Worship Service 10:00 am Sundays

First Presbyterian Church of Ogdensburg, NY

Policy and Plan for Indoor Worship in a time of Pandemic 

September 9, 2020 - Third Draft

The Sunday Worship Set-Up

  • Only the front west doors and the accessibility door are to be open and there is a hand sanitizing station at each entrance with masks available for those who forget theirs.  All other entrances will remain locked from the outside and only available for emergency exits at this time.
  • NOTE:  Even if you currently have a key you may NOT use other entrances unless you are church staff (if you get a paycheck from the church, you are staff).
  • The only available bathroom is the one in the Claxton addition near Ruth's Room.  All other areas of the buildings will remain closed to the public on Sunday morning.  (All of the Fellowship Hall level, Ruth's Room kitchen and area, and office building.)
  • Hymnals and bibles have been moved to unused pews.
  • Children's play and coloring area is closed and packed away.  Children's bags with their names on them, with crayons, pencils, pads, etc. will be given out to each child at children's time.
  • The front of  the sanctuary is taped off.  Congregants are asked not to have contact with the organist.
  • People coming in thru the Accessibility Door need to sit nearer to that entrance or go to the back of the sanctuary and around to get to the pews on the west side of the church.
  • Every third pew is open for seating.  Pews that are to be left unused are clearly taped off with a fun sign.
  • After church the sanctuary is to left empty for 5 days to allow any possible virus to die before normal cleaning.

The Worship Service

  • There is, sadly, no congregational or choral singing.
  • There is no live Coffee Hour.  Virtual coffee hour has started again at 11:00 am on Zoom.
  • People are asked to come on time for worship, as a way to avoid gathering.
  • There could possibly be special music from the very front, as the space is taped off at the front pew.  There could also be bell ringing.
  • There is no greeting, nodding and waving to one another is encouraged instead of handshakes and hugs.
  • There are 1/2 sheet bulletins until the screen system in the front of the church is in place.  The screen system is in memory of Laurel B. Roethel (Rhonda's Mom).
  • The offering plates are places at each sanctuary entrance to use as you leave and not passed during the service.
  • Communion Sunday - there will be 2 large trays of small lidded disposable 1 oz. cups, one with juice and one with bread.  Trays will be placed on a table just inside each of the sanctuary center and accessibility entrance to the sanctuary on Communion Sundays.  Worshipers will pic up one of each on their way to their pew.  Healthy, sanitized Communion servers will need to repair these.  If preparing before Sunday, the trays may be placed in the refrigerator.
  • Services will continue to be streamed on Zoom and Facebook live as well as uploaded to the church YouTube channel weekly.  It is our prayer that each will worship where you feel  most safe and comfortable.  We are on community worshiping together in any spaces.

Policy for Church Use and Building Opening in a Time of Pandemic

  • Each request for church use by organizations outside the church, other than the American Red Cross, must be taken to the Session for their review and possible approval.  Because of the amount of cleaning and disinfecting required after each gathering and the risk to staff, the Session will be very limiting in open building use at this time.
  • PW may use their sewing room pm a regular day and the office must know when, as our Sexton will need to clean the railings and bathroom after they leave.
  • The Knitting group may meet in Ruth's Room - the chairs will be placed at appropriate distances, masks and hand-sanitizer are required.  The area including bathroom and railings will be sanitized after they have left.
  • The church office and church buildings will remain closed throughout the week and only by appointment will the door be opened.  People are asked not to "just stop by", instead call and chat.
  • Neighborhood Center donation drop off will continue to be on Monday mornings at the Ruth's Room entrance and Sunday mornings in the baskets in the sanctuary.
  • Committees and Boards may use the building at their appointed meeting times.  If the meeting time is to change, it must be approved thru the office to ensure our Sexton is available, and able to clean all areas where people were (hall, bathroom, meeting space).  There will continue to be an assigned Zoom time set-up for each board and any committee that requests to meet, so that those who are not comfortable in groups can still attend.