June 19, 2020
Dear Members and Friends of Bethel United Church of Christ,
It is my pleasure to inform you that Bethel has a plan for re-opening our church. Governor Wolf moved York County into the Green phase effective Friday, June 12th. We, as a committee agreed to adhere to the recommendations of the Penn Central Conference. The Re-opening Committee met yesterday and agreed to proceed in a careful and thoughtful manner. Our priority is the health and safety of all, especially keeping in mind that we are an older congregation and some of us are more vulnerable than others. In that regard, if on Sunday mornings you are not feeling well, please remain at home.
On July 12th we have our first worship service with Pastor Susan, in the church, at 9:00 AM. The entire building was thoroughly cleaned by a professional cleaning company prior to our July 12th gathering. The indoor services will also be available via zoom services for those who are not comfortable returning to church at this time. Currently we are advised that we may permit 50% occupancy for services, or 100 people. Feel free to bring your relatives, friends, and neighbors to worship services. One hundred people in our church on a Sunday morning would be grand! And yes, there will be major differences for indoor services that we must adhere too. I will try to outline these as simply as I can below.
- Please sanitize your hands before leaving your vehicle and as you are approaching the church, place your mask over your face. (nose and mouth should be covered) In the event you need sanitizer, masks, disposable gloves, tissues, etc. they will be available at various locations in the church and social hall. If you have forgotten your own mask, please request one before entering the Narthex and one will be provided for you.
- As you enter the narthex, if there are several people entering at the same time, maintain the 6 feet social distance between you and the other person. You will see Xs under the canopy designating six feet distances. Upon entering or exiting the church, do not gather in groups while under the canopy, in the Narthex or sanctuary.
- Once inside the Narthex, maintaining the necessary 6 feet between you and other people, proceed to the white table where your names will be recorded, and you can pick up a bulletin. We need to maintain a record of attendees for each service in the event someone becomes ill and tracing is required.
- You will be escorted into the sanctuary and seated. (We will be seating people from the front of the church to the back, in every other pew). Sorry, no more favorite pews.
- Once seated if you desire you may remove your mask. Singing will not be included in the sanitary at this time.
- Cushions have been removed from the pews. Back to the good old days, remember the benches without cushions? If you need a cushion bring your own and take it with you at the end of each service. Hymnals, bibles, etc. have been removed. Please do not touch any books or cushions stacked in pews not being used. Feel free to bring your own bible.
- An offering plate covered with saran wrap will be placed in the Narthex and you will be able to drop your envelope(s) or money in the plate as you exit the building. As you are able, a little catch up or extra in the plate would certainly help Bethel and in advance, thank you! Those counting the money will proceed using disposable gloves to do so. The saran wrap will be taken off the collection plate, thrown away and new wrap will be used to cover the plate.
- Following the service, we will exit the church from the back to the front of the sanctuary. You will be directed by a consistory member when your pew is excused. Please remember when exiting the church, do not gather in groups in the center aisle, in the Narthex or while under the canopy.
- For everyone’s safety the hospitality room, nursery and kitchen will be closed until further notice. The water cooler downstairs is also non-operable. Bottled water can be provided as needed.
God is Good,