On March 27, 2021, we held our first in-person service in the sanctuary in over a year! We’re excited to continue worshiping together in our building at 11:30 A.M. As we gather together again for an indoor worship service, there are several details that will be slightly different from what you remember. We’ve compiled a list of frequently-asked-questions (FAQ) to best prepare us for a safe and joyful (masked) face-to-face reunion.
Where can I sign-up to attend?
The top section on the home page of our website has sign-up information for our indoor and outdoor services, along with the link to watch our online worship service.
When will the worship services be held?
Our in-person worship services will take place at 9:00 A.M. for our outdoor/drive-in service and at 11:30 A.M. for our regathered indoor service. Our online worship service will also continue at 11:15 A.M. on Saturday mornings and can be accessed on our YouTube channel, Facebook page, or right here on the Spencerville Church website.
What will the indoor worship service be like?
It will be much the same—familiar—but also different. We’ll enjoy beautiful music, a hopeful message, and a warm, helpful greeting. However, to ensure that everyone is safe, things will be different. We will not be able to enjoy congregational singing or mingling with one another inside the building before or after the service. After you arrive and are checked-in, each person or family unit will be ushered to their seats. When the service is over, the sanctuary will be dismissed by rows to prevent crowds from forming at the exits. We will maintain physical distancing within the building. The church has many hand-sanitizing stations distributed throughout the building, which we encourage everyone to use. Face masks are required to be worn by those in the congregation, and we will shorten our service time to approximately 60 minutes. You may also notice that we are unable to distribute bulletins, pass plates to collect the offering (however, there are two collection boxes in the foyer), or provide hymnals and Bibles in the pew racks.
When should I arrive for indoor worship?
Our doors will open 30-minutes prior to the start of the worship service. In order to streamline the check-in process and start on time, please plan to arrive anywhere from 15-30 minutes prior to the start of the service. We appreciate your patience as we attempt to seat as many as 200 people in a timely manner on Sabbath mornings!
How many people are allowed in the building?
As we regather for in-person services, we will adhere to the safe physical-distancing guidelines set forth by Montgomery county. Our services will be open to 200 guests each week. You must register in advance to attend. Please understand that because of our limited capacity for in-person services, not everyone will be able to register.
Will I need to have my temperature taken before I enter the building?
No. However, we are asking everyone to self-screen at home. If you have a fever of 100-degrees or above, a cough or sore throat, shortness of breath, or have had contact with anyone confirmed to have a COVID-19 positive (outside of your role as a medical practitioner) within 14 days, please stay home and worship with us online.
Do I need to register in order to attend the service?
Yes! We want your experience to be as safe and smooth as possible, which means adhering to the county’s guidelines pertaining to the number of congregants. You will have the chance to sign up on the Friday morning before that week’s Saturday service. When we reach our capacity of 200 guests, registration will close. If you plan to attend, we recommend you register early.
Do I need to register each person in my family separately?
Yes, the registration form will need to be completed for each person in your household planning to attend the worship service. Click the link again and select “Change Respondent” to fill out the form for another person in your household.
Will there still be an outdoor worship service option?
Yes, there will still be an outdoor service. But it will be held earlier at 9:00 A.M. on Saturday mornings. Registration for the outdoor service will also be available on the Friday morning prior to the service. Please note that starting March 27, the upper parking lot behind the church will be reserved for those who wish to sit outside on their own lawn chairs. You are welcome to remain in your vehicle for worship, however, you will need to park on the lower level or the gravel parking area near the back of the property.
Will the online worship service still be available?
Absolutely! We will continue to offer a high-quality streaming experience on our YouTube channel, Facebook page, and here on the Spencerville Church website. A number of our local members, as well as many who are new to our community, have told us that they will continue to engage with our worship services online, as they’ve been doing throughout the pandemic.
What if I’m not yet comfortable with attending a worship service?
That’s okay! Many people have different levels of comfort, so please do what you feel is best for you and your family. We’re happy to have you join us for worship outside, inside, or online!
Can I choose my seat?
Unfortunately, no. Seating will be designated by our ushers and guest services team based upon the size of your household and availability upon arrival. Montgomery County has mandated several very specific seating protocols; for instance, seating must take place from front to back and dismissal from the service will occur from back to front.
Can I sit with my family?
Yes, you may sit with those who are living within the same household.
