April 1, 2021

New Guidelines for in-person worship and events

  • New guidance for activities
    • After much prayer, study and conversations, the Session voted to modify COVID practices for outdoor and indoor activities at Chapel by the Sea.  Beginning immediately the following activities can take place: Outdoor Worship – people may gather unmasked, with singing but 6ft distance between households must be maintained. 
  • Parking lot worships are being planned for Thursday June 3, July 1 and August 5 at 4 pm
  • Outdoor Fellowship –
    • people may gather unmasked, with singing but 6ft distance between households must be maintained.  At this time, we will encourage people to bring their own food but no commonly shared food will be served.       Look for dates to be announced soon
  • Small groups
    • if  every participant at a small group event is fully vaccinated the group may meet unmasked, in close proximity to one another, may serve shared food and sing in outdoor or indoor settings. The host of the event will ask each participant to verify vaccination.
    •        Each small group will determine when they are comfortable with this option.
  • There are no changes for indoor worship currently.  We anticipate other changes this summer. 

Indoor Worship services

We are hungry to worship together in the sanctuary but many of us are vulnerable to the serious health risks of Covid-19, and the health of our community is important to us.  In a prayerful effort to balance these factors, we invite those who are at low risk of harm to join in Sunday worship in the sanctuary. 

To minimize the risk, many things will be different than before and will require special care from all of us.

To protect the health of each other and the community, the Session has adopted the following guidelines:

When entering:

  • Masks must always be worn in the building and when you are outside and closer than 6 ft
  • You will need to sign in and answer basic health questions.

(Have you tested positive for Covid, do you have a fever, any symptoms of Covid, been exposed to anyone known to have Covid)

  • Use hand sanitizer when entering the sanctuary

If you can’t answer “no” to all these questions, or can’t wear a mask, please stay home and join worship online.

            In worship:

  • Keep at least 6 ft of distance at all times (chairs will be marked off).
  • No passing of the peace or physical contact of any kind with anyone outside your household.
  • No group singing.  Singing forcefully moves the virus through the air.  Instead, we will accompany the music with humming, clapping, “silent singing” and sign language.
  • No offering plate passed.  Offerings will be collected in a plate at the back of the sanctuary.
  • Communion will be celebrated with special “no contact” sharing.

After worship:

  • Leave the building while maintaining 6ft distance from others.

                  (stay in your row until those behind you are 6 ft ahead of you)       

  • No coffee hour. (visiting can happen outside, with distance).

Bathrooms:

  • Only one person at a time in the bathroom (close and lock the door to indicate occupied).
  • Wash your hands after using the toilet
  • Sanitize each surface you touched before you leave. (supplies provided in the bathroom)

THIS is how we will speak love to one another.  We must put on the mind of Christ and not think more highly of ourselves than of each other.   To that end, we ask that you pray for the safety and nurture of each person in the church, those who chose to attend in person, and those who do not. 

Each person is encouraged to make the choice that is right for your situation and that is comfortable for you.  Some will join in person.  Others will stay home.  As sisters and brothers in Christ, we must respect and protect each person.  There can be no pressure applied or shaming for the choices each person makes.

Worship will continue to be offered online for those who choose to stay home. You can view the recorded service at the church website (chapelbysea.org)

The Session takes its responsibility very seriously and will monitor the situation, in the congregation and in the community.  There will be times in the future when adjustments are needed. 

Please contact the church office, one of the Elders or Pastors if you have any questions or would like to talk or pray about any of this.

Chapel by the Sea

Grateful for God’s saving grace

Joyfully alive in Jesus Christ! We are grateful to be a congregation of the Presbyterian Church (USA) denomination with its focus on inclusion, spirituality, mission, education and justice work.
About our church
[email protected](541) 996-2070
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