Reopening: Guidelines for First Church
We are taking the following precautionary measures to ensure safety of all.
Facility Prep for Service/ Logistic Requirement
a. Thorough cleaning/disinfection of pews before and after every service, regardless if it was used. (Volunteers should be encouraged to assist to ensure that the church is ready in time for the following service).
b. Increase in frequent cleaning of door handles and frequently touched surfaces/high traffic areas.
c. Frequent cleaning/disinfection of bathrooms and have COVID-19 related posters for hand hygiene. (All cleanings should be done using the appropriate EPA recommended disinfectant/disposable paper towel.)
d. Availability of hand sanitizers: preferably, hands free at entrances/pews or sitting areas.
e. Have records of what have been cleaned and when it was done.
Who may come to church
a. Continue to live stream service and have members who are willing to come to the church do so. Preparation should be in place to use overflow areas like: downstairs and the Magill Auditorium to promote social distancing.
b. High risk individuals should be encouraged to voluntarily stay at home and stream service online.
i. Age 65 and over
ii. Immune-compromised individual
c. Encourage members who are sick to stay at home.
Ushering of members/ visitors
a. All ambassadors must wear face mask (face covering) and if gloves must be worn, a white cloth glove is preferred (this allows the individual wearing it to be cautious of what is being touched).
b. Advise all members coming to church to wear Face mask (face covering). If possible the church should consider purchasing some and providing it to individuals that come in without one.
c. Suspend printable material for members. Instead, the church program should be projected on screen, sent using text or emailed to member prior to service.
d. Attendance should be taken by counting the number of persons present for now.
e. Church door should be left open prior to worship and after that Ambassadors will be responsible for opening and leading members to designated areas. This will prevent door handle contamination. (Middle outer door should remain open, if possible).
f. Avoid any congregating or greeting of Pastors at the entrance of church.
a. Encourage online giving. Also, collection envelopes can be mailed to members who want it at home.
b. Basket should be placed in the front for members to give during offering, members call by pew to prevent long lines to promote physical distancing.
a. Families coming together from one household can be allowed to share pews.
b. Consider blocking by using ropes/ tape/markers/paint/signage etc. to have members sit in alternate pews.
c. During Greetings/Peace, members should wave hands to others
a. Consider using soloists or up to four choir members instead of full choir, since forceful breathing and exhaling can expel the virus further if someone is infected.
Some other suggested methods for choir which may or not be practical for 1st Church:
Choir: Consider using a diamond pattern with six feet of spacing between members.
b. Assign microphones and should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after each use.
Time with Children
a. Children to sit with their family during time with children.
b. Consider eliminating Sunday school for younger children until safe to do so. Teenagers may be allowed to worship separately but with adequate parent supervision.
a. Consider suspending coffee hour temporarily if possible.
a. Reduce number of media team
b. Ensure computer and all equipment are thoroughly cleaned before and after use. Suggestion has been made by some to maintain records of when equipment was cleaned and sanitized using alcohol and Lysol based items.
c. Assign headset to individual team member. Follow cleaning disinfecting procedure
a. Have individual wrapped communion kits placed in pews.
b. Alternatively, for members who may have difficulty opening the kit, Elders and Deacons may properly wash/sanitize their hands to assist, if possible.
Monitoring and Ensuring Health and Safety of Members
a. Encouraging volunteers and members to stay home when sick
b. Having plan in place for anyone that may become sick
c. Providing clear information to members about actions being taken regarding their health, safety and security.
a. Congregation must be dismissed in an orderly fashion and the departure paced at the end of the service so as to prevent the interaction between parties at distances less than 6 feet
We are asking you to take the following precautionary measures to ensure the safety of everyone.
- DO wear mask at all times.
- DO get a COVID-19 vaccine.
- DO consider attending the 8am service to avoid overcrowding at 10am.
- DO continue to practice social distancing.
- DO follow the instructions of the ushers and ambassadors – they are for your safety.
- If you take small children DO allow them to sit with you during worship.
- DO use hand-sanitizers provided through-out the Sanctuary.
- DO NOT greet others with hand shake or hugs but rather with a gently nod, reverent bow or by waving.
- DO NOT gather at the Narthex, bathroom or the doorways.
- For safety reasons, we are discouraging personal contact and therefore ask that you DO NOT attempt to shake hands with the Pastors at the door. They are available to you nonetheless. Please call the church office to schedule an appointment.
- Stay home if you have a fever, cough, are symptomatic or have been around anyone with a confirmed Covid-19 diagnosis in the las 14 days. DO NOT show up for Worship Service, please enjoy our livestream from home.
- Seniors and persons with underlying medical conditions, DO NOT attend worship but instead continue to worship with First church online.
- DO NOT expect Coffee Hour – this is on hold until further notice
- DO NOT show up to the church office unless you have an appointment.
- DO NOT call for rental of space. This is on hold until further notice.
The following IN PERSON services are SUSPENDED until further notice.
- Child Help
- Step with Jem
- Boys & Girls Scouts
- Art Class
89-60 164th Street, Jamaica, NY 11432
Phone: (718) 526-4775
Fax: (718) 526-6305
Join us for Worship Sunday at 8 am & 10 am
Refuel Worship Service on Wednesday at 12 p.m.