Dear Members and Friends of IBCZ,
This past Tuesday (June 16), the Elders and Deacons met to discuss the guidelines we need to follow when we resume our public worship services. We had to consider requirements from the Federal Government, recommendations from various Swiss church organizations, as well as the needs of our own church.
We will resume our public worship services on Sunday, July 5th, at our normal time of 10:30. We know that some will conclude it is best for them not to attend that soon, which we fully understand. The services will continue to be live streamed, so those at home can join in our worship, as well as recorded to be viewed at a later, convenient time.
So you know what to expect when attending our worship services, here is a list of the guidelines we all agreed on:
- When you arrive, a greeter will be at the door (which will remain open unless weather prohibits). Each person or family will be asked for contact information, as required by the Federal Government. (This information will be destroyed after two weeks.) Hand sanitizer will be available at the entry should you want to use it. Please go straight into the sanctuary to find your seat.
- Social Distancing – We ask that appropriate social distancing be maintained at all times. In the sanctuary, please be sure to leave adequate space between you/your family and those near year. This means that we will want to make use of the entire sanctuary.
- Masks – We recommend that everyone wears a mask, although that is not required. Please bring you own mask. Should you forget, we will have some available at the entrance.
- Singing – For the time being, we will not be able to engage in congregational singing. However, we will still include music in our worship. The worship team will provide the music. The words will be on the screen so everyone can worshipfully reflect on the words as they are sung. You may hum along if you wish. The congregation will remain seated for the entire service.
- The Bibles and Hymnals will be removed from the pews for now.
- Offering – For those who give their offering in the form of cash, at the end of the service ushers will be posted at the exit with offering baskets so you can give as you leave. The offering will not be collected during the service. Of course, you can give electronically either through bank transfer, PayPal, or in the near future via TWINT.
- Children – Sunday School will resume August 16. Until then, children will remain in the sanctuary. (For parents of small children, it would be good if you could bring something that will quietly occupy your children, such as a coloring book and colors, a book to read if they are able, etc.)
- Communion – We will continue to offer Communion on the second Sunday of each month. However, we will not pass the trays as usual. The bread and cup will be available on a table at the entrance when you arrive on those Sundays, which you can take with you to your seat. Each piece of bread will be on a small napkin so there will be no touching of other pieces.
- Taxi – We will continue to offer taxi service before and after the service as usual. We ask that everyone riding in the taxi wear a mask.
- At the conclusion of the service, please leave the sanctuary allowing appropriate distance. For now, there will be no refreshments following the service. Please go directly outside. If the weather is nice, we invite all who wish to stay and visit outside to do so, again allowing appropriate distance.
- Until it is appropriate to do so, we ask that there be no hugging, shaking of hands, etc.
- If the weather is cool, you may want to bring a sweater or light jacket as we will keep the doors open as much as possible.
- The pew cushions will not be available at this time, so if you prefer to sit on a cushion, please bring one from home.
I know this is a lot to remember, but we will remind everyone of these matters when we gather. All this will take some getting used to, but we will adapt just fine until we are able to return to our normal worship practices. I want to thank all the Elders and Deacons for their valuable input into this. If you have any questions, feel free to contact either me or one of the Elders or Deacons.
Pastor Bob is the contact person for the protection concept.
Grace and peace,