Lithonia First UMC
Return To In-Person Worship
Lithonia First UMC will return to In-Person Worship on Sunday, May 30, 2021 at 11am. On our first Sunday back into the Sanctuary, we will observe a special Memorial Day Worship Service in Remembrance and Honor of those who fought for our country’s freedom honoring those beloved from our congregation.
LFUMC POLICY AND PROCEDURES
You will notice helpful signage at various locations- doors, bathrooms, hallways, pews, etc. to assist you in knowing what to do.
BEFORE LEAVING HOME
Planning to come to service? Before you leave home, make sure you have a facemask for every person, a Bible to follow scripture, and personal hand sanitizer if possible. Please know that sanitizer will be readily available at the Church also. Important; if you are experiencing a fever or not feeling well, please stay home!
Churchgoers are free to park in any of the usual places, but when you park be aware of others who are also just arriving. Before exiting your car, go ahead and put on your mask. Then be aware of social distancing as you exit your vehicle as individuals or family groups. Allow others who may have also gotten out of their cars to enter before you. Three doors will be open- the rear elevator door, the side handicapped door, and the front entrance to the sanctuary. The first two options will be locked promptly at 11am.
UPON ENTERING THE BUILDING
As you enter the building, notice that there are sanitizer dispenser stations at each location. There will be a limited supply of masks available for those who do not have one. If you do pick up a mask, please keep it with you as you leave, take it home, and feel free to wear it the next time you attend, if you still don’t have another mask. Please proceed directly to the sanctuary if possible, unless you need to stop at a restroom (see below). Once again, be aware of others in the hallways and keep a safe distance. Step aside and let others pass if you need to wait in the hallway for a few minutes.
Restrooms will be open, but limited to one person at a time. Flip the “Occupied/Available” sign to Occupied as you enter, reverse it as you leave. Men can access the Men’s Room in the main hallway. Women can access the Ladies Room in the main hallway and the bathroom in the Bridal Room/Parlor directly behind the sanctuary hallway entrance.
ENTERING THE SANCTUARY
Upon entering the sanctuary, look for two things- a supply of bulletins and donation baskets. Take however many bulletins you need and deposit your giving envelopes upon entering or leaving. There will be ushers standing by to help with directions or answer questions, but they will not hand out bulletins for the time being. Proceed to whichever of the marked pews you wish to sit in. Every other pew will be open as a means of encouraging social distancing. Pews will be marked so you don’t have to guess which ones to use. Please sit at the open ends of the pews, leaving the other end for another party. Choose pews that allow two groups to stay at least six feet apart. Given the recently changed guidelines, we know from a survey that was conducted that most folks have been vaccinated and some may not want to wear a mask, while others (vaccinated or not) may prefer to wear a mask. If you have not been vaccinated, please wear a mask. We are planning to let unmasked folks sit on one side of the sanctuary while others sit on the other side or the side sanctuary, though family members can certainly sit together as they see fit.
THE WORSHIP EXPERIENCE
As you can imagine, the worship experience will be slightly different then we are used to. For obvious reasons, there will be no Passing of the Peace beyond waving at your neighbors. There will be no passing of offering plates. On Communion Sundays, we will be using self-contained individual communion kits that we have obtained. The candles will already be lit. Bibles and Hymnals will be removed from the pews for the time being. The Choir will not be assembled in the Choir loft, but special music will be provided by our talented musicians and soloists. Musicians, Scripture readers, singers, and Pastor do not have to wear a mask while performing or speaking, but will maintain a safe distance when so doing.
Should we have visitors who are not church regulars, they will be asked to do a temperature check, use sanitizer, and wear a mask at all times.
AT THE COMPLETION OF SERVICE
When the service is over, and the Benediction has been issued, music will play and attendees are asked to depart the building in the same manner they entered. Once again, remain aware of those around you and cooperate in taking turns going into the aisles and heading for the exits. We know that folks may want to spend a few moments chatting and getting caught up, but the hallways are very tight and probably not the best place to use for catching up. So, please feel free to gather at safe distance to chat in the parking lots or on the church walkways and grounds, both front and back.
We know all this sounds a bit restrictive and effects the usual worship service, but these procedures have been devised to make sure everyone who is ready to return can do so with comfort. Hopefully, we will be able to relax various procedures in the weeks ahead. Nevertheless, we will be able to enjoy each other’s presence, laugh and worship together, and pray for the final demise of the virus and God’s will in our lives.
See you at church!