Re-Opening the Doors for Worship at Willow Glen UMC
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence,
so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
We are so excited to be able to reopen our “doors” for in-person worship! God is good, and it will be so good to come together to worship with thankful hearts. Our congregation remains committed to doing no harm, to doing good, and attending to the ordinances of God and, above all, to making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. We believe that we are prepared to begin to re-engage these missional goals in-person safely and responsibly. With some changes to our worship technology and updated safety protocols in places, the time has come when we can re-open our sanctuary doors for in-person worship while shifting our online worship to a live-stream for those who continue to feel safer in worshipping from home.
To do this, we have put together a plan to ensure the safety of our in-person gathering, and want to make sure everyone is informed of our plan to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. We also understand that not everyone will be comfortable with meeting in person, so we encourage you to continue worshipping with us online until you are ready. Due to limited space, reservations for service must be made ahead of time.
Additionally, we ask that if you are showing any symptoms of being unwell (fever, cough, malaise, body aches, etc.), have recently tested positive, or been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, that you stay home. We also encourage those in a high-risk group to stay home as well and continue to worship with us online. For those who are going to attend an in-person service, please read the following guidelines carefully so that our services together can run as smoothly as possible.
Before attending, please conduct a self-screening at home with the following questions:
- Do you feel or recently felt feverish, had a temperature over 100.0 degrees, or recently had any other COVID-19 symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, tiredness, chills, headaches, muscle/body aches, confusion, or loss of taste/smell?
- Have you tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
- Have come into close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, we urge you to please stay home from our worship service and contact a healthcare provider.
Thank you for respectfully complying with these safety guidelines that have been put in place for the protection of our community.
All people will be welcome in worship, vaccinated or not.
Safety Protocols for In-Person Worship Service at Willow Glen UMC
- Seats for the in-person service must be reserved in advance using our online reservation system as we are limited on group size by Santa Clara County Public Health and mandated to keep a list of all who attended. You will need to reserve one seat per person in your household who will be attending. You will receive an email from the church office each week with a link to the registration site (worship.wgumc.org). Reservations will stay open until the sanctuary limit has been reached. If the service has filled up, you will be given an option to be put on a waitlist, in case anyone cancels their reservation. We encourage you to take advantage of this option! You will be contacted through signup.com if a space opens up.
- Entrance to the sanctuary will be through the front doors on Newport Avenue only, and everyone will have their temperature taken with a no-touch thermometer upon arrival. Your arrival will be marked on our attendance record.
- It is required that any person over the age of 2 must wear a face mask. Face masks must cover nose and mouth, be on upon entry, and remain on for the entirety of your time on campus. We ask that you bring your own mask, but masks will be provided at the entrance for you as needed.
- Hand sanitizer will be available. We ask that each person uses it upon arrival, and it will be available for use at any time during the service.
- Seating will be limited to every other pew to allow for physical distancing. Members of the same household may be seated together but at least six feet of distance needs to be maintained from other households. The complete list of safety protocols are below. We ask parents to ensure that children stay with their households.
- In order to maintain a safe and healthy environment, additional cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces and the sanctuary space will be completed each week. Frequently touched surfaces will be disinfected occasionally throughout the morning. Hand sanitizing stations will be available.
- Restrooms will be available in Kohlstedt Hall, and will be sanitized before and after each service. Each restroom has been modified to be usable by one person only at a time to ensure physical distancing. Please wait in the breezeway until the restroom us unoccupied.
- We will have music during the service. However, congregational singing will not be permitted at this time.
- On a communion Sunday, those attending worship will be given the elements in an individually wrapped package to bring with them into the service. When it is time for communion, you may briefly take off your mask at the instruction of the pastor.
- We will continue to use contactless methods to receive the offering. Please give online or via text prior to or during worship. There will also be offering plates available in the narthex.
- Worshipers will be dismissed by ushers following the service to the Newport Avenue patio where we encourage fellowship and reconnection to happen safely while staying physically distant and mindful of the time spent together.
Rev. 6 May 2021