Redeemer OPC - Worship Protocol starting September 20, 2020

Within the last week, members of the session have spoken with State of Ohio and County health department officials who have confirmed that the mandate to wear masks during public worship has changed and the wearing of masks is no longer required. Although this policy change has not been given wide publicity, the session has confirmed through careful inquiry that this change has been implemented.

Please keep in mind our desire to maintain the unity of the body of Christ, the testimony of the gospel and access to the means of grace. We do not take these measures out of fear, but out of love for God and love for our neighbor. These measures are somewhat influenced by compliance with government requests and our observance of the societal conditions. We also understand that in our society and even in our own congregation there is a wide array of views and responses to this situation. We pray for wisdom and seek the counsel of those with expertise in medical professions. Obviously, we cannot mandate specific ways that we are to love others beyond specific biblical imperatives. In areas where God does not give us direct commands, we must apply wisdom. We believe that these guidelines demonstrate that love and wisdom. Let us pray toward this end and regardless of the guidelines that are set, let’s maintain a spirit of unity that does not put our own preferences above others.

The following is a modification of the current protocol as we gradually increase our corporate interactions:

  • We continue to meet for corporate worship, morning and evening.
  • Nursery is open as of 21 June – see protocol at the end of this document.
  • Sunday School is open as of 28 June – We will ask that all children sanitize their hands prior to class. We will ensure that we have plenty of hand sanitizer for all. If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.
  • Refreshments between Worship and Sunday School are on hold for now.
  • Fellowship meals at the church are still suspended in order to continue to be cautious as we monitor the outworking of this pandemic
  • The Lord’s Supper will be served at the regularly appointed services (the second Sunday of the month in the evening service and the last Sunday of the month in the morning service). We will serve the elements from the front of the sanctuary and have families come to the front in turn to receive them with elders taking precautions of hygiene and cleanliness for their distribution.
  • Offerings are collected in the trays in the hallway at the top of the stairs at the entrance. Offerings can also be sent by mail or sent by your bank with a bill pay option.
  • Morning and evening services will continue to be live streamed, as many may still prefer to remain at home during this time.
  • Those whom we ask to remain at home are:
    • Individuals and their families who feel ill in any way
    • Individuals and their families who have or have had any symptoms of illness in the last 14 days

Important: Those who may be at greater risk for severe or life-threatening complications due to COVID 19 should use their judgement in deciding whether to attend in person. The CDC guidelines are here: ncov/need-extra-precautions/index.html

We encourage you to attend if at all possible, and for those who can be at the building in person, we will have these conditions and protocol in place for worship:

  1. The main worship facility and chapel are areas where facemasks are optional.
  2. The upper fellowship hall now has audio and video of the worship service similar to the chapel area, and face masks are required to be worn there during the worship time.
    1. Entrance to the UFH can be through the exterior entrance near the elevator for those who do not wish to risk exposure to the other parts of the building
    2. We will keep the doors to the upper fellowship hall closed
    3. The lower entrance by the elevators and restrooms across from the elevators would be part of the area designated for required face mask use.

We ask that all would continue to observe the following:

  • Maintain social distancing of 6 feet (Parents will need to take special care to monitor their children and maintain this separation, since they may not be accustomed to doing this.)
  • Refrain from touching any surfaces except your seat
  • Refrain from touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
  • Maintain strict hygiene in the restrooms – children must be attended, only touch handles and surfaces with paper towels
  • Sit at an appropriate distance from one another – avoid sitting directly in front of, behind, or next to others
  • Bring your own water bottles
  • Socialize outside the building after the service

The building and the worship service will be maintained with the following guidelines:

  • All sanctuary doors will be kept open
  • Only the main door at the bottom of the stairs or the entrance next to the elevators will be used to enter the building (see above for the two designated areas and face mask use).
  • The main door will be opened by an usher
  • Masks will be available at church for those who don’t have them
  • Evening services will also be live streamed

Finally, these conditions and protocol are fluid. Further changes will be communicated to the congregation when the guidelines change.

Nursery Guidelines

Guidelines for volunteers and parents / children are below. Masks will continue to be optional.

Nursery volunteers agree to:

  • Take temperature before arriving to church
  • Wash or sanitize hands upon arrival
  • Place any toys that have been placed in children's mouths in the "to be sanitized box" on top of the toy shelf
  • Wipe down all large high touch items with Clorox wipes at the end of morning worship and evening worship (play kitchen, train table, ride-on toys, exersaucers, tables and chairs, etc.)

Parents with nursery aged children agree to:

  • Take child's temperature before arriving to church
  • Wash or sanitize their hands upon arrival
  • Clearly label water bottles, if providing one
  • Keep children home if displaying any signs of illness

As a reminder for both volunteers and parents / children, those whom we ask to remain at home are:

  • Individuals and their families who feel ill in any way
  • Individuals and their families who have or have had any symptoms of illness in the last 14 days

Please let us know if you have any questions.