On Sunday mornings St. John will be held in the church sanctuary at 10 am. The service will be broadcast on FM 100.1 for those who wish to attend Sunday morning service, but do not wish to come indoors. Indoor worship will be suspended if either Marion or Morrow county reaches a level 3 (red) or higher designation as determined by the Ohio Public Health Advisory System. If this happens Sunday morning services will be held outside until such time that both counties are at level 2 or lower.
The COVID safety team has been working hard to formulate plans to safely worship indoors. Indoor worship is more challenging from a healthcare perspective than outdoor worship. Social distancing is more confined indoor vs. outdoor. Worshipping indoors means we lose the natural air currents that carry virus away from the area if present. Worshipping indoors means more opportunity for contamination via communally used infrastructure (door knobs, water fountains, pews etc.)
So, how do we address these challenges? First we do what we can to make sure no one who has the virus attends worship. Second, since people can spread the virus unknowingly because they have no symptoms, we do what we can to minimize the chance such a person will transmit the virus to others.
BEFORE COMING TO CHURCH Before coming to church we ask that each person ask themselves the following screening questions suggested by the CDC:
1. Have you been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days? 2. Have you felt like you had a fever in the past day? 3. Do you have a new or worsening cough today? 4. Do you have any of these other symptoms today? a. Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing b. Fatigue c. Muscle or Body aches d. Headache e. New loss of taste or smell f. Sore throat g. Congestion or runny nose h. Nausea or vomiting i. Diarrhea 5. Have you been tested for COVID-19, and are still awaiting test results?
If you answer yes to any of these questions we ask that you stay home.
ENTERING AND EXITING THE CHURCH
1. In order to facilitate social distancing we will be using all 3 entrances into the church. It is requested that the north entrance be reserved for those who have difficulty walking.
2. An usher will direct each family unit to their seat.
3. Offerings are to be dropped in an offering plate in much the same manner that is used for mid week advent & lent services.
4. Communion will be served in the front of the church with the ushers releasing each family unit to go forward at the proper time.
5. At the end of the service the ushers will release each family unit to exit. We ask that you exit the church immediately and delay fellowship with others until you are outside where it is easier to social distance and air currents will disperse respiratory droplets & aerosols.*
GENERAL COMMENTS Masks will be required except for those under the age of 10, those with a medical condition or a disability, those communicating with someone with a disability, or those who are officiants at religious services.
Hand sanitizer will be available at either end of each pew being used
In general we will sit 2 family units per pew, every other pew empty.
All items will be removed from the pew racks to minimize the chance of touching common surfaces,
Plexiglass shields will be placed in front of pulpit and lectern
The organist/pianist will be in choir loft.
Singing should be limited to a volume no louder than the level of normal spoken voice.*
The amount of viral spread within the community must be taken into account. Therefore indoor worship will be suspended if either Marion or Morrow county reaches a level 3 (red) or higher designation as determined by the Ohio Public Health Advisory System. If this happens Sunday morning services will be held outside until such time that both counties are at level 2 or lower.
* On 10-6-2020 the CDC updated its list of modes of viral transmission to include aerosols. Aerosols are finer particles than droplets and can remain suspended in the air for up to 3 hours some studies suggest. The implications for indoor gatherings is that spacing in excess of 6 feet may be advisable and that efforts should be made to minimize the amount of aerosol introduced, The louder and longer one speaks, the more aerosol that is produced. Singing produces more aerosol than any other form of vocalization.