In Person Worship & Covid Updates

Starting this Sunday – June 20 – the Woodridge Executive Board has approved the following changes to our in person worship:
 

Overview:

The Rhode Island Health Department issued updated Reopening Rhode Island Guidance and Best Practices on June 1, 2021.  The requirements for masking and social distancing were removed for fully vaccinated people in most circumstances.  Indoor live performances, such as singing, are now permitted with social distancing and masking requirements for unvaccinated individuals.  There are no restrictions for outdoor performances. 

The Worship Team reviewed the latest data on the virus and the above guidelines of the RI Health Department and then talked through our current procedures. 

In making these changes, we want to remember that we always seek to be an inclusive community.  We see ourselves as family, rather than shoppers or diners who are strangers to each other. We want to bend a little to keep everyone comfortable and protected and to feel valued and included.   

We agreed to meet again in early August and revisit our procedures – or call an emergency meeting if needed.

Beginning on Sunday, June 20:
  1. Tracking attendees at worship is still important, for contact tracing if needed. The ushers will continue to use the list of those who have been attending and check off arrivals at worship.
  2. Fully vaccinated individuals may remove their masks (if they are comfortable doing so) while seated in worship.  When entering, leaving, walking around, or passing of the peace, mask wearing is required.
  3. Unvaccinated individuals must continue wearing their masks at all times while indoors.
  4. Singing inside is still a risky activity.  We will sing outside after the service, without masks.  In case of rain, at the end of the service we will, masked, sing one hymn and a closing song indoors. 
  5. We can have an occasional vocal soloist, distanced from the congregation and singing behind plexiglas, if the soloist is fully vaccinated.  Other special music: no change for now.
  6. We will keep our social distance spacing at 6’ rather than decreasing to 3’. If the open pews are at capacity, we can seat the overflow people in the blocked off rows, not directly in front of or behind someone. EXCEPTION:  Fully vaccinated individuals who are not from the same household may sit with each other as desired.
  7. Worshippers can pretty much seat themselves, with guidance from the ushers as needed.  Ushers will no longer dismiss worshippers at the conclusion of the service.
  8. Passing the Peace – worshippers, masked, may walk around and greet each other.  Elbow bumping is fine.  No hand shaking or hugging.  
  9. Children’s Sermon – Scott will invite children to come forward and sit in the front.  They will be masked and socially distanced, with Scott also masked and socially distanced from them. 
  10. Beverages on the Terrace – beverages OK.  No snacks.
  11. Communion – continue using individual servings.
  12. Sanitizing after the service – no change.
 
Thank you for your continued understanding and support as we all work together to keep our community safe.

 

Sunday school: The Christian Education Team believes that the safest way to involve children and youth at this time is through inter-generational worship and to not hold separate and in person Sunday school until the fall.