Trinity members and friends:
Restart of Onsite Trinity Worship Services on May 31
If you are anything like me, you are very much looking forward to seeing fellow congregation members once again at Trinity and worshipping in our beautiful sanctuary. Trinity will be taking some baby steps on the road back to normalcy in our spiritual lives by restarting our Sunday morning worship services at the church building on May 31, with our belated celebration of Easter.
It’s understandable that our enthusiasm may be tempered with some anxiety, so the intent of this letter is to acquaint you with the steps that are being taken to prepare the Trinity building for onsite worship and with the format of those initial worship services.
The Trinity building is currently being thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis, with frequently touched surfaces being sanitized. That rigor will continue on Sunday mornings, with isopropyl alcohol spray being used to disinfect high touch surfaces before and after the morning worship service.
Upon arrival you will notice that the church front entry doors, as well as the middle and side entry doors to the sanctuary, are propped open and will remain open for the entire worship service. That measure is to minimize touch contact with door handles, and also to increase ventilation within the church building.
Bottles of liquid hand sanitizer will be available for use in the narthex, and you are encouraged as well to bring your own personal hand sanitizer. The water fountains outside the restrooms will be unplugged and covered on Sunday morning. Please bring your own personal water containers or bottles to satisfy your thirst. No food or beverages will be offered. With that in mind, access to the sacristy room will be restricted on Sunday morning.
When utilizing the restroom on Sunday morning, note whether another person is already using the room, and wait outside until that person exits the restroom before entering. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water prior to exiting the restroom, for your personal protection and also to maintain the cleanliness of the restroom door exit handles.
While inside the church building, we are strongly encouraging that each person wear a face covering or mask. A limited number of surgical masks will be available if you forget your own personal face covering.
If on Sunday morning you are experiencing a fever (in excess of 100.4o F), coughing, shortness of breath or other symptoms potentially indicating COVID-19 infection, please refrain from attending worship on that morning and seek medical assistance.
The worship service itself will, not surprisingly, be a little different than what we are accustomed to. Some of the worship service modifications will be:
- We anticipate that attendance at the initial services will be quite modest, so the ushers should easily be able to assist individuals and family groups to find seating in the pews with appropriate social distancing.
- No printed bulletins will be distributed by the ushers. Everyone will receive an electronic version of each week’s bulletin by email, and you are encouraged to print out the bulletin at home and bring it with you on Sunday morning. A limited number of printed bulletins will be available in the narthex. The bulletin will include the hymn lyrics.
- Hymnbooks, Bibles, pencils and attendance pads will be removed from the sanctuary pews. Prayer request forms will be displayed on a table in the narthex, that can be filled out prior to the service, which can then be deposited in offering baskets located at the sanctuary entry doors.
- There will be no choir performances, and congregational singing of the hymns will be discouraged. Singing of the hymns in our minds, or possibly light humming, will be our means of expressing our musical worship.
- There will be no children’s sermon or children’s Sunday school classes, so children will remain with their families during worship. No nursery attendants will be provided, so use of the nursery room will be limited to parents and their children, if necessary.
- There will be no collection of offering during the service. Offerings will be deposited in the offering baskets located at the sanctuary entry doors when departing the sanctuary at the conclusion of the service.
- On communion Sundays (e.g., June 7) servers will not be distributing the communion elements. Trinity has purchased a supply of prepackaged communion “sets”, each with wafer and sealed juice cup, which will be placed on a table at the front of the sanctuary, to be picked up by individual worshippers at the appointed time during the communion service.
- Following Rev. Dunlap’s benediction, he, or the preacher of the day, will immediately proceed outside the church building, to greet and chat with the worshippers in the safer, fresher outdoor environ (no rain please!). All of the attendees will be encouraged to proceed to the outside as quickly as possible. It’s outside, in the fresh air, that we can really practice being the Trinity community of faith – socially distanced hugs, catching up on all our quarantine stories, etc.!!!!
We understand that, in spite of our best efforts to create a safe and yet worshipful experience, that some of our members will be uncomfortable with participating in an onsite worship service as soon as May 31.
Rest assured that Trinity will still be offering recorded versions of our worship services on May 31 and subsequent Sundays. As a matter of fact, we anticipate that we will have the capability by May 31 to provide video recordings of worship on Trinity’s YouTube channel, that can be livestreamed at 10:15 AM or viewed later at your convenience.
Clerk of Session