Can I still give my tithe and offering during the service?
It is still our preference that giving be done online. However, that may not be an option for everyone. We have set up giving boxes, beautifully handmade by one of our members, in the church foyer. If you’re in need of tithe and offering envelopes, please contact the church office and we will mail them to you.
What about off-site gatherings, such as small groups?
Small groups will continue to meet off-site. For the most part, groups that have been gathering via Zoom will continue to hold events and meetings virtually. However, our small groups are small enough to meet safely in-person, provided that all the recommended safety precautions are followed (masks, social distancing, etc.).
Health and Safety
I’ve been vaccinated, do I still need to wear a mask?
Yes. The masks are for safety, but also to provide comfort for those who are easing back into social gatherings after such a long hiatus. We don’t want anyone to stay away from worship because they are fearful of encountering maskless people at church.
Am I required to wear a mask during services?
Yes. All attendees and volunteers are required to wear their masks at all times in the building. Please note that platform participants are not required to wear masks while on stage speaking, but are expected to wear their masks at all other times.
How are the facilities being cleaned and prepared for the worship services?
An extensive cleaning and disinfecting procedure will take place before and after every service. There are several additional steps that we’re taking to make sure that our facility is safe:
- Our services and guest interactions will be intentionally touch-free (e.g., no hugs or hand-shakes for now, no bulletins, no pew Bibles or hymnals, and we will not pass an offering plate, etc.).
- Hand sanitizer stations are available at all entries and exits as well as throughout the building.
- Per county guidelines, we will maintain six feet between the parties in the sanctuary and south porch.
What if I’m not feeling well?
If you have any signs or symptoms of COVID-19, including:
- Coughing, difficulty breathing, loss of taste, etc.
- Close personal contact with anyone known to have a positive COVID-19 diagnosis over the past two weeks.
- A fever of 100.4 over the last 72 hours.
If any of the above apply to you, please stay home and worship with us online.
Will I need to open doors to get into the building?
No, we have several wonderful teams of volunteers who are assigned to open doors for you as you enter and exit both the sanctuary and the church building itself.
Parking and Arrival
Where should I park?
If you are attending our 9:00 A.M. outdoor/drive-in service, you may park either behind the church, in the lower or gravel parking lots, if you’d like to worship from your vehicle. If you would like to bring chairs from home, you will be seated in the upper parking lot. We ask that you follow directions from our diaconate to pull through and park in our north parking lot.
If you are attending our 11:30 A.M. indoor service you will need to park in the south parking lot, as all indoor service attendees will enter from the south side doors of the church foyer.
What should I do when I arrive at the church?
If you’re arriving for the 9:00 outdoor service, simply follow the deacon’s instructions at the check-in table. Specific instructions on where to park are given above.
If you’re arriving for the 11:30 A.M. indoor service, after parking in the south parking lot, enter through the south doors of the church foyer. Masked volunteers will be there to greet you and open the doors. Please follow the signs to check-in (you should have already registered online). After check-in, you will be ushered to your seats in the sanctuary.
Will the restrooms be open?
Yes, but in keeping with best practices, we ask that no more than two persons occupy a restroom at a time and that social distancing is maintained within the restrooms as much as possible.
Will the sanctuary side rooms be open for families?
No. The only side room that will be open for seating is the South Porch.
Will the mother’s room be open?
Yes. The mother’s room will be open for a mother to change or feed her child as needed. However, due to the limited capacity in this room, please do not use it as a location for viewing the entire service.
What about Sabbath School classes for our children?
At this time, we can only offer our online ministry to those in our children’s division. However, we are actively planning to hold an outdoor children’s program between our first and second services very soon. Stay tuned for more information!
What about Sabbath School for the Middle School and Youth classes?
Beginning April 4, there will be a hybrid Sabbath School outside. Our plan is to transition to exclusively in-person Sabbath School by mid-summer. If you’d like more information on the hybrid Sabbath School, please contact Pastor Matthew Piersanti.
What about our Collegiate and Young Adult Sabbath School classes?
They will remain online until further notice.
What is the plan for adult Sabbath School classes?
Our adult Sabbath School classes will remain online in order to maintain the capacity limitations and social distancing guidelines. We are grateful to our Sabbath Schools and small groups which have exhibited the hand of Jesus from week to week during the pandemic!