I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth!

The Reopening team has been observing our worship services closely since we moved into Phase 3 and we have also been monitoring the COVID numbers throughout the State as we have done since the pandemic began. Those worshiping in person have been following the rules that are established to protect everyone and the numbers continue to be low.

Therefore, we are excited to announce that effective immediately we will begin PHASE 4 of our reopening plan here at St. Paul’s.

  1. From now on our church will allow 85 individuals to worship inside our building with up to 60 being seated on the Sanctuary side and another 25 on the overflow side of the church.
  2. We will no longer be taking reservations for our church services.

St. Paul’s has never stopped worshiping God and we have never stopped functioning as a church. We worship with people around the world and that’s the purpose for Sunday services … to worship God and Jesus Christ.

Obviously, every one of us understands that COVID is still real and with us. Each of us is also looking forward to the day when COVID is merely an afterthought in our lives. Our team will continue to monitor and react to changes in the world beyond our walls to ensure the safety of those who worship with us at St. Paul’s and use our building. Our actions have kept our members safe for over a year and we will continue to do our best to keep everyone safe.

Everyone must enter through the Church Street entrance. The ramp entrance will be locked. Anyone needing to use the ramp will be asked to knock and wait outside until someone can welcome them into the church, take their temperature, and help them to a seat. Everyone’s temperature will be taken. Individuals whose temperatures are above acceptable limits will be asked to go home and take steps to get healthy. Everyone must wear masks while inside the church building unless they are speaking or leading worship; those individuals are to replace their masks over their noses and mouths when not speaking or leading worship.

Every person will be seated by an usher/shepherd and no one can randomly choose their own seat. Seating will be socially and safely distanced both in the sanctuary and in the overflow section. The center pew seating in the sanctuary will be reserved for groups of 3 or more.

Sunday mornings at St. Paul’s are the moments in our lives when we worship God and Jesus Christ. We know that hundreds of individuals throughout the week will worship online with us and we want to offer a safe setting for anyone who chooses to worship in person with us.

At the present time we are not reinstating our Fellowship Hour. We are asking that those who wish to be physically close with others do so in the parking lot and outside the building. We are aware that many members, even those who are vaccinated, are still uncomfortable hugging or shaking hands with others.

Celebrate God and Jesus Christ, and be thankful that we are able to “be church together” for the purpose of the Kingdom of God!

Blessings,

St. Paul’s Reopening Team
Pastor Dave, Lori, Kim, and Meghan

© 2017- St. Paul's United Methodist Church, West Deptford, NJ