Signs of spring, April 2020

COVID-19

COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS

As we expand our gatherings, the Salem Re-entry Task Group has updated our safety measures to keep our congregation in alignment with guidance from the CDC and the State of Maryland. We will extend the following courtesies to one another, regardless of vaccination status, as we gather:

  • Please use hand sanitizer when entering the church building.

  • We have resumed singing in the sanctuary and we request that you wear a mask if you
    wish to sing. Words to the music are included in the PowerPoint and hymnals will be
    available. This summer we have tentative plans to begin having small ensembles of
    singers sharing music during the 10:00 service. We plan to restart our choir for the fall.

  • We are asking that you print your own copy of the bulletin for the 10:00 service if you
    would like one. If you need assistance, please let me know. While most people can
    access their own copy, we know not everyone has the capability to print. To be more
    faithful stewards, we do not want to print a large number of copies at the church.

  • For the foreseeable future, we will have some people worshiping while wearing masks.
    We ask that if you are not fully vaccinated, please wear a mask and maintain physical
    distance from others. Everyone will need to be aware of people’s comfort with close
    contact with others. Please be sensitive and kind to one another. Do not assume that a
    person is comfortable with you coming close; please respect each other.

  • We will continue to offer our elements for Communion in pre-packaged single units.
    Persons who wish may pick one up on their way into worship.

  • We must be careful with limiting our physical contact with one another since not everyone
    is fully vaccinated. For example, we will not have ushers handing out anything nor will
    we be passing the offering plates.

  • We are required to continue keeping track of everyone who attends in-person worship
    (including Vespers) because we are responsible for contact tracing if someone should
    test positive for COVID-19. The Church has a system for caring for this and we
    appreciate those who are completing attendance records. Please remember that if you
    test positive for COVID-19 and have attended an in-person service/activity at church, you
    need to inform the Pastor.

  • Children:

    • We are giving special attention and care for our youngest members of the community. We will continue to offer a children’s message during the 10:00 service. Due to safety concerns, we are not yet able to offer Junior Church or nursery care. Our task group will revisit the resumption of these offerings later in the fall. Most likely, these activities will not resume until after a vaccine is available for children under 5.

    • Because children under the age of 12 are not yet eligible for vaccination, we will strive to
      offer outdoor activities (weather permitting) – especially this summer and into early fall.

    • When around children outdoors, please be sensitive to the parents’ comfort level for their
      child.

    • A reminder to all adults: we are role models in many ways with our younger people.
      If you are around young people who need to mask, please choose to wear a mask to
      model for those who must.

  • Please remember that the symptoms of COVID-19 include but are not limited to the following: 

    • fever

    • cough

    • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

    • chills, repeated shaking with chills

    • muscle pain

    • sore throat

    • headache

    • fatigue

    • nausea/vomiting

    • new loss of taste or smell

Please worship from home if you are exhibiting new symptoms or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or if you have been advised by a medical professional to self-isolate. Also, if you are not feeling well, feel nervous about your own health or have a medical condition that makes you more vulnerable to COVID-19, please worship from your home. 

Thank you for showing love for one another by following our safety measures.

COVID cleaning precautions at Salem United Methodist Church Upper Falls, Maryland
Sanctuary of Salem United Methodist Church Upper Falls, Maryland August 2020