CCWC In-Person Worship Guidelines

INTRODUCTION

This document is intended to help you be safe and keep others safe as we regather for in-person worship as Christ Church West Chester. If you come to our building on Sunday morning, beginning November 22, 2020, there are 3 main precautions we are taking as a church to ensure the safety and comfort of all present:

  • We have designated some hallways, doorways, and aisles as one-way traffic areas, which will be marked on the floor,
  • We are requiring attenders to maintain at least six feet of distance at all times from those who are not members of their immediate households, and
  • We will be requiring the use of face masks at all times and in all areas inside the church.

Though this is not an exhaustive list of all precautions we are taking and procedures we are implementing, it should give you a good introduction to the ways that we are trying to remain safe and healthy even as we gather together again. Please read this document carefully and in its entirety. If you have any questions about any of the procedures outlined here, please reach out to the church office at info@christchurchwc.org or (610) 344-9332.

As much as we desire meeting together, our overarching goal in re-gathering may be summed up in the words of the Apostle Paul in Philippians 2:3-4: “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” We are a church made up of people with different health concerns, risk factors, and levels of comfort with different activities. In all that we do, we should strive to love one another with patience, compassion, and understanding, counting others as more significant than ourselves.

We will continue to live stream the services through May 30, 2021, after which all those who desire to get vaccinated will have had the opportunity to do so. As of Sunday, June 6, 2021 CCWC’s services will no longer be live-streamed since, Lord willing, most, if not all persons, will be able to gather with us freely in person. 

HEALTH & SAFETY GUIDANCE

In keeping with the recommendations and mandates of our state government, we ask all attendees to comply with the following provisions:

PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY

We are doing our best to create an environment with a relatively low risk of transmitting COVID-19. It is not possible, however, to eliminate all risk completely.

Please assess your own risk and comfort level before attending. Those who are part of the high-risk population are encouraged to stay home and watch online.

To help maintain an environment that is safe and comfortable, we ask every attendee to take personal responsibility for maintaining social distancing and sanitation protocols as set by governing authorities and church guidance.

In addition, our hope is that any attendee would notify CCWC if they test positive for COVID-19 within 7 days of attending one of our congregational meetings (Sunday morning, Sunday evening, Sunday Night Theology) and/or one of our church-sanctioned midweek Bible Studies (Verse-by-Verse) and Life Groups.

WELLNESS CHECK

All attendees are requested to check their temperature prior to attending each Sunday. A healthy temperature is under 100.4° F. If any of the following applies to you or a member of your household, please remain at home and watch the live stream:

  • Had any of the symptoms consistent with COVID-19 within the past 7 days. Symptoms include fever (temperature over 100.4 degrees), persistent dry cough or sore throat, shortness of breath, and others as described by the CDC,
  • Exposure to anyone confirmed to have COVID-19 in the past 14 days, and/or
  • Tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 10 days.

Any person exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19 will be asked to leave.

SOCIAL DISTANCING

All attendees must maintain a minimum of six feet from any other attendee who is not a member of his or her immediate household. Hugs, handshakes, or any other personal contact is prohibited.

MASKS

All attendees aged two or older must wear a face mask over the mouth and nose at all times while in the building. You are required to bring your own mask. If you are unable or unwilling to wear a mask for the entire time you are in the building, please stay home and watch the live stream.

The current PA state guidelines require them, even among religious institutions (though we are free to meet as regularly as we want without any limit in gathering size). Based on our understanding of Romans 13, the elders think this is a reasonable requirement to submit to since it does not prohibit any religious practice or coerce our conscience to sin in anyway. Lord willing, this temporary restriction will change soon enough and we can move to a more normal gathering (whatever that looks like in a post-COVID world).

RESTROOMS

We are encouraging all attendees to use the restroom before they arrive in order to minimize the number of people in and around the restrooms on Sunday morning. Because of the close nature of the restroom hallway, all traffic will go one way through the restroom hallway, which will be noted by arrows taped on the floor. Restrooms will be cleaned and high-touch surfaces sanitized periodically throughout the morning. Please wash your hands thoroughly (according to CDC guidelines) after using the restroom.

SUNDAY MORNING

ARRIVAL

During this time of social distancing, we will be utilizing the Sanctuary and Foyer for people to sit during the service. The service will be streamed into all locations outside the Sanctuary.

Please enter in the Barnard Street Entrance (between the parking lots) and follow an usher to your seat. Please do not walk around to socialize, but keep to your assigned seat or row.

The service will begin at 10 AM. Please plan to arrive by 9:45 AM at the latest to allow time for ushered seating.

SEATING

Effective Sunday, April 11, 2021, persons from different households desiring to sit together during our services of corporate worship will be allowed to do so. The ushers will not seat anyone next to someone else from another household without their desire.

PROVIDED ITEMS

For the time being, we will not be providing water bottles, pens, or pew Bibles. If you require water, please make plans to bring your own water bottle from home. We are encouraging all attendees to bring their own Bibles.

TITHES/OFFERINGS

We will not be taking the offering during the service, so we encourage you to take advantage of online giving.

CHILDCARE

CCWC currently provides childcare for infants to Pre-Kindergarten. COVID-19 protocols will be in place in addition to the existing child safety policies. Details to register your child(ren) can be found on our website here. In brief, here is what you need to know:

  • There will be 2 groups: 0-24 months and 2-PreK.  These groups will be limited to 10 kids each.
  • Parents using childcare must register each child weekly by noon on Saturday and be willing to serve as often as once per month (excepting guests).
  • Pick Up and Drop off will be at the exterior door at the Barnard St. entrance into the Blue Room.  If you have not registered, you will need to keep your children with you upstairs.
  • Masks are required for ages 2 and up.
  • Diapers will not be changed by volunteers at this time. There will be a protocol for you to change your child’s diaper if the need arises. Specific details regarding the protocol will be shared with parents.
  • If you have additional questions or concerns please contact Adrienne Hartford at hartford.adrienne@gmail.com.

AFTER THE SERVICE

Effectively Sunday, April 11, 2021, on inclement weather days prohibiting outdoor fellowship, all persons who want to stay and fellowship following the morning service in the building will be allowed to do so as long as they remain masked for the duration of their time in the building.
At the conclusion of the service on inclement weather days, the presiding minister will ask all persons desiring to leave immediately to gather their possessions and stand so that an usher can help them exit the building while everyone else remains seated.

  • After the usher dismissal, everyone else will be allowed to fellowship in the building while masked.
  • On days when the weather is conducive to standing outside, post-service fellowship will occur outside in the courtyard as we have been doing.