The past several months have been strange and trying, but I know that Christ has been walking beside us during this unusual season. We have come to realize that church is more than the building and we have continued our ministries, but in different ways. I am thankful for the staff, Session, Diaconate, the board of trustees and each member! The good news is that we have a target date for worship in the building. The Session met and approved opening the sanctuary for worship on Sunday, September 20 with a safety protocol. Yes, we will be able to worship in the sanctuary, but I want you to know that it will be very different from pre-Covid 19 events. The church leadership has diligently work to have a plan to keep everyone as safe as possible with best practices from the CDC and recommendations from West Jersey Presbytery. Please take some time and read through the protocol for worship prior to September, and if you feel the need to worship from home, we will be continuing our FB Live services. Again, thank you for your prayerful patience during this difficult time, and I look forward to joining you for worship in the sanctuary next month.
Rev. Dr. Philip W. Oehler, Sr.
PROTOCOL FOR WORSHIP
AT THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH AT WOODBURY
As of February 2020, in-person worship isn’t occurring at the Presbyterian Church at Woodbury due to Covid-19. The Session has approved use of the building for Services of the Lord’s Day with the following criteria, in order to protect the health of all who attend worship. The church has adopted the following guidelines based upon CDC recommendations and approved practices from West Jersey Presbytery as of July 19, 2020:
- Only the front doors on the S. Broad Street side of the building will be unlocked. Unless there is inclement weather, the front doors will be opened fully to allow entry without using door handles. Centre Street doors will be available only for those needing to use the elevator to enter for worship.
- In the event of inclement weather, a volunteer wearing gloves and a mask will open the Broad Street doors, and another volunteer will be at the Centre Street door to assist.
- The temperature of everyone entering the church will be taken by a volunteer, using a no-contact thermometer, and the maximum temperature is 100 degrees. Attendance will be noted using list by ushers with list that also has blanks for visitors.
- Masks will be required for everyone entering the church and must be worn during any service in the sanctuary.
- Hand sanitizer will be available for all to use as they come into the church.
- Bulletins will be handed out by a gloved volunteer, and the order of service should be taken out with the worshiper.
- There will be signage “in” and “out” of the sanctuary . . . center doors being in and side doors being “out”
- Only every other pew will be open; the others will be taped off.
- Those sitting in the pews must keep at least 6 feet distance to the next person, unless from the same household.
- The pastor, minister of music, soloist, and the liturgist will maintain social distancing.
- The pastor and lay minister for pastoral care will not greet members as they leave following worship. Those wishing to speak with them should email asking to speak with them via phone, zoom or text.
- During Passing of the Peace, all will remain standing at their seat and wave to others.
- No shaking hands, physical contact or hugging will be allowed.
- There should be no more than 1 persons in the Narthex, Chapel and landing restroom at a time – please spray bathroom with provided Lysol spray as you leave.
- The Keurig coffee maker in the chapel and the water cooler in the chapel kitchen will be unavailable for guests.
- Initially there will be no community singing or liturgical responses . . . all hymnals and Bibles have already been removed from the pews. This part of worship will resume when deemed appropriate by CDC guidelines and NJ guidance.
- There will not be a choir until this practice can be safely resumed.
- There will be no Nursery available until approved by Session.
- The Christian Education building will be closed off until approved by Session.
- Sunday School will not resume until classes can be resumed safely.
- There will be no coffee fellowship in the chapel until approved by Session.
- There will be no collection of tithes and offerings during the service by usher, please deposit offering in plate at the end of the service on your way out.
There is a travel advisory for those entering New Jersey. This list will be continually updated and people should be encouraged to visit State of NJ website for the most up to date list. (https://covid19.nj.gov/faqs/nj-information/travel-information/which-states-are-on-the-travel-advisory-list-are-there-travel-restrictions-to-or-from-new-jersey). If members have been to those states, they must quarantine for 14 days prior to returning to worship in the building. Those who chose not to worship with us on campus at this time, can still join us on the Presbyterian Church at Woodbury FaceBook page.
We look forward to welcoming all who want to join us on Sunday morning. Worship begins at 9:30am, but we ask that everyone arrive early in order to allow time for compliance with our new guidelines.
Approved by Session on July 20, 2020
Approved by WJP on July 29,2020
Reopen Date on September 20, 2020