The State of Illinois is still under alert due to the CORONA-19 virus. While monitoring the changes in the data for our region we believe that we can return to our building for worship by complying with the recommended precautions. Recognizing the many reports and differing opinions regarding the CORONA-19 virus, we ask all members and visitors to voluntarily follow the guidelines we have adopted and remember to be respectful toward others in this regard.
While we would like for everyone to return to our physical worship, not everyone can. If for any reason you do not feel that you can attend at this time, an online option will be available. (See below.)
For those returning, please review the following items that summarize the precautions we are taking to insure health safety.
- We are making every effort to minimize the need for people to contact common-touch surfaces such as door handles, communion trays, etc. However, we cannot guarantee that 'everything' will be properly sanitized. So, we ask our members and visitors to be responsible.
- We will have hand sanitizer available at entrances for use as needed.
- We ask that all members and visitors voluntarily wear a mask upon entry and during worship. If you do not have a mask or forget to bring one, we will have masks available at the door.
- We ask that all members and visitors voluntarily maintain social distancing. (Every other pew will be marked to remain empty.) In the event of space limitations in the auditorium, the Annex will be available.
- We know that fellowship before and after worship is a fundamental part of our weekly gatherings. We do NOT wish to discourage that interaction in any way. We simply ask that you be respectful of others and allow for easy flow of traffic through the auditorium and lobby.
- We will engage in singing but ask that masks be worn. If you wish to 'unmask' please sit toward the front so that you will not be facing anyone wearing a mask.
- We will continue to have our communion service each week as is our practice. However, instead of individually passing trays, the men serving the communion will handle the trays. (The empty rows will facilitate their ability to serve each person taking communion.)
- Communion bread consists of unleavened bread (1/2 inch square) which will be scooped up in a spoon and deposited in each individual's hand. Those taking communion will be able to take a cup of grape juice from the tray but will not return the empty cup to the tray. They will be able to deposit their empty cup in a trash receptacle immediately following the communion service. (The trash receptacle will be held by someone, not passed.)
- The men who serve communion will wear masks.
- The men who lead singing, prayer, preaching and announcements will be expected to remove their masks when speaking/singing for clarity of communication. They will be asked to use the podium which is safely distanced from the audience.
- Shaking hands and hugging: Many folks enjoy greeting with a handshake or a hug. We recognize that the state guidelines discourage these kinds of greetings, yet we are not in the business of making church rules. So, again, we simply ask your voluntary compliance. In addition, if you are a 'hugger' or a 'shaker,' be respectful of those who may be uncomfortable in doing so at this time.
- As the re-opening begins for our congregation we rely on our members and visitors to be responsible and cooperative. We do not feel the need to post guards at the doors and we have no intention of refusing anyone or removing anyone.
Even with these guidelines our collective time of worship and fellowship will still be enjoyable and uplifting. It is all about 'attitude.' So...
- Please be responsible for your health and the health of your family;
- Please voluntarily follow the guidelines above; and
- Please be considerate of others.
And finally, remember that the Golden Rule is more than a guideline.
[Online meeting information is posted below.]