Indoor (Sanctuary) Worship Guidelines

Please note this guidance is subject to change at any time as new information arises.

1. Every person who plans to attend any worship service at FPC must preregister for that service. At this time, FPC is limiting attendance to maintain appropriate social distance to prevent the spread of illness. Everyone is welcome to apply for a reservation through web/link or telephone (973-228-0310). Preregistration opens the Monday before the service. Preregistration closes at 2:30 pm the Friday before the service, or sooner if approved seating limits are reached earlier in the week. (Please understand if those preregistered have not arrived onsite and gone through the onsite check-process by 9:30 am, their reserved seating for that service may be forfeited.)

2. Any person who is ill or any person who lives with a person who is ill or not feeling well, MUST stay home for the health of others.

3. Please do a temperature check at home the morning of the church service, and make sure everyone arriving at the church from your household has temperature below 100.4°F. If someone in your household has a fever, please stay home and watch the service
online. Temperatures will be taken onsite only for people who arrive at the church and have forgotten to do this at home.

4. Anyone who has a household member currently under quarantine may not enter the church until the household member’s quarantine period is over and that potential case is resolved.

5. Any people who are at increased risk to become ill with COVID-19 are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to continue to worship virtually by watching our services through the FPC Website and getting the links to the FPC Facebook page, or the Livestream service. In addition, there are CD’s available of the services. Please contact the church office for more information about these opportunities.

6. All people attending church MUST WEAR MASKS for the entire time they are on church premises. The mask must cover the nose and mouth of the person. The only exception is for children under the age of two, they do not have to wear a mask.

7. Social distancing must be maintained at this time between persons that do not currently live together in the same household.

8. Attendees will enter and exit the building only at the ramped entrance. This door is located at the top of the ramp that runs from the circle. While waiting six feet apart during the check-in process, reservations will be confirmed, the COVID-19 statements affirmed.

9. At this time, seating will be limited to 25 congregants in addition to worship leaders/participants. (The cap on attendance will be raised as community spread of COVID-19 conditions improve.)

10. Worship leaders are required to wear masks except when they are performing their leadership role within the service – singing, playing, praying, and/or preaching. However, social distancing will always be maintained.

11. Hand sanitizers will also be available at the church doors inside the sanctuary.

12. Bibles, attendance books, pamphlets have all been removed from the pew racks to reduce touching of common surfaces.

13. The bulletin, Scripture readings, words to the hymns will be printed on the wall for all to see during the service.

14. Crayons, pencils, coloring books, things to amuse young children have also been removed. If you think you would like to provide materials to promote quiet contemplation of children during the service, please bring your own items then bring everything home with you.

15. We will fill the seats starting in the front of the sanctuary. The first households will sit in the front at the marked seats. Seats are marked to provide proper social distancing. Your entire household should enter together and sit together. Please follow the usher’s directions.

16. There will be as few people as possible moving in the church during worship.

17. Offerings will continue online. In addition, there will be baskets at the entry door if people choose to leave donations, and they will be safely deposited to church accounts. Mailed in donations continue to also be gladly accepted.

18. The taking of communion on communion Sunday can/will occur. Prepackaged communion juice and wafer sets will be available for pick-up by attendees at the registration table. Attendees will take prepackaged communion juice wafer sets themselves. Congregants may instead bring their own elements. In addition, at the end of the service kindly take any communion cups with you as you leave. There will be a garbage receptacle by the exit.

19. There will be no congregational singing, communal prayers, congregational responses at this time. Our worship leaders will pray and preach. Our designated singers will sing, and we will hear instruments praising God with joyful noise. However, the congregation. at this time, will need to remain silent for the entire service.

20. Everyone is strongly encouraged to use the restroom AT HOME before services. The upstairs main bathrooms will be available for EMERGENCY USE ONLY. This bathroom will need to be accessed by exiting the Bloomfield Avenue ramp door and entering the building via the Christian Ed doors. Ring the door bell, and someone will let you inside. If you must leave during the service, an usher will direct you and open the door as you exit the sanctuary. When you return to the service, you must return again through the ramped entrance.

21. When it is time for people to leave, those in the rear will exit first. People should remain seated until those to their rear have exited. Please be patient and maintain a safe social distance until it is your turn to leave as directed by the ushers. Please remember to leave adequate social distance spacing as you walk and exit the church premises. Exiting of the building by the attendees will occur only through the ramped exit door that people used to enter (except in case of emergency).

22. The Pastor cannot greet people at the door at this time. We cannot greet one another at the doors, on the sidewalk of the grounds. For now, everyone must exit the building and leave the grounds as quickly as possible.

23. Coffee hour will remain virtual as it is now.

24. If someone becomes ill during the event and it appears 911 is needed, 911 will be called. If it appears the person can drive home safely or be driven home by a family member, the person will be quickly separated from other attendees and be escorted to their vehicle.

25. If anyone who attends our services is called by a contact tracer, it is FPC’s expectation that the person should cooperate with the contact tracer. Contact tracing is one of the keys to stopping the spread of COVID-19.

26. Let’s work together to stay healthy and worship safely!page3image1627871088