St. Matthew COVID-19 Plan to Return to Worship
Brothers and sisters in Christ, we are excited to communicate that we will cautiously and gratefully reopen the church and return to in-person worship services for those who choose this option. Executive Council, after prayerful deliberation, has decided to reopen on Sunday July 12, 2020. I would like to thank the Re-Entry Team for their diligent work to develop a plan to return to worship using the guidelines of the Ohio Governor, Medina County Health Department, ELCA, and Church Mutual Insurance.
Members of the Re-Entry Team were Rex Rickley, Brenda Desbrow, Joyce Davis, Pastor Bill, Deacon Lindsay, Judy McLaughlin, Troy Gerspacher and Bill Heck. If you have any questions or suggestions please contact any of these Re-Entry Team members.
The following procedures have been established to create an atmosphere of caring for our members, visitors, and staff and to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19. It is our prayer that everyone choosing to attend in-person services will follow the recommended guidelines. If you prefer not to attend, we are pleased to continue our online Sunday worship on Facebook. You may also view the service at a later time on our website www.stmatthewmedina.org
What do I need to know about returning to in-person worship?
- The Re-Entry Team and Executive Council followed the guidelines recommended by the Governor, Ohio Department of Health and the ELCA.
- In preparation for returning, Mark’s Cleaning and our maintenance staff completed a thorough cleaning and sanitizing spray to the main church sanctuary narthex, balcony, and stairways.
- Weekly cleaning and disinfecting of all church areas completed by in-house staff.
- No Sunday School or Nursery.
- Baptisms, funerals, weddings and large group meetings are temporally suspended.
What do I need to know about entering the church?
- The north and south doors of the sanctuary, narthex will be open for use.
- Restrooms will be open but limited to one person at a time.
- Side door with elevator access will be available on request.
- All other doors will be locked and rooms closed off.
- Everyone is required to bring and wear a face mask.
- Hand sanitizers will be available throughout the church.
- Maintaining 6-foot distance is required.
- Every other pew will be marked allowing families, couples and singles to sit at either end.
- The church capacity for worship using social distancing is conservatively 60
- Overflow for 30 is available in the fellowship hall with large screen TV.
What will worship look like?
- There will be one live service at 9:30 am each Sunday.
- Live streaming of the service will be continued via Facebook for those not attending.
- Due to live streaming, worshipers may appear in the video.
- All cushions, hymnals, pencils, and cards have been removed.
- Bulletins may be picked up in the narthex.
- Projected slides will be used.
- There will be no physical sharing of the peace, handshaking or singing by the congregation.
- A wooden offering box to receive collections will be placed on a stand in the narthex.
- The method of serving Holy Communion will be explained that day.
- Exiting the church will be through only the 2 main doors with social distancing.
- If you wish to talk with people after worship please do so outside not in the building.
- Pastor Bill and Deacon Lindsay will not be greeting worshipers but they are available by phone at the church office (330) 725-8885 or by email: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. For pastoral care emergencies, they can be reached by cell phone: Pastor Bill (412) 977-8900 Deacon Lindsay (440) 376-8338
- Should you find that you have been tested positive for COVID-19 please notify the church
We realize some members are anxious to return to in-person worship, while others will continue to join through live streaming. To help us gauge the expected attendance, we ask you to click on the link or call the office 330-725-8885 to leave a message and indicate if you intend to return to worship in July based on the above guidelines.
Welcome back and may God’s blessing and the Holy Spirit’s guidance be with you in this constantly fluid and changing situation.