May 14, 2020
We have decided to hold services at the church. There will only be the worship service at 10:30. Our Lord’s Day services can be viewed live on our Facebook page: WRPCNA
Here are ideas from the state and others specifically from us.
Guidance for Spiritual and Religious Gatherings During COVID-19
On April 27, 2020, Governor Kim Reynolds signed a proclamation continuing the limitation on many social gatherings and events to no more than ten people. But effective May 1, 2020,Iowans may once again gather for spiritual or religious purposes, so long as churches, synagogues, or other hosts of a spiritual or religious gathering take reasonable measures to ensure social distancing of employees, volunteers, and other participants, increased hygiene practices, and other public health measures to reduce the risk of further spread of COVID-19.This guidance is intended to assist churches, synagogues, and other houses of worship in safely navigating this public health disaster emergency.
❖ Provide, whenever possible, options to conduct activities from home or through remote audio or video services. Staying at home continues to be the best way to slow the spread of COVID-19. Holding a remote worship service or continuing to offer remote access will help protect those who should continue to avoid gatherings, especially our most vulnerable Iowans with preexisting medical conditions and those older than 65.
❖ Consider smaller in-person services or conducting services outdoors. In communicating with congregants about these measures, high-risk individuals should be advised not to attend in-person services. Creative means should be used to deliver services, such as smaller services throughout the week or weekend, outdoor services, or drive-in vehicle events.
❖ Follow sanitation and hygiene measures for all in-person religious gatherings. This means a house of worship must be sanitized regularly, separate entry and exit points may be designated (establishing a one-way traffic pattern), doors may be propped open or held open by ushers to prevent congregants from touching doors, and hand sanitizer should be available for use throughout the facility. Communion service should be individualized and conducted in a manner to minimize close interaction, and any offering collection must avoid a common plate or container that is passed from person-to-person.
❖ Apply social distancing guidelines. Facilities should move chairs or designate seating areas to ensure the ability of congregants that are not members of the same house hold to sit at least six feet apart. Congregants should be discouraged from shaking hands or otherwise engaging in physical contact.
❖ Follow other general Public Health COVID-19 Reopening Guidance as appropriate.
Now specifics from us. A plate will be placed at the back of the church for collections. The fans will not be on and the windows open to allow more air changes and to dilute any possible virus so you many want to wear a light coat in the church. Wearing masks does protect others since it will catch a lot of the virus and slow the speed of air leaving your nose and mouth. Singing has been shown to project air much farther than talking. If you are at high risk of complications from the virus please don’t come. This includes those over 65, immunocompromised individuals including people taking cortisone or having received an injection in the last 30 days, people with diabetes, lung, heart problems or vascular issues. If you live with people in these categories it would be wise not to come in order not to spread it to them if you would possibly catch it at church. If you don’t feel comfortable coming, please don’t. Please don’t come if you are sick, that is a good idea every time. Please bring your own hand sanitizer to use after using the restroom, touching doors, handrails, etc. We will not have to disinfect the sanctuary since the virus lives 3-4 days and it will be longer than that before the next service. Please do not greet each other with a holy kiss 🙂 or other physical means.