Revised Gathering Guidelines 2021

Church Reopening Revised

June 2, 2021

Governor DeWine has announced that the majority of health orders in Ohio, with the exception of some affecting only congregate living and health settings, will be rescinded on 6/2/2021. Session has approved the recommendation from the Church Reopening Committee that we continue to follow Ohio guidelines, and that the restrictions and procedures we adopted in March, 2020, be rescinded per these guidelines.  Session further approved the recommendation with the following caveats:

1. The presumption will be that people have been vaccinated. The Governor’s order rescinding the COVID-related guidance includes the statement “that fully vaccinated persons may safely do most activities without a facial covering and without socially distancing, as has been determined by the CDC.”

2. We will remove the Mask Required signs and replace those with signs asking anyone entering the church who has not been vaccinated to continue to wear a mask and observe social distancing.

3. We will continue to make masks and hand sanitizer available at the entrances for those who wish to use them.

4. We will continue to broadcast the church service via Zoom or some other electronic means so that people who are not comfortable coming into the church can participate that way. We recommend that Jim Gilmore and Stephen Potts be consulted about identifying a date for ending the Zoom broadcasts and converting to a less demanding means of sharing the service.

5. Fellowship Hall can be used as an area for people to watch the service without entering the Sanctuary if they prefer to do so.

6. Bibles and hymnals will be returned to the pews. Singing will again be permitted. Committee member Don Youel researched this issue and could find no exceptions for singing within the Governor’s order rescinding the COVID-related health orders that have been in place.

7. The committee suggests that the offering plate and communion supplies continue to be provided on the table in the back of the Sanctuary for the time being. We have not identified a recommended time to return to passing these items through the pews, but expect that could occur by the fall.

8. The return of the choir and hiring an attendant for the nursery are in the hands of the Worship & Music committee and the Personnel committee, respectively. Worship & Music would also determine when to begin using ushers and greeters again.

9. All areas of the church would again be reopen to use.

A special thank you to the Church Reopening Committee members

Stephen Potts, Jay Salvage, Marty Sloan, and Don Youel