Guidelines for Re-Opening Church Building for Worship
 
The Trustees of the church, in consultation with other leaders of Bethany as well, are aware of the many differences of opinions as to what should and should not be recommended as we plan to begin public worship on Sunday, June 21st. With much prayer and deliberation, we have come up with the following guidelines for now. As the situation changes and as we learn new information, these guidelines will change. In all things, our discussions kept coming back to how can we take the utmost precautions to protect one another. We are also asking people to use common sense and allow the grace of God to fill us with respect and concern for all others – no matter what their opinions may be. Paul said it well in Romans 15:5-7:
 
5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, 6 so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
 
It is how we treat each other during times of stress and conflict that will be our biggest witness to the community and the world. Having said all of this, the following guidelines are what the Board of Trustees recommends.
 
Times of Worship:
We will have public worship here at Bethany with two services
  • a 9 AM Downtown Fellowship Service
  • a 10:30 AM Traditions Service
  • We will continue to provide livestream with Church Online, Facebook, and YouTube.
  • Please do not come if you do not feel comfortable yet or are not feeling well.
 
Children’s Ministry During Worship:
Besides the two worship services, we will also be providing Children’s Ministries during both worship services for ages 4 years old through the 6th grade.
 
  • Children going to the Children’s Ministry will have their temperature taken.
  • Parents decide if they want their children to wear a mask in the Children’s Ministry.
  • If you as parents are more comfortable with your children in the sanctuary, you are welcomed to keep them with you.
  • We feel it is important that the children are able to learn again together and will take many precautions to keep them safe.
  • If you have any questions, please talk to Tami Wotring.
 
Cleaning of the Church:
Even through the CDC says that transmission is not as likely to occur through touching surfaces, we will have the whole church disinfected with a fog that stays on the surface and kills bacteria and virus for four weeks. This solution is non-toxic. For high touch areas, we will spray those on a weekly basis.
 
Social Distancing:
Having said that, we still need to do our part by continuing to use social distancing practices.
 
  • Please do your best to keep six feet away from other people.
  • We will allow only one person in the church office at a time.
 
The Use of Masks:
We highly recommend that people wear masks while they are moving around inside the building; there are places where social distancing can be difficult.
 
  • Once you are seated in the worship space, you may remove your mask if you wish.
  • If you choose to not wear a mask, that is your decision.
  • In all of this, please be respectful and filled with grace towards everyone.
  • We are the body of Christ and need to treat each other accordingly.
 
Seating in Worship Areas:
Downtown Fellowship:
  • The rows of seats are six feet apart.
  • You may sit next to family members.
  • Please do not sit closer than six feet to others in the same row (three empty chairs between).
Traditions:
  • Certain pews have been marked off.
  • We will sit every third pew apart.
  • If more seats are needed, the usher will help people find additional seats.
 
Singing:
  • It has been shown that singing will produce more aerosol particles that travel further and stay in the air longer.
  • Therefore, we are highly recommending that if you would like to sing, please wear your mask and sing softly.
  • If you prefer to just listen to the music or hum, you may keep your mask off if you prefer.
 
Stairways:
We are recommending that we keep the stairways one-way because they are small.
 
  • The stairway closest to the glass doors as you enter will be used for going up.
  • The other stairway will be used for going down.
  • There will be signs marking them.
 
Bathrooms:
We are not going to limit the number of people in the bathroom.
 
  • Please use common sense when using the bathrooms, and don’t go in if crowded.
  • The bathrooms will be sanitized.
 
Offering:
Offering baskets/plates will be located at the doors.
 
  • You can place your offering in one of them on the way in or out.
  • You can also continue to give online or with a recurring donation.
 
Other Items:
  • No drinks or food will be served – for now.
  • If you bring a drink, please dispose of your own cup or take home.
  • No bulletins will be produced – for now.
  • No Adult Sunday School Classes will meet – for now.
  • No acolytes – for now.
  • No greeters – for now.
  • No use of water fountains – for now.
  • No Communion – for now.
  • We wish to take things one step at a time and evaluate how to continue.
 
Questions and Concerns:
If you have questions or concerns, please contact one of the pastors or a Trustees member. We do not pretend to have all of the information or answers. Yet, we are still trying to make the best decisions for what we know now and how God is leading. Thank you for your prayers and continued prayers. We are the body of Christ, whether we meet in the building to worship or do so online. Even as God has given us his grace, may we share that grace with each other and the world. May we as a church continue to seek and grow in our Passion for God, Compassion for others, Refashioned lives – in the image of Christ Jesus our Lord.