Guidelines for Returning to In-person Worship

The CDC guidelines are pretty clear. If your congregation is older, or has multiple generations in the same house, then be aware that members will be working through the same decision-making process before returning to public worship.

You can help them by stating publicly your willingness to follow the CDC guidelines.

I would add the following:

  • Improve your online worship and study opportunities ahead of reopening, with an eye to continuing them after the epidemic subsides. Infrequent and low attendance will be the new normal. Monitor email and use the “chat” function of live streaming services to bring home-based worshiper’s prayer concerns to the gathered congregation.
  • Have a “wear a mask” policy for anyone entering the church building at any time.
  • Find a way to adjust your ritual and theology for distanced/home communion.
  • Use a screen instead of a bulletin and place the offering plates at entry points instead of passing them.
  • Have a contingency plan for each in-building function. If health-safety conditions change, the planned event will need to change.

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