.  As attendance increases, it may be necessary that an usher direct you to a seat if space is not being maximized or used safely.  Please do not be surprised if this happens.  We will only be using every other pew.  Also, we can safely seat 3 individuals per pew when properly spaced out.  This does not include families who have already been around one another and do not necessarily need to maintain the 6-foot social distance.
3.  Use of Hymnals and Bibles – Handling of hymnals will not be necessary.  All hymns will be printed in the worship bulletin for the time being.
4.  Offering – Rather than passing the offering plates through the pews during the service, the offering plates will be sitting at the front of the sanctuary, one on the lectern side and one on the pulpit side.  You may place your offering in one of the plates prior to the service or after the service.  We do also offer an online giving option.  This can be accessed through the church’s website at trinitymemphis.org.  This is very secure.  You may schedule automatic withdrawal or make a one-time offering.  You may make donations through a banking account or using a credit or debit card.  We ask that people consider giving online, especially during this time when we hadn’t been meeting for several weeks and giving may continue to be lower as attendance is likely decreased.
5.  Sharing of the Peace – Sharing of the peace is on hold indefinitely.
6.  Holy Communion – We continue several procedural changes for the foreseeable future:
a.  The procedure for Communion will be “Continuous.”  Rather than coming to the rail where distance and no contact are impossible to maintain, communicants will line up and receive the Sacrament from the front of the chancel area one by one.  We ask that as you wait in line, please observe the appropriate recommended distance from the person in front of you.
b.  For now, we will only offer individual cups.  If you regularly receive the Lord’s blood from the common cup, we encourage you to receive from an individual cup and not forego it.  We are aware that there are some churches which only offer the bread/body of our Lord at this time, with the reasoning that if you receive the body, the blood must logically be present in it.  This is not what our Lord has given and commanded us, however.  He clearly commands and invites that we receive both His body and blood with the words, “Take, eat …. Take, drink.”
c.  For your safety, the pastors will wear mask and gloves.  They will sanitize their hands immediately prior to gloving for distribution.
d.  The presiding pastor will place the bread/body of our Lord in your hands.  During this time, he will not place the Sacrament on people’s tongues.
e.  If you normally need assistance by an usher, we invite you to commune at your seat.  Please let one of the ushers know so the pastors can be made aware.  If you choose to come up and need an usher’s assistance in any way, please do not take the hand of the usher assisting you.  He or she will assist you by taking you by the elbow to help you.
f.  There will not be an acolyte holding the tray for used cups.  In place of the trays will be baskets of some sort.  We ask that you discard your cup into one of the baskets.
7.  Tissues are supplied in the sanctuary should you need them.  Hand sanitizer is available for your use in at least one of the windowsills on each side of the sanctuary and also in the transept area.

 

After Services:
1.  The pastors will be in the normal place to greet worshipers.  Until the risk is lower, the pastors will greet you verbally but not shake hands.  They will be wearing a mask for greeting.
2.  Fellowship – We will not provide food for fellowship during this time and ask that before and after services we have limited numbers of people in the fellowship hall at a time to maintain safe distancing.
3.  Again, please take your bulletin home with you or properly dispose of it.  Please do not leave it in the pew or elsewhere in the sanctuary or building that would cause someone else to have to handle it.
We sincerely appreciate your help in observing these precautions in order to keep you safe and well, as well as your brothers and sisters in Christ around you.