Indoor (Sanctuary) Worship Guidelines

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

1. Every person or household who plans to attend a worship service at FPC MUST send in a reservation request prior to the service. We must limit attendance at these events to maintain appropriate social distance to prevent the spread of illness. Everyone is welcomed to apply for a reservation through web/link or telephone (973-228-0310). The registration deadline is the Saturday before the service or until we meet the approved space limits. We will let people know if their reservation has been accepted or not. Please do not come if you have been notified that our spaces are already filled. In addition, if those preregistered have not arrived at the church and gone through the onsitecheck-process by 9:30 am on the Sunday of the service, please know that their reserved seating for this 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 the morning of the church service, and make sure everyone arriving at the church from your household has temperature below 100.4°F.
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 due to age or with pre-existing conditions 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. 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 and temperatures taken at this door. Someone (perhaps a sexton) from the church must be designated to stay at the door during the service to ascertain that nobody else enters.

8. At this time, participants, attendees and the worship leaders can together total no more than 30 people for a service in the Sanctuary.

9. 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.

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

11. Social distancing must be maintained at all times between persons that do not currently live together in the same household.

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

18. The taking of communion on the first Sunday of the month can/will occur.Prepackaged communion juice and wafer sets will be available for pick-up by attendees at the registration table BEFORE people move to their seats. Gloved and masked attendants at the table will assist you if needed. Attendees will take prepackaged communion juice/wafer sets themselves. Congregants may instead bring their own elements for their own households. 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, or 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 any of 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.