RESUMING PUBLIC WORSHIP GUIDELINES FOR CBT
Greetings CBT Family:
In our last open communication to our church family we shared with you that the Executive Board and Dr. Hewitt have determined that the projected resumption of public worship services has been changed to March 7, 2021, at 11:00 am. Based on numerous articles read regarding resuming public worship all agree that the services and what our people experience will look quite different due to precautions taken to ensure the safety of worshippers. Each church will decide what is best for their congregation. Following recommendations of the CDC and our Health Department we will do the same. As we move forward, the following guidelines will be followed to ensure the safety of our congregation and to protect those most vulnerable within our fellowship.
- First of all, please stay home if you are concerned about the safety and well-being of yourself and your family.
- Medical professionals tell us that those with preexisting conditions and those over 65 years of age are at a higher risk of experiencing worse COVID -19 symptoms than others. Although we are resuming public worship services those with underlying health conditions should not come back right away. These individuals are encouraged to watch the live stream of the Sunday service or the recorded service which will be available on the church website in the afternoon. The direct link to the service is: https://chasbt.sermon.net
- The Executive Board and our pastor are in agreement that wearing a mask will be required through the duration of the service by worshippers and staff. Wearing masks to protect others will make individuals feel comfortable joining us. We encourage you to bring a mask with you. Should you forget your mask one will be provided for you at the door. Wearing a mask is a clear way at this time to demonstrate that we love our neighbor. Guests will also feel better worshipping with us knowing that CBT is exercising every precaution to keep everyone safe.
- We will use directional signage throughout the building along with signage to encourage social distancing.
- We will enter and exit from Quarrier Street. The Morris Street entrance will be closed for now.
- Upon entrance into the church Narthex from Quarrier Street worshippers will be quickly scanned with a no contact thermometer. If you have a temperature, for the safety of other worshippers, we ask that you please leave and watch the service on live stream.
- From the entrance you will be directed to the Sanctuary where you will find the doors open.
- The pews have been roped off to ensure social distancing. Open pews are numbered and clearly marked with green painters’ tape to indicate availability. This includes the balcony. Please sit with your family household members only. Due to spacing you may not be able to sit where you are accustomed to sitting each Sunday. And please remember the number of your pew as you will be dismissed following the service when your pew number is called.
- As we will not pass the offering plate during worship, we ask that you please place your offering in the baskets as you enter the sanctuary. (Volunteers/ushers will monitor baskets) Offering may now be given online too.
- We ask that you please practice and maintain social distancing, (6ft), at all times while in the building and in the parking lot. We realize that greeting one another with hugs and handshakes will be tempting. We ask that you please greet instead with waves, a hand over your heart, blow a kiss, or use the sign language hug sign by making each hand into a fist and crossing your arms over your chest, or some other gesture.
- There will be no activities for children during this initial phase. (Nursery, children’s church, Sunday school) Children should remain with and sit with their family.
- No Sunday school classes will be conducted in the church building at this time as there is no way to ensure social distancing. Sunday school classes are encouraged to meet virtually.
- All Bibles, hymnals, pencils, envelopes, etc. have been removed from the pews. Scripture passages, calls to worship, etc. will be projected on the screen (No handheld materials will be used as we begin again.)
- Please phone in your prayer requests to the office at: 304-346-9627 or email them the Shirley Stennett@chasbt.org
- There will be no bulletin distribution on Sunday mornings. Bulletins will be provided via email and online for easy access on personal computers, iPad, cell phones, etc.
- Lord’s Supper: since we will not be passing the plate. There will be a new method instituted in order to observe the Lord’s Supper in a safe manner.
- Music, choir, etc.: Experts have said that forceful breathing and exhaling can expel the virus further if someone is infected. During our soft opening the choir and congregation will not sing. Instead, we might have an instrumental solo or a soloist. (Another idea, incorporate a special musician or soloist to record our special music and share via projection.) Once choir has resumed, members will be spaced out appropriately. Once permitted, brass players and other woodwind musicians will be encouraged to bring their own towel to catch saliva. The choir will also enter and dismiss in a fashion to allow distancing. Piano, Organ, Microphones, Music stands, etc. will be wiped down and sanitized after each use.
- The Kitchen, Parlor, Chapel, and Classrooms, will be closed on the main floor.
- During the initial return no flowers will be made up for delivery following the service.
- Rest rooms will be open but we ask that we keep it to two persons at one time.
- Sanitizing stations will be available to you in the Narthex area.
- Bring along handkerchiefs/tissues, cough drops or bottles of water if you feel you will need them as they will not be available at the church. The water fountains have been shut off and covered.
- No coffee or food items will be provided prior to worship.
- (We may need to suspend the Lana Coffee booth for a period of time.) If you desire to purchase coffee please call the office, make arrangements with the office for the purchase and you may pick it up during office hours or the following Sunday.
- With a contagious disease like coronavirus, we know that someone may be a carrier of the virus and not experience any symptoms of the illness. With this in mind, for the purpose of contact tracing we will take photos of those who are present for worship so that, if anyone who worships with us tests positive for the virus, we will be able to notify those who may have been in direct contact with the person or sat close to him or her. If you come to the service and later become sick or test positive please let us know immediately!
On behalf of our Executive Board and Dr. Hewitt we appreciate your understanding, your patience, and your willingness to comply to the guidelines listed above. Please know that the safety of your family and loved ones and our most vulnerable are paramount. We look forward to worshipping with you again soon.
The Executive Board and Dr. Jim T. Hewitt