Covid-19 Update

Dear Salem,

As you know, the Governing Board has approved a plan to resume in-person worship July 5. The plan was approved with safety measures in place and the understanding that plans may change based on readiness to reopen, the resurgence of COVID-19 cases, and any reported cases at Salem.

Worshipping with Wisdom

Again, I am pleased to worship with anyone who feels their risk level makes it appropriate for them to participate in person beginning July 5 at 10:00 am in the Sanctuary or 7:30 pm (note the time change to take advantage of slightly cooler weather for “The Well Unplugged” outside Fellowship Hall. For this service, please bring your own lawn chairs and sit at least 6 feet away from those who are not in your household.

For those who wish to remain home, I am also pleased that online worship is now a staple at Salem. We will continue to stream 10:00 am worship on YouTube. For those who are ready to return to in-person worship, please RSVP letting us know which services you plan to attend.

We encourage you to worship at home if…

  • You have had a fever of 100.4 or higher Friday or Saturday. We will check temperatures.
  • You have symptoms typical of COVID-19 (cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, night sweats and/or chills, unexplained muscle aches or pains) or…
  • You have had known exposure to someone with COVID-19 within 14 days prior to worship.
  • You are 65 or older or have underlying at-risk health condition(s). You are at greater risk for contracting COVID-19.
  • You are unwilling to observe the practices outlined next.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are implementing the following practices…

  • Wear face coverings indoors AT ALL TIMES for anyone 10 or older, with the exception of worship leadership while leading.
    • Face coverings are optional for children ages 2 to 10.
    • CDC guidelines prohibit face coverings for children 2 and under.
    • If you do not have a face covering, the church will have a limited supply.
  • Treat the front doors as the only entrance into the Sanctuary where sanitization stations are available. While sanitizer is helpful, remember that regular handwashing is better.
  • Practice at least 6 feet of social distancing from others not in your household while gathered.
  • Seating is arranged to allow for appropriate social distancing; in the sanctuary, you may sit with your household in areas not marked off with blue tape.
  • Offering receptacles are available at the back of the worship space on either side of the AV booth, while we continue to encourage online giving.
  • Communion will be offered on first Sundays only in individual servings; it will also be served from 11:00 – 11:30 am for those who wish to drive-thru to receive Communion.
  • High-touch items including hymnals, pew Bibles, and bulletins will not be used.
  • Using the restroom at home is encouraged. If it is necessary to use the facilities on campus, please wipe down all surfaces touched with supplied disinfectant. Worship services are intentionally shorter at this time.
  • Additional measures will be taken to clean and disinfect the Sanctuary building; if you’re ready to return to in-person worship, we assume you’re ready to help where needed. Please…
    • Wipe down your space with the disinfectant provided.
    • Volunteer to wipe down other high-touch spaces. We’ll need 2-3 people each week.
    • Volunteer to take temperatures at the door and ask health related questions on signage. We’ll need one person each week and will provide a no-touch thermometer, gloves and a face shield in addition to your face mask.

The following will remain suspended…

  • Physical contact such as handshakes and hugs.
  • Meet and greet times including any refreshments and coffee fellowship.
  • Passing of offering plates and pew pads.
  • Choral Singing. Congregational singing may happen with masks only.
  • Altar rail activities. Communion will be offered differently as mentioned above.
  • Children’s activities, childcare, and Sunday school for all ages.

Laughter is the Best Medicine

A Tutorial for returning to In-Person Worship

Friends, I believe part of how we get through this is with humor. So, enjoy a laugh or two at our expense and maybe learn something along the way with this tutorial. Please know that I love you all and am praying for you. We’ve got this because God’s got us!

Sincerely yours,

Rev. Andrew Suite

Office Hours are 9 am – noon Mondays, Tuesday, and Thursday

Pastoral Care Emergency is 501.396.9871