REOPENING THE SANCTUARY
Version 3.0, updated Oct 1, 2021
STARTING OCTOBER 10, 2021
Welcome to the New Normal. Lake Edge Leadership is excited to say we are ready for hybrid worship (in-person indoors and via Zoom at the same time). We have changed as a congregation. Let us move forward into “a new Way” of being, the Way of Jesus!
“I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:19)
SANCTUARY WORSHIP REOPENING DETERMINATION
Lake Edge UCC is using the current CDC Guidelines, Dane County Health Guidelines and Recommendations, and the WI Council of Churches Reopening Guidelines to determine when we can worship in the sanctuary as the weather gets cooler. Depending on COVID data, we may need to go back to online worship. This is the new normal to keep us as safe as we can.
CHURCH BUILDING REOPENING DETERMINATION
Starting October 10, 2021, the building is open for worship. Also, the building is open to Alliance and individual church activities, and meetings, as well as for our tenants. No outside individuals or organizations are using the building. The Joint Governing Board determines when, how and by whom that the building can be used. All requests are completed on the Building Usage Request Form. The form is subject to ongoing review and revision. All events are collected and entered on the Alliance Facilities Calendar.
SANCTUARY SETUP AND WORSHIP SEATING
● Everyone will wear masks indoors (2 years old and older). There is a Dane Co. mask mandate as of Aug. 16, 2021. Lay readers and the pastor will be unmasked only when reading, giving the message, and offering prayers.
● Worshipers will only enter the building through the front (glass) doors and back lot (glass) doors. All other doors are for exit only. One usher will be at each glass door to explain worship traffic flow. Ushers explain enter and exit doors and remind worshippers to sign the attendance pad. Give ushers 6’ social distance please.
● Individuals will select their own seats in open rows. The front row of chairs are labeled reserved for anyone who needs to be up close, as well as service ministers. Every other row will be available for seating to adhere to social distance protocol. In open rows, members keep two seats open between themselves and other households.
● Participants can use the two bathrooms, one near the elevator and one next to the office only.
● Children must stay with their families.
● Worshipers leave the building immediately after service. You may visit in the parking lot, but please be ready to make way for CTSR parking and setup.
● Please do not come forward to the platform and lectern in the sanctuary.
● NOTE: There is no need to call ahead and reserve a spot at service. We will collect attendance for contact tracing only.
● The congregation can sing, as long as they keep their masks on.
● For now, all music will be pre-recorded. We may have an organist soon, but there will be no choir or praise team singing. Leadership will determine when the choir can resume.
We will “bring your own elements” for Communion until further notice.
FACILITY AND MOVEMENT
Members should park on the street if they are able. Save the back parking lot for people with special needs as well as seniors. Remember, CTSR has many elders who may need those spaces when you leave.
All worshipers will be responsible for the following actions.
● Social distance inside and outside the building, Stay 6 feet apart or two seats between households.
● Keep masks on all the time. Wear them above the nose.
● Act as though the other person needs social distancing to be comfortable.
● Stay home if you’re not feeling well. Not sure? GET TESTED.
● Check eNews, Facebook (LE and Be the Church), and the website in case of a last-minute closure. When in doubt, call Amy, (608) 217-8536.
We are all in this together. Let’s be responsible, mindful, and loving. AMEN.
I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43:19)
Lake Edge shouldn’t try to go “back to normal.” Hybrid worship is here to stay. We have changed as a congregation – let’s move forward into “a new Way.” This document is fluid and has input from our church's leadership. This is meant to show what worship MIGHT look like, once it's safe to reopen.
Please don't comment here; email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks.
Masks for everyone age 2 and over (Dane Co. mandate as of Aug. 16, 2021)
Pulpit on top of chancel; lay readers and pastor will be unmasked only when ministering
Entrance only at front (glass) doors and back lot (glass) doors – all others exit only
One usher at each door, one in hallway above stairs by back door, one in front of sanctuary doors
Entrance to sanctuary only through glass doors
Front row reserved as marked for anyone with needs (as well as ministers)
Every other row blocked off, no exceptions - ROPE OR TAPE OFF
In open rows, members keep two seats open between themselves and other households
No “vaccinated only seating” or separation policy (contradicts UCC/Gospel message)
No printed bulletins, inserts
Members leave immediately after worship to make way for CTSR setup. Let the air clear in the sanctuary for the next congregation
Members do not approach platform for any reason other than emergency egress
No choir/praise leaders until variant is under control
Congregation can sing if masked, but only taped music at this time
Organ: (Sigrun willing to help as her schedule allows, but technical issues still to be worked out)
Possibility of large screen to project lyrics, prayers to stay paper free (same as the Courtyard: no one sees that info now)
Continue CCLI Streaming License for praise
Continue outreach to get hymns, special music, etc. to stream at no charge
COMMUNION – two scenarios are possible
Option 1: Bring your own Communion (no ministers needed to perform)
Option 2: Communion served in seats (would require special setup, cleanup, servers)
Ministers would wear gloves and stay masked
Ministers would move to sides of sanctuary, not down main aisle
Ministers would serve people in each row (number of ministers to be determined)
FACILITY AND MOVEMENT
Consider converting entire back parking lot to disabled access only, except pastor spots. Requires signage: “Sunday only (disabled symbol)” OR ask members to be considerate and park on street.
Temperature monitoring is unnecessary at present
Common-sense cleaning as appropriate (no chemicals)
Contact tracing is needed until variants are under control - possibilities
MEMBERS need to be responsible
Finally – this won’t be forever. As things get better, we can remove restrictions as we are able. We need to protect our most vulnerable members in the sanctuary, as well as include all who are more comfortable participating online.
Key Words: Responsible. Careful. Respectful. Mindful. Inclusive. Loving.
Again, please email comments to email@example.com. Thanks.