In Person Worship


Considerations for Attending In Person Worship
and Group Meetings

Updated 5/03/2021

Please read the guidelines below and carefully consider your personal situation when making your personal choice about attending worship in person.

 
Doors Open at 7:45am & 10:15am
Cloth Face coverings / Masks are required
 

The 10:30am worship will be a hybrid online/in-person service so there will be equipment in the chancel area for broadcasting the live worship service.  We are in the process of reducing the equipment to avoid distraction and experimenting with options, and your patience is appreciated.

Sunday School hour will still be online to reduce length of exposure to our guests.

Should I attend worship In Person?

The CDC considers indoor group gatherings (like worship) a higher risk activity and careful consideration should be made when making a personal decision to attend worship in person.

While measures are being put in place designed to lower the risk of virus transmission in our facility, Asbury cannot make attending worship a completely safe activity.

Please do not attend in person worship if you are sick in any way.

If you are in a high-risk group we invite you to continue to worship with us safely at home using Asbury Live! or Zoom.

Even if you are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, the CDC still recommends mask wearing and physical distancing while in public.

If you are uncomfortable with any of the changes to in person worship below, please continue to worship with us safely at home using Asbury Live! or Zoom.

 

Facility Readiness

  • A hand sanitizer dispenser will be available outside the sanctuary doors.
  • Shared use items like Bibles & hymnals have been removed from the pews for effective cleaning and to prevent cross-contamination.
  • Beverages and food will not be served.
  • Restrooms will be open, but we encourage limiting their use and maintaining recommended physical distancing while using them.

 

Group Meetings

While the church is open for meetings the following guidelines MUST be followed:

  • May meet in person except for Sunday morning
  • Meeting must be been cleared by the office calendar (to prevent too many groups meeting simultaneously)
  • Group Size shall be no more than 15 in number
  • Meeting length indoors shall be limited to less than 45 minutes
  • No use of the kitchen is permitted
  • No food or drink unless individually packaged per attendee
  • All attendees shall wear masks indoors
  • Social distancing shall be practiced
  • Any rooms / surfaces used shall be sanitized following the meeting
  • These rules apply regardless of whether the attendees have been vaccinated

Keep watching for future announcements as these may be modified by the Mission Vision Team as health department guidance changes.

 

Sunday Mornings

  • Cloth Face coverings/masks are required: To lower the risk of virus transmission, cloth face coverings/masks will be required upon entering the Asbury building and at all times while in the building. We appreciate this demonstration of your love to others by wearing a face covering.  Disposable masks will be available if you do not have one.  If you are unable to wear a face covering or mask due to a health or other issue we invite you to continue to worship with us safely at home using Asbury Live! or Zoom.
  • Attendees will be screened upon arrival to check if one has any covid-like symptoms. 
  • Asbury will be open only for worship on Sunday morning at 8am.
  • Adult and Children Sunday School and other groups will not meet.
  • The nursery will be closed.
  • Worship will be approximately 45 minutes to limit the amount of time gathered in the enclosed space of the sanctuary.
  • Please enter and leave through the East entrance doors. They will be open before, during and after worship.  The South Entrance doors are not to be used.
  • We ask that you arrive no earlier than 10 minutes before worship and leave immediately after worship.
  • Please do not gather in the fellowship hall before or after worship. Feel free to visit with others outside before or after worship and follow recommended physical distancing guidelines.
  • Please maintain recommended physical distancing guidelines at all times while in the building.
  • Pews will be sectioned off to maintain recommended physical distancing.
  • Ushers will guide you to your seat and dismiss you when worship is over to maintain recommended physical distancing.
  • Family groups may sit together.

 

During Worship

  • There will be a box for you to place your offering when entering or leaving the sanctuary.
  • On Sundays when we have communion, individually portioned communion elements will be set out for you to pick up when entering the sanctuary. You are invited to participate in communion at your seats.
  • Please remain in your pews during the entire service (except for leaving early or using the restroom).
  • The prayer rail will not be open for use.

 

Music and Singing

We ask that you avoid singing and loud speaking while attending worship.  Research has shown that loud speaking and singing are super-spreaders of the virus. 

Since music has always been an important part of the Asbury Church worship experience, we are making the following changes to our music ministry.

  • The Chancel Choir, Alabaster Praise band and hymn leaders will not be leading music live.
  • Music that involves singing and other special music offerings will be pre-recorded and played during worship (e.g. Asbury Virtual Choir). Again, please refrain from singing along with any music.
  • Feel free to hum along to hymns or songs, clap your hands, meditate on the lyrics, or use other non-verbal ways to experience the worship music.
  • The Asbury Virtual Choir is planning on preparing a musical offering twice a month. Anyone interested is invited to participate in the Asbury’s Virtual Choir.  Please contact Kathy Love to find out how you can participate.

 

In Conclusion

We appreciate your grace and understanding as we develop these guidelines with many different lifestyles, needs and perspectives involved. Providing these guidelines makes it clear what is to be expected of everyone. Please also be respectful of those who wish to stay home out of concern for their health. A lack of attendance does not equate to a lack of faith.

Friends, we are not sure how long these guidelines will be in place.  I know that this is just a season.  If we all do our part in preventing the spread, the hope is that we will eventually be able worship together like we are used to and what a glorious moment it will be.

God be with you till we meet again,

Pastor Erika

Resources used in the development of this plan:

CDC – Guidance for Community and Faith-Based Organizations
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/index.html

CDC – GUIDANCE FOR CLEANING AND DISINFECTING PUBLIC SPACES, WORKPLACES, BUSINESSES, SCHOOLS, AND HOMES
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/pdf/Reopening_America_Guidance.pdf

CDC – Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/disinfecting-building-facility.html

Resuming Care-Filled Worship and Sacramental Life During a Pandemic
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1DhfgclYRUomeWApWtRGPr_tZJ4pe5ew6/view

United Methodist Church: Music and Singing in Church: Recommendations According to Phased Reopenings
https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/articles/music-and-singing-in-church-recommendations-according-to-phased-reopenings