As Emmaus re-enters the sanctuary, we recognize the value of in-person corporate worship. At the same time, the coronavirus poses real risks, and we are committed to adapting practices that make worship safer.
Emmaus leadership and staff have developed a plan that reflects guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, please note that even the best designed and implemented plan will not eliminate risk of transmission of COVID-19.
The live stream of our service will continue at 10:00am. We particularly encourage those in high-risk groups to join us in this virtual setting to protect themselves from infection. If you would be more comfortable worshiping at home, you can find our live stream through our website. You can read our entire Preparedness Plan here. If you choose to worship in the sanctuary, here are some important changes you will notice:
Please self-screen your whole family for COVID-19 symptoms prior to attending.
We ask all of those over age 2 to bring and wear a mask unless a medical condition advises against it. Free masks will be available to those who forget to bring one.
All will enter at the main entrance. Doors will be propped open and greeting will be from a distance.
Capacity will be limited per the Minnesota Department of Health. If worshipers exceed capacity in the sanctuary, overflow space will be available in the auditorium with a closed-circuit video of the service.
In what will undoubtedly be the biggest change for Emmaus, congregants are asked to arrive at services no later 5 minutes prior to the start so that we can enter the sanctuary while observing social distancing of at least 6 feet.
If you choose to engage in fellowship before or after the service, we ask that you do that outside in the parking lot rather than congregating in the entryway.
Self-serve bulletins will be made available on a table near the entry to the sanctuary. On communion Sunday’s, individually packaged communion packs will also be placed on this table for you to pick up as you enter.
Rows of pews will be labeled off-limits and families asked to maintain at least 6-feet’s distance between households.
Rather than passing collection plates, a plate will be available at the back of the sanctuary as you exit.
Worshipers will be dismissed from the back of the sanctuary to the front and asked to exit the building directly.
Hand sanitizer will be available in several locations. Please use it on the way in and out of the sanctuary.
To reduce the burden on our custodian, many parts of the building will be off limits.
Watch for signage that facilitates social distancing. For example, bathrooms will be used one person at a time and stairways will be designated one-way (east stairs to go down and west stairs to go up).
No food or beverage will be offered in the building.
Only necessary staff will be on hand for Sunday services to make room for worshipers and promote social distancing.
If you have questions or ideas for improving safety practices, please reach out to Abe Johnson at [email protected].