All information on this page is current as of October 3, 2020. As changes occur, this page will be updated to reflect the latest information.
What Attendees Should Know
Phase Two: Indoor Services begun Sunday, September 6 @ 10 AM
Using resources from the CDC, NYS, NY Ministry Network of the Assemblies of God, and other churches, the following guidelines have been adopted for the common good of all who choose to attend services at Glad Tidings Church as our Covid-19 re-entry continues.
These guidelines are relatively determined but may change. Stay up-to-date with the latest information by visiting this page or joining our Facebook group called The Loop.
We want you to feel comfortable and confident we are taking proper precautions. So, we have been crossing our "t's" and dotting our "i's" to make sure we continue to have a safe, healthy re-entry. Although what follows is not a complete list, we want to give you a snapshot of the protocols* we have instituted. By doing so, we hope you will feel confident we are making prudent decisions for the common good of all who attend our services.
Phase II Guidelines
NOTE NEW SERVICE TIME: 10 AM
1. Indoor services begun September 6. Services will begin at 10 AM. (Not only has Covid brought new challenges, it has also brought new opportunities and routines. Sunday services at 10 is one of these new opportunities.)
2. Vulnerable individuals with health risks, or are opposed to, or for conscience sake, are not comfortable attending indoor public gatherings should choose not to attend or remain in their vehicles listening to the service on 105.3 FM.
3. To mitigate the unnecessary spread of Covid-19, our goal is to have a touch-less service as best we can. As such, there will be no physical handouts as bulletins, song sheets, passing of offering plates, etc. However, an electronic bulletin** will be available so attendees can follow the service using their smart devices. This electronic bulletin will have important announcements, words to songs and other items of interest to assist you in following the service.
4. Masks and 6’ social distancing from those not of your household are required at all times in the building (volunteers and attendees, children and adult alike). Masks need to be properly worn, fully covering both nose and mouth. Attendees and volunteers need to bring their own masks. Individuals who are unable to wear a mask due to physical, emotional or medical reasons will be exempt.
5. To ensure 6’ distancing while people are waiting, the sidewalk will be marked off in 6-foot increments, as well as throughout the building leading to the sanctuary.
6. Volunteers are to arrive before 9 AM to be screened for Covid symptoms so they are ready to carry out their responsibilities at 9 AM.
7. Attendees are to arrive between 9:15-9:45 AM to go through the Covid-symptom screening process. Out of consideration for others, if you are not feeling well, please stay home.
8. People who have: (1) had COVID-19 symptoms in past 14 days, (2) tested positive for COVID-19 in past 14 days, (3) had close contact with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases in past 14 days; and/or (4) are having suspicious symptoms should not attend.
9. Attendance will be on a “first come, first serve” basis. Once capacity is reached, no one else will be admitted. In Phase II, capacity will be determined by 25% of the official room capacity posted by the Fire Marshal on the sign in the sanctuary combined with the dynamics of the individuals and families in attendance. (Note: Based upon the posted maximum room occupancy, the number of attendees in all Phases will be limited to a predetermined percentage OR when we run out of the ability to safely-distance seating. We estimate this to be roughly 62 people in the sanctuary during Phase II.)
10. Additional, but limited, overflow seating may be available in the sanctuary’s rear foyer and the community room at a later date (TBD). