Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church of East Petersburg

COVID-19 Protocols

To Zion Church Members,

We look forward to eventually returning to in-person service. As we prepare to open our church to continue our mission in Christ, we would like to share the plan that has been put together by the members of our reopening team.

Before any service is to be held, a staging team will have prepared the church with signage for specific instruction, clearly marked paths for keeping walkways clear and will have moved any unnecessary furniture/literature. A walk through will also be conducted by volunteer ushers who will be trained in the new procedures/policies to help our members with the new flow and be present during our returning services. Our sexton has been cleaning to new standards with appropriate cleaners during our shutdown to keep a healthy environment in the church.

It is important to understand the expected flow of foot traffic (arrival/departure), and an overview of what to expect during the service.

The only available entrance during service hours will be the west (parking lot) entrance. As parishioners walk into the church, they will be met by a volunteer to help make sure everyone is signed into the attendance log, make sure everyone is wearing a mouth/nose covering mask, ask all who enter a few health questions and take everyone's temperature, which will be required for new protocol compliance.

Upon entering the church, we ask that visitors continue in one direction toward the sanctuary until the conclusion of the service in order to avoid unnecessary passing in the narrow hall. Restrooms will be available for use of two people at a time. Signs and volunteers will be there to assist in keeping visitors segregated. All visitors will be encouraged to move to their seats in the sanctuary to avoid lingering and gathering in the narthex. Single-use bulletins will replace any hymnal that would be required for the service. The water fountains will not be in service at this time, however, water bottles will be made available. Ushers will show visitors down the outside aisle in the sanctuary to their seats. Please be aware of your distance as people maneuver to their seats.

The middle aisle will be reserved for the Pastor, music director, musicians and ministry volunteers for worship that Sunday. A communications team may also be present to provide support for Zion’s Internet program. Any changes to our regular service during worship will be followed by specific instruction, i.e. Holy Communion or passing of the peace. Unfortunately, many of our traditional ceremonies will have to be avoided—such as greeting the Pastor at the conclusion of the service or dismissing all at once. Making sure everyone leaves the sanctuary safely will take some time. One side will be dismissed from the back rows to the front of the sanctuary in order to avoid passing others during dismissal after the Postlude. We also ask that everyone continue outside before stopping to converse.

Thank you all for your cooperation as we continue to navigate a ‘best for all’ approach to worshipping in Zion.

Sincerely, Implementation Team

Online Worship Service Church Facility Protocols

To all Online Worship Service Staff/Volunteers,

Thank you.

Please be aware of these new safety procedures as you continue to minister to our congregation.

A mask is required to enter and is required to be worn in the church at all times. Do not enter the church if you have been sick, been with anyone who has been sick, tested positive for COVID during the last 14 days or have been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID during the last 14 days. Continue to observe social distancing inside and outside the church. Use hand sanitizer that is made available inside the hall/Narthex.

One usher will be on hand to help with these protocols at the west hall entrance to assist with recording of personnel and temperature checks of all persons in the building. Please present yourself to the recorder/temp. usher if they are not immediately available. The west parking lot entrance will be the only entrance used, unless there is an emergency. Any exit is available at any time. Out of an abundant level of caution, only persons essential to the online service production will be allowed inside the church. Any non-essential persons, volunteers or family members will be asked to wait for their party outside. Ushers do not have responsibilities in the worship service. The entrance must remain supervised if it is to be unlocked from the outside.

Thank you for your understanding, service and compliance.

Sincerely, Implementation Team

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