Augusta First Seventh-day Adventist Church Board
Plan for Returning to Public Worship Services
May 26, 2020
If the threat of Covid-19 has been reducing in Augusta area and we were able to get all the supplies the proposed day for reopening the church for public worship services is June 13 with the following guidelines:
- Sabbath Schools:
We will continue to do Sabbath School through Zoom. This will allow a greater participation of people especially those that are at higher risk.It will also give the opportunity for all Sabbath School classes to hold their meetings such as Young Adults, Youth and Primary. The proposed time is 9:30-10:30. (This will allow enough time after SS through Zoom to commute to church service)
- Church service
- Will start at 11:30am
- Everyone will be screened with a touch-less thermometer on entering the church.
- No paper bulletins (We can put the order of service on the screen, and it is emailed every week)
- Seating - Every other row will be reserved, and everyone that is not from the same household will be encouraged to sit further apart considering social distancing. When People come in they should be seated right away without spending time in close proximity. Please seat every other row and if seating on the same row please provide three seat buffer between family units.
- Shorter service:
ii. (Addendum September 2020)- Singing for special music is allowed from the platform, congregation singing will resume when the infection will fall to 6% or less.
iii. Announcements (and a call to remember offering and guide people to where they can donate)
iv. Prerecorded children story
There will be no collection of offerings during the service by deacons.
These options will be available:
- Online through our website augustachurchonline.com then click "Online Giving"
- Collection Boxes will be available in the church (Suggestion not to open the envelopes right away. Those who are counting should wear gloves.)
- Mailing the check
- Items frequently touched:
a. Microphones- We will schedule in a way that there will be one microphone per person on the platform. They will be sanitized during the week for next Sabbath.
b. Pulpit - will be brought out just for the sermon part.
- Face masks that cover mouth and nose will be required for all attendees. Exceptions may be made for certain members participating on the platform, but with strict social distancing guidelines being followed. We want to encourage each person to bring their own, If a person does not have one the church will provide one. This policy extends also to children of two years and older.
- Hand sanitizer - We will provide hand sanitizer or we will ask you to wash your hands before you enter the sanctuary.
- Social distancing guidelines
- No hugging, shaking hands, or any contact that is within 6 feet of someone that does not live in your dwelling space.
- Parents with children will be asked to keep their kids in sight to maintain Social Distancing Guidelines.
- No fellowship meals until further notice
- Leaving - People will be ushered out row by row and encouraged to go straight home.
- Encouragement to the following groups to worship from home.
- “At-Risk” members who are elderly have chronic health problems or immune compromised are encouraged to stay home and continue to enjoy our live stream services until it is safe for them to return to public activities. If you are sick, think you might be getting sick, or show symptoms that are similar to COVID-19, Influenza, or other seasonal illnesses, please stay home or you may be asked to go home. These symptoms may include, but are not limited to:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle pain
- Sore Throat
- Loss of taste or smell
- We know that many of our members suffer from seasonal allergies or other non contagious illnesses. To avoid misinterpretations of these symptoms please consider staying home until these symptoms resolve. If you have any symptoms causing you to frequently touch your eyes, nose, and mouth, you may want to consider staying home until your symptoms are better.
- All other meeting will be held through Zoom until we will feel safe enough to resume in person meetings. This will include:
- Church Board
- Finance Committee
- Elder's Meetings
- Prayer Meeting
- Worship Committee
- Bible Study Groups
- School Board
We know that each one of you loves the church and each other. We understand that true worship includes a true fellowship with each other and brotherly love. And although on one hand these restrictions for this time prevents us from fully expressing our love towards each other and hinders the fellowship, on the other hand it is because of the concern for each other and for our community as a whole that we have to adopt these guidelines hopefully only for a while.
I am looking forward to coming again together in to our Augusta First church and joining our hearts to give glory and worship to our Lord.
May God bless you as we are preparing to meet again.
Augusta First Seventh-day Adventist Church Board