Stage One –

 

--    Weekly worship is online only, with a handful of pastors and lay people around the Mosaic entering church buildings to record a combined worship service.  Lay people help to make our worship joyful and engaging by submitting videos of songs, scriptures and praise reports.

--    Church gatherings, activities, meetings, and conversations are held over screens only.

--    Pastor Anna, Pastor Jongdeok and our Administrative Assistant, Cathy, reach out actively to make sure folks are healthy, cared for, and receiving any help they need.  Church office hours are reduced to Fridays 9:30-12 during the Food Pantry.  Staff work from home as much as possible.  Custodian, building monitor, financial secretary and treasurer continue to work in the building as needed in isolation.

--   Food Pantry operates with a skeleton crew with orders called in and pick-ups happening out of the garage.  Deliveries are made to those who cannot get out.

--   Thrift Store is closed.

 

 

Stage Two (where we are now!) –

 

--  Weekly worship is online only created and executed with our specific church in mind.  Pastor Anna or Pastor Jongdeok (or a guest preacher) will preach each week.  Requests to attend the filming of sermons or readings will be considered as long as no more than 10 people are in the sanctuary at any given time and all keep socially distanced.  Requests from individuals who are isolated by lack of internet will be prioritized.

--  Church office opens to regular hours (Tuesday-Friday 8-1:30) with staff wearing masks when unable to maintain social distance. Visitors to the office will be asked to wear a face covering.  If that is not possible, a plan will be developed to help them in an appropriate way.

--  Food Pantry continues to operate with a skeleton crew with orders called in and pick-ups happening out of the garage.  Deliveries are made to those who cannot get out.

--   The Thrift Store opens on a modified schedule Saturdays only with all staff and shoppers wearing masks.  Everyone entering the thrift store will be required to use hand sanitizer.  Masks will be given out at no charge for those who need one.  No more than 10 people will be allowed in the store at any given point including volunteer staff.  For everyone's safety, parents will be asked to not bring their children with them while shopping if at all possible. Children of shoppers or staff who do come will be required to wear a facemask (two-year-olds and older) and stay with their parents at all times.

-- Signage about how to properly wear a face mask will be posted throughout the frequently-used parts of the church and staff and volunteers will be trained in how to wear face masks properly. 

--  Paid and volunteer staff keep a health log that records temperature and affirms that they are symptom free at the beginning of each “shift.”

 

 

Stage Three –

 

--    Weekly worship meets in-person.   Everyone will be required to wear masks when standing and unable to maintain social distance.  Everyone will be encouraged to use hand sanitizer at the entrance to building.  If the weather is nice, our preference is to worship outside with chairs set up in family groupings amply spaced apart under the Catalpa. There will be no shared hymnals or Bibles.  If we are in Stage Three and it is too cool to worship outside, we will worship in the Sanctuary with strict social distancing following maximum percentage capacity guidelines issued by New York State.  Pews will be marked so that households can be spaced safely from one another.

--    Weekly worship will still be recorded and made available online.  High-risk persons are encouraged to remain at home.

--    When outside, worshippers will be encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs.  Extra chairs will be available.  When used these will be wiped down after each service.  Bathrooms will be open and will be sanitized thoroughly afterwards.  Disinfecting wipes will also be placed in each bathroom so people can wipe it down if they were to choose to do so.

--  Traffic flow will be regulated to reduce bottle-necking indoors.

--  Nursery will remain closed during this phase.  There will also be no social hour.  Bring your own coffee, if needed.

--    Prepare worshipers by publishing safety/hygiene guidelines for the church and its yard, including pre-worship symptom check, mask-wearing when unable to maintain social distance, disinfecting high-touch surfaces, frequent hand-washing, neither arriving early nor lingering after, and maintaining social distance of 6 feet, etc.

--    Reimagine the practices of communion and congregational/choir singing, both of which we love, and both of which are opportunities for contagion. 

--    Youth will continue to meet online only.  There will be no in-person Sunday School.

--    Virtual gatherings, activities, meetings, and conversations continue as needed. No in-person meetings on the church calendar.

--  Food Pantry continues to operate with a skeleton crew with orders called in and pick-ups happening out of the garage.  Deliveries are made to those who cannot get out.

--   The Thrift Store opens without appointments needed Friday and Saturday, staff and shoppers wearing masks and using hand sanitizer at the entrance.  A limit on people in the thrift store at any given time may need to be enforced.  Children will still be asked to stay with their parents if they need to come at all.

-- Signage about how to properly wear a face mask will continue to be posted throughout the frequently-used parts of the church describing how to wear face masks properly. 

--  Paid and volunteer staff will continue to keep a health log that records temperature and affirms that they are symptom free at the beginning of each “shift.”

 

 

Stage Four—

 

--    Sunday worship is in-person and indoors with continued maximum capacity guidelines followed.  Social distancing and mask-wearing restrictions maintained.

--    Weekly worship continued to be recorded and made available to anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable attending in person.

--   Congregational and choir singing will still be reimagined.

--   Church meetings and gatherings resume in person with mask-wearing.  Meetings of more than 5-6 people will be held in the Social Hall or Sanctuary.

--    Nursery reopened with added care for cleaning.

--    Sunday School and Youth meet in-person, with extra adults on hand to assist with hygiene habits.  We will modify children and youth activities based on evolving recommendations from the CDC.

--    Continue vigilant sanitizing/cleaning of the facility.

--    Food-sharing (social hour and potlucks) will be allowed but reimagined (for example, potlucks might be “bring your own food”).

--  Food Pantry decides which pandemic practices to continue as the “new normal.”

 

 

Stage Five: vaccine party!

--    That’s all we want to say about that. It’ll be big.

 

 

If you’ve read this far, or if you skipped to the end, you’re asking: How long will each stage last, and how will we decide it’s time to move to the next one?

 

Here’s what we know for sure:

 

1.   We plan to continue in Stage 2 until the end of July.  The rest of the transitions will depend on data related to virus containment and guidance from New York State and our Upper New York Conference. 

2.   We are in this for the long haul.  We can imagine moving back to a prior stage if we sense (or know for sure) that we’ve moved ahead too fast. We’re not afraid to keep asking each other for more patience, more perseverance, more time.

3.   We’re not scientists. But we listen to some good ones. For now, the consensus of those folks in our state is cautiously optimistic about a gradual reopening.  Although some leaders on the national level are calling for churches to open their doors for in-person worship sooner rather than later, we will continue to trust the advice of our local medical professionals and state government. 

Our Church's  Pandemic Reopening Plan

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