For UNYUMC Guidelines: https://www.unyumc.org/about/church-covid-19-guidelines
WORSHIP AT ST. PAUL'S
GOOD NEWS UPDATE! May 26, 2021
We can sing again at church services! To make this happen we are adopting the guidelines from the UMC Upper New York Conference for separate seating for unvaccinated persons. Most of the sanctuary will be set up for vaccinated folks – with open seating, no social distancing, and no masks required. A smaller area will be set up for non-vaccinated folks – with 12’ social distancing (to allow for singing) and with mask wearing required at all times. There will be a sign that identifies the non-vaccinated area. Going forward, we will adjust the sizes of the two areas as needed. To help us with this, if you feel comfortable doing so, please share your vaccination status with an usher on the way in. If you’d like to review the conference guidelines, please visit the link above.
We have reconvened our in-person worship services at St. Paul’s. Attendance has averaged about 30 people including the pastor and the organist. Although the service is different than it was during pre-pandemic times, it is great to see all who attend. As we move forward, the rules governing the service are set by New York State, the UMC’s Upper New York Conference, and the Administrative Council. We understand that in-person services are not right for all, including those not comfortable with group gatherings and those that are more at risk due to underlying medical conditions. So, what does St. Paul’s worship look like?
No nursery care is provided. No one may be in the nursery.
There is still no Sunday School. If you have a child whom would like information surrounding our Children’s Ministry, please message the office.
Only the narthex, sanctuary, bathrooms, and connecting hallways are open.
No food or drink is allowed in the church.
No coffee hour or similar gatherings are held.
There is no “passing of the peace” or other touching during services.
There is music, but the congregation does not sing together.
The collection plates are placed near the entrance to the sanctuary so that you may put your offering in the plate either before or after the worship service. A reminder: you can also give by US mail, online at our website, and directly through PayPal.
The ushers control exiting at the end of service, like the way they manage communion.
There are now bulletins offered for individuals who cannot print one at home. They are available in the Narthex in a sheet protector. At the end of the service please leave the bulletin on the pew back in front of your seat. We request that all that can do so continue to print their bulletins at home.
The hymnals and Bibles have been returned to the pews. You may still sign-out a hymnal for the duration of the pandemic and bring it back and forth each week for your own use.
Upon entering the church, each person must wear a mask until a spot with a safe social distance is reached and then you may remove your mask during the worship service and put the mask back on before exiting the pew. We encourage visiting with friends before and after church, but please do so outside at a safe social distance. Seating is controlled:
Members of the same household may sit next to each other, but in no case should any non-household members be within 6 feet.
Some pews and sections of pews will be blocked off to allow masks to be removed during the worship service.
If we run out of room in the sanctuary, safe seating will be provided in the choir area, by the piano, and in the narthex.
We record attendance and request a phone number if we don’t have it on file. This will allow the Madison County Health department to contact folks in case we find out that someone in attendance was infected with COVID-19. We continue to asses and adjust our plans as conditions change.