Outdoor 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 feeling 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 property 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.

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

7. Worshippers will enter ONLY from the area marked “Event Entrance”. Please wait for an usher to direct you.

8. Hand sanitizers will also be available in the outdoor area upon arrival. Please use it or bring your own and use that as you enter the event.

9. We will fill the areas first starting closest to the performing/TV screen area. Areas are marked to provide proper social distancing. Your entire household should enter together, sit together and stay together for the duration of your time on church property. People will need to bring their own lawn chair or a towel/blanket on which to sit.

10. All people attending a worship service or broadcast of it 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 exceptions are for children under the age of two; they do not have to wear a mask. In addition, masks may be moved momentarily for the taking of communion.

11. There should be no attendees moving through the congregation during the event, unless there is an emergency. People may stand in place but not walk about.

12. There can 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. Worshippers may clap, snap, sway, or hum softly behind their masks during the service.

13. No papers will be handed out to attendees.

14. Offerings will continue online which are gladly accepted. The work of the church continues, the staff must be paid, the lights are kept on and the computers hum. Offerings are vital to the work of the church and are gratefully appreciated.

15. As we leave, those sitting furthest from the screen/focus/worship leaders will exit first. Please be patient and maintain a safe social distance until it is your turn to leave. Please remember to leave adequate social distance spacing as you walk and exit the church premises.

16. At the conclusion of the event, everyone must exit the church premises quietly. There can be no lingering or close greeting one another on church property. This will be difficult, be patient and remind one another that masks are worn and social distance is kept because of our love and respect for one another

17. Everyone is strongly encouraged to use the restroom AT HOME before services. We have a bathroom available for EMERGENCY USE ONLY. In the event of an emergency, the downstairs bathroom in the gym will be available for EMERGENCY USE ONLY. An usher must alert the on-duty sexton or janitorial service staff member via text after each use of the bathroom facilities, so that the bathroom, stairway railings, door handles, etc. can be sanitized in between uses. The organizer of the event needs to keep a record of anyone who enters the building, this record shall be given to the church office.

18. The taking of communion on communion Sunday can 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 route.

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

20. 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.

21. 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.

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

PLEASE BE AWARE THAT ANY IN-PERSON CHURCH SERVICE MAY BE CANCELLED BY THE CHURCH AT ANY TIME IN RESPONSE TO CHANGES IN COVID-19 PROTOCOLS OR CIRCUMSTANCES.