Preparing for In-Person Worship at GSL - Sundays at 10:30 a.m.
Important information about how to prepare and what to expect
The clergy, staff, wardens and vestry appreciate the more than 100 households that completed the recent “household plans for in-person worship” survey. We learned that a majority plan to stay home for the foreseeable future. Because this is to be expected, livestream worship services will continue indefinitely. Formation opportunities and events for adults, youth and children will continue online and remotely. Fellowship and connection opportunities are being explored by the Congregational Development and Formation ministry teams.
For those interested in in-person attendance: Our plan to provide a safer opportunity and smart setting for in-person worship has been developed with approval by our bishop, health and government officials, as well as the physician and nurse members of our re-entry team. Please read below to see our plan, and to be aware of your responsibility in order to more safely attend.
Sign-up is required by noon on Saturday. Limited space is available for in-person worship in order to maintain social distancing requirements. Online reservations are required on this and every Sunday for the limited-capacity seating by ushers of a total of 46 households. For safety reasons, we are unable to accommodate those who have not signed up in advance. If the maximum capacity number is reached, we will be unable to make accommodations; however, we would like to know who you are for future planning via email to ahuber [at] gracestlukes [dot] org.
Our plan accords with the Diocese of West Tennessee “Faith Community Guidelines for Resumption of In-Person Worship” (episwtn.org/faith-community-guidelines-for-resumption-of-in-person-worship). The service simultaneously will be livestreamed. After the service, the re-entry team will debrief and make any necessary adjustments for future offerings.
What GSL will do:
- Church buildings and grounds will be cleaned, sanitized and maintained by a team of parish facilities staff and a commercial cleaning service according to measures recommended due to COVID-19. Our air and heating system is equipped with filtration functions to benefit safer air handling.
- Welcome Hosts (Greeters) and Ushers will assist with entering and exiting the building.
- Pews in the nave will be marked for six-feet distance seating between household groups, assisted by ushers located in the side and center aisles.
- Service leaflets complete with all things necessary to follow the liturgy will be provided. Prayer books, hymnals and pew cushions will be removed as increased sanitation measures.
- There will be no congregational singing until health experts advise otherwise. The organist and as many as four vocalists (cantors) will offer choral and instrumental music.
- At the end of worship, Ushers and Welcome Hosts (Greeters) will assist with the exiting protocol.
What you will need to do in order to attend:
- The evening before the service, each member of the household planning to attend in-person worship should check their temperature (should be less than 100° F) and determine whether anyone has a dry cough or has lost their sense of taste or smell. If anyone has any of these symptoms, has been exposed to someone with coronavirus or has tested positive for coronavirus, all household members should remain at home and worship online.
- Please bring a clean face mask for each member of the household except for children less than 2 years old. Wear the face mask throughout the service and especially when you are near others.
- Please wash your hands before you leave home.
- Please bring hand sanitizer and apply it before entering the building. Sanitizing stations will be conveniently located.
- Please maintain a 6-feet distance from other household groups at all times beginning on the sidewalks prior to entering the worship space with assistance from welcome hosts (greeters) and seating by ushers.
- During the Peace, please do not shake hands or otherwise touch people who are not members of your household. Instead, you are encouraged to bow, wave or offer the “peace” sign.
- Persons who are at higher risk for coronavirus (children, persons age 65 or older, those who are asthmatic, diabetic or have a compromised immune system) should assess the degree of risk that is acceptable for them and their household.