Revised Elder Team Update—October 26, 2020

Moving Back into the Building with COVID-19 Precautions

We are called to be Christ’s body. God has not put us on “pause” despite the pandemic. There are unique opportunities for personal and corporate spiritual growth and ministry due to this pandemic period. Let us encourage each other in how we can partner with God individually and as a body. –Myron Miller (Elder Team Chair)

Below are the revised Elder Team recommendations for moving to the next phase of inside worship services.
Our previous plans for Sunday School have been put on hold due to the increased number of cases in
Lebanon County. These recommendations come with much prayer, discernment, and research into best
practices of minimizing the risk of spreading COVID-19. As we approach the winter season, we will continue
to evaluate our practices to keep our church family safe. If there comes the point when the number of
Lebanon county cases reach a threat level, we may resume our pre-recorded services and Zoom fellowships.

Recommendation:
Starting on November 1, we will be resuming indoor worship services beginning at 10:15 am. We are
currently looking at ways to shorten our worship services to reduce the risk of exposure in addition to the air
purifiers we have already purchased. We are still asking all ages to be wearing masks while indoors and will be
refraining from all singing indoors at this present time.
The rationale for caution within a church setting:

• Many people are in close proximity to each other. The larger our group, the higher the possibility
that someone may have the infection, often without symptoms.
• One-on-one talking to each other occurs, often in close proximity. Talking produces ten times the
number of airborne virus particles than just breathing in silence does.
• Singing produces six times as many airborne virus particles as talking does.
• People are prone to physical contact—handshaking, and hugging.
• Air is typically recirculated. This allows the concentration of suspended (aerosolized) virus particles
to continue to increase, especially if no fresh air is introduced into the system.
• Prolonged time together. The longer the time spent together, the higher the concentration of viral
particles in the air becomes, which increases infection risk.
What can we do to help minimize exposure within our church?
1. Continue to keep the sanctuary at 25-50% capacity.
2. Limit the time together in smaller, closed spaces (i.e., classrooms). The longer the class time, the
higher the viral concentration becomes. Our Sunday School classes have been changed to 30 minutes.
3. Keep doors open in classrooms and bathrooms. Keep windows cracked open if weather permits.
4. Provide air purifiers for each room people are in.
5. Ask potential COVID carriers to stay home:
a. Those who have the following symptoms (fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue,
body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea,
vomiting, or diarrhea)
b. Those who have had unprotected contact with a COVID positive person in the past two
weeks
c. Those who have traveled to a “hotspot” where COVID risk is high (and were unable to mask
and social distance) in the past two weeks
6. Avoid handshaking or hugs. Elbow bumps are acceptable.
7. Separate by households and keep a 6-foot social distance. Use every other pew in the sanctuary.
8. Where a mask properly. Masks should cover both the mouth and nose to be effective. We have masks
available at the church for those who want one.
9. Individuals who are speaking or singing from upfront are permitted to be mask-free in order to be
heard well. We are asking that they practice 12-foot social distancing and check their temperature that
morning to be sure they do not have a fever that they are unaware of.
10. Use the provided hand sanitizers on arrival, at departure, and any other time your hands may have
been in contact with a commonly used surface. Avoid touching unnecessary surfaces.
11. Bring your own water bottle or use those provided. Water fountains have been turned off.
12. Use the offering container provided on the welcome table rather than passing the offering plate.
13. Refrain from singing indoors. Singing continues to be one of the most challenging things to do safely
inside. When inside, we ask persons in the congregation not to sing out loud. You can choose to listen
worshipfully to the words as they are sung, sing them silently in your head, hum the tune, or speak the
words.
14. When talking to other people, maintain a 6-foot social distance and for not more than 5-10 minutes.
15. A temperature check station is available for those who wish to use it. If your temperature is >100.0
degrees, you should go home and participate online.
16. In the bathrooms, wash your hands for 20 seconds (“Happy Birthday” twice or “Jesus Loves me”
once).
17. When coughing or sneezing in church, be sure to cough/sneeze into your elbow or a
tissue/handkerchief.
Despite these recommendations and precautions, meeting together inside does involve some risk. High-risk
individuals should consider not attending in person or at least skipping Sunday school. Risk factors include
age >65 y/o, serious lung or heart conditions, diabetes, severe kidney disease, cancer, liver disease, obesity,
and any immunocompromised condition. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please do not
hesitate to reach out to any member of the Elder Team.
Sincerely,

The Elder Team
Myron Miller, Carol Hershey, Tom Turley, and Pastor Amanda Rohrer