Considerations for Attending In Person Worship
Please read the guidelines below and carefully consider your personal situation when making your personal choice about attending worship in person.
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 Facebook Live or Zoom.
If you are uncomfortable with any of the changes to in person worship below, please continue to worship with us safely at home using Facebook Live or Zoom.
- High-touch areas such as doors, doorways and pews will be cleaned and disinfected prior to worship.
- A hand sanitizer dispenser will be available outside the sanctuary doors.
- Bibles, Hymnals, Prayer Request Cards and Offering Envelopes 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.
- Face coverings/Masks are required: To lower the risk of virus transmission, 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 Facebook live or Zoom.
- Asbury will be open only for worship on Sunday morning.
- 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.
- Bulletins will be paperless and information will be on screens.
- 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. The United Methodist Church recommendations are that there should be no in person singing during worship until such a time that scientific community knows more or until a vaccine is available.
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.
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 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,
Resources used in the development of this plan:
CDC – Guidance for Community and Faith-Based Organizations
CDC – GUIDANCE FOR CLEANING AND DISINFECTING PUBLIC SPACES, WORKPLACES, BUSINESSES, SCHOOLS, AND HOMES
CDC – Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility
Resuming Care-Filled Worship and Sacramental Life During a Pandemic
United Methodist Church: Music and Singing in Church: Recommendations According to Phased Reopenings