We are excited to share with you that we will begin Phase II in-person Traditional Worship on November 15, 2020, at 9:30 a.m. in the Front St. Sanctuary. The Traditional service will be streamed live on Facebook and our website, www.thepresby.org. This is our first step on our way to Phase III worship, which will be more like the worship we have come to appreciate before this pandemic started. Because of social distancing requirements, you must register to attend worship. We will share more information on how to register later in this letter.
First, we would like to explain how we have come to this decision. Our Task Force, comprised of Elders, Trustees, and Staff, have tried to weigh each regathering aspect. They considered details on the spread of the disease, our building's ability to meet safety requirements, and, most importantly, your safety. The team was happy to have the option of worshiping online and recognized the need of our congregation to gather in-person to worship. We also understand that some may take longer to return to in-person worship, and that is okay. We will still offer the online options moving forward. We know that everyone's circumstances are vastly different. The Task Force will continue to meet to help us move forward. Thank you for your flexibility and grace as we move further into Phase II worship and eventually into Phase III worship.
When You Arrive and General Information:
- Doors will be open 15 minutes before the event or service. A greeter will open the door for you.
- Masks are required. Please put on your mask before entering. If you do not have a mask, one will be provided. This mask is yours to keep. The staff will wear masks when mingling with the congregation. However, when fulfilling their roles, they will remove face coverings if needed.
- Please enter only through the Front St. Church parking lot entrance.
- Please use only touchless greetings. Please refrain from hugging and shaking hands.
- Your temperature will be checked with a touchless thermometer. If your temperature is 100 degrees or higher, we ask that you return home and seek medical advice from a professional.
- We will be social distancing; please try to remain six feet apart.
- A reservation and attendance system will be used to help track and prepare sanctuary worship each week. Reservations are mandatory and are due by Wednesday at noon. On Sunday, if your health has changed since you made your reservation, please remain at home until you feel better.
- If you have had COVID-19, you must be released from your physician and the appropriate county health department to attend worship.
- Coffee service will not be available.
- For your safety, water fountains are closed until further notice.
- Bathrooms (nearest the gym) are available. They will be cleaned after each use.
- Hand Sanitizer Stations will be made readily available.
- You will be assuming some risk when you socialize in the Sanctuary.
During the Service
- The service will be held on the main floor of the Front Street sanctuary. Limited volunteers/members and staff will be permitted in the balcony.
- Seating will be incorporated using six-foot distancing guidelines and will be arranged every other pew. A family unit may sit together. In this context, a family unit is defined as a single person who lives alone, a married couple, or those who live in the same home.
- Families will need to worship together. No children's programming or nursery is available at this time. We will resume these programs when we feel we can do so safely.
- Services will be shorter and planned with all ages in mind.
- Because it is difficult to sing while wearing masks, we are going to avoid congregational singing and focus on video presentations and instrumentalists, small ensembles, and solo pieces.
- For the safety of everyone, socializing in the church is discouraged.
- We will share the "Welcome & Greeting" in our seats using touchless greetings.
- No bulletins, books, or any paper products & pens will be pews. All information will be projected onto the screen.
- An offering plate will be available to place your offering in as you enter the Sanctuary. You may pick up an envelope from an usher if needed.
- You may mail in your offering to 23 South Front St., Hamilton, OH 45011
- You may also give online at www.shelbygiving.com/App/Giving/thepresby
- On the first Sunday of each month or for special services, communion is available in pre-packaged cups. You will be given one as you arrive.
- Drop your used communion cup in the wastebasket by the door as you exit.
- You will be dismissed by rows, starting in the back.
- If you linger in the parking lot and visit, please observe social distancing. You will be assuming some risk when you socialize in the parking lot.
- Carpooling between families is highly discouraged.
Registering for Services:
To ensure everyone's safety, we ask that people register each week by Wednesdays at noon so that team may prepare the Sanctuary. A link on our website will be made available one week before each service. Look for the binocular icon in the red box on our website, www.thepresby.org. The registration form is a tool to help keep each other safe. You cannot register for multiple weeks at one time. Because of social distancing, the max capacity in the Sanctuary has been capped to assure everyone's safety. Should be meet the Sanctuary capacity, the option to view the service from a TV in the Mix and Mingle Room will be offered. You may call the church office, 513-867-5411, to register if you are unable to register online. It is highly encouraged you to register online for all church events. If you do not register online or call the office, you will need to fill out a registration form when you arrive. Everyone's temperature will be taken at each in-person events. Thank you in advance for your patience as we work through these COVID-19 guidelines and practices.
Are you thinking, would you prefer I come or stay home?
We recognize and regret that some of you may be asking yourself this question. There is no one correct answer, but I will share with you my heartfelt thoughts. We want to see you! And we really want to see you safely! That being said, you will be assuming some risk when you come to church. Returning to in-person worship is a personal choice that must be considered by each person.
We encourage caution and that each individual base their personal decision on when to return on wisdom, consideration of others, common sense, and prayer. It is recommended you consider delaying your return to in-person worship if any of the following apply:
- If you have a compromised immune system or if you are at high risk.
- If you or anyone in your household is ill, feeling ill, or has been ill within the last week.
- If you are at all concerned about being around groups of 50 or more.
- If you have or may have, been around someone who tested positive with COVID-19. Please seek the advice of health professionals when it is advisable to participate in public forums again.
In closing, I would like to remind everyone this is just the first step in Phase II worship. As we progress and the opportunities arise, additional services will be added, including an in-person Contemporary Worship service, Sunday School, Kidzone, and other church events and activities. For now, the Contemporary Worship service will be pre-recorded and shared on Facebook until we can roll it out. We will get there, but it will take time so that we are offering quality worship opportunities. We temporarily suspended our in-person worship, but we will once again worship at The Presbyterian Church in Hamilton, bigger and better than ever. Please know that we love you and look forward to a time when this is all past, and we can hug, shake hands, and fellowship without restrictions.