Since March 15, 2019, when the COVID-19 pandemic started and our state was ordered to shelter in place, our Church family has found new ways to remain in fellowship with one-another. On June 14, 2019 we reopened our sanctuary for in-person worship; and on September 8, 2019, our Preschool resumed in-person Christian education for children ages 3-5 years old.
Congregation engagement has remained steadfast during this pandemic showing that our Church is still one body in Christ. Together, we have kept Schwarzwald UCC relevant in all of our lives!
In order to keep all of our members safe, we wanted to remind everyone about the following Church COVID-19 policies:
● If you are an at-risk population and you do not feel comfortable attending worship in person, please join us by one of our alternate means.
○ Zoom Worship Service (Meeting ID 610 779 0850, Passcode 1737)
○ Dial into Zoom (1-929-205-6099, Meeting ID 610 779 0850, Passcode 1737)
○ YouTube Recording (Search: Schwarzwald UCC YouTube)
○ Paper Script (contact Eileen Weisser at (610) 779-4717)
● In-Person Worship will continue with masking highly recommended and physical distancing required, provided health officials do not make recommendations otherwise.
● Preschool will operate with mandatory masking during Preschool operational hours.
● Visitors during Preschool operational hours must wear a mask (mandatory unless in a closed room away from children), check-in and sign-in at the first floor office entrance, perform temperature check, and answer screening questions.
● Sunday School will resume with mandatory masking.
● Organizations (internal and external) utilizing the church must follow their organizational COVID-19 safety policies, and at a minimum, require the following:
○ Highly recommend masking for events whose audience is solely vaccine eligible participants (currently ages 12 years or older).
○ Mandate masking for events whose audience includes vaccine ineligible participants.
● Giving to the Church remains a need to keep our building operational and safe, our staff employed, and the services to our members ongoing. Please remember to send your offering to the church on a weekly basis. The entire congregation thanks you for your support. We have the following options for giving to the Church:
○ Placing your envelope in the plate when attending in-person
○ Mailing your envelope to the Church
○ Giving online through Realm at https://onrealm.org/SchwarzwaldUCC/Give
If any of the following apply (based on CDC recommendations), consider not attending the in-person worship service:
● People over 65 years old or who live in nursing homes/long-term care facilities.
● People with underlying conditions (e.g. chronic lung disease, moderate/severe asthma, serious heart conditions, immunocompromised, severe obesity, diabetes, chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis, liver disease).
● People with COVID-19 symptoms: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea.
Attending In-Person Worship
To accomplish this reopening, while keeping the health and safety of our church family foremost, we need to ask for your help:
If you are not feeling well, are at higher risk, or have COVID-19 symptoms,
DO NOT COME TO IN-PERSON WORSHIP.
● Masking is highly recommended for all attendees.
○ If you are unable to wear a mask, we ask that you join our Zoom broadcast.
● Seating in the church will be set up to promote physical distancing.
○ It is likely that you will not be sitting in your “normal” seat. This is an excellent opportunity to re-engage with others in the church family.
Things that you will notice once you enter the church:
● Attendance will continue to be taken for each person attending in-person worship.
● Offering plates will be positioned in key places around the Sanctuary for your envelopes. Offering plates will not be passed during worship.
● Only the bathrooms adjacent to the office and in the basement hallway will be open for non-Preschool use. We ask that you wipe down the seat after use. Also, wash your hands for 20 seconds!
● Water fountains will be disabled.
● We ask that you express fellowship by offering hand signals to one another - hello, love, peace, etc.
● Preschool classrooms will be restricted for Preschool-use only during the school year.
● Communion will be distributed as a prepackaged juice and wafer.
Thank you for everyone’s continued support of this church family. We are excited every time we get to see you, whether on Zoom or in-person.
Rev. John S. Dawson, Pastor
Butch Kline, Consistory President