While we continue to offer Online Worship each weekend, Salem has also resumed in-person worship. Seating is limited. Pre-registration is required.
Worship Protocols during COVID-19
Please remember that we have not simply “gone back to normal.” The situation with the virus is still dangerous. We are taking the following precautions:
- We would like everyone to wear a mask to protect our church family. You already know that a cloth mask does not protect the wearer. It does, however, somewhat protect everyone else if the wearer is ill. Someone could say, “Don’t I have a right to attend our worship service without a mask?” The issue is not one of rights; it’s one of Christian love. We want to show love to everyone who gathers for worship. We will have disposable masks available, but it would be great if you could bring your own cloth mask. If you choose not to wear a mask or are physically unable to wear a mask, we simply ask that you choose a seat near the front or back. Thank you for your understanding and patience.
- Hand sanitizer will be available upon entrance and in other conspicuous locations and the church bathrooms will be available for handwashing.
- We will practice social distancing. We will have clear directions for entering and exiting the building and the sanctuary. In the sanctuary please be sure to sit only in pews that are marked as open.
- Attendees are asked to greet one another without touching.
- Attendees are asked to limit restroom occupancy to 2 people at a single time.
- We will limit singing in the services. Studies have shown that singing is an easy way to spread the virus.
- Our services will follow the same outline we have been using for our online worship. Pastor will share all the spoken parts live. We will use the same song recordings that we use for the online worship service in our live worship.
- A basket will be available for offering envelopes.
- Frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned after each service.
- The entire service will be projected on the screen. A limited amount of bulletins will be available for those who cannot see the screen. They will be on a table in the back of church.
- Children’s activity bags and other common use items will be removed for the time being. Families with children are encouraged to bring their own “quiet toys” from home. The Fireside Room will be available if needed for calming anxious children.
- To minimize commonly touched surfaces, there will be no coffee served before, during, or after the service. All who come are welcome to bring their own coffee (or other drinks). Attendees are welcome to visit after the service, as long as social distancing safeguards can be maintained.
- If you are sick, or have recently been exposed to COVID and are under quarantine, please worship privately at home. If someone does come to church and is later diagnosed with COVID, please be aware that those who attend may be asked to quarantine at home for 14 days.
Those who feel uncomfortable coming to church at this time should not come to church. This virus is dangerous and affects some much more than others. If someone has health issues, is in an at-risk age group, cares for a young or elderly person, or just feels it’s too risky, it is God-pleasing to stay home to worship. The third commandment does not say, “You shall come to church.” The third commandment directs us to honor God’s Word and when possible, not to give up meeting together. We will continue to post our worship services online each week. We will continue to provide online devotional material, along with Forward in Christ, Meditations, and Portals of Prayer. We all can read and study God’s Word in our homes, and even over the internet with Google Meet and Zoom. These are all ways to worship the Lord! These are all ways to keep the Third Commandment. Again, if you feel at all uncomfortable coming to church please worship at home with a clear conscience.
Communion Distribution Plan
Communion is offered during in-person worship the 2nd and 4th weekends of the month. If you would like communion privately, please contact Pastor Jake or Pastor Jon. They would be happy to share it with you.
- Vestrymen will wear gloves and a mask as they prepare the elements and will be careful not to touch anything else as they work.
- Wafers will be placed in individual cupcake papers.
- Individual cups will be spread out in the communion trays.
- Ushers will direct the flow of traffic one person at a time, six feet apart, to maintain social distancing. They will alternate sides as we normally did for communion.
- If families are seated together they will be able to walk up together.
- The individual will pick up one cupcake paper with the bread in it and take the bread, then will pick up an individual cup and take the wine.
- The individual will turn toward the side of church where they are sitting. They will deposit the paper and the cup in the receptacle and will walk down the side aisle to their seat.
- Pastor will offer the blessing to the entire congregation once everyone has received the Lord’s Supper.
- Following the service, the vestrymen will wash and dry the individual trays for the next service.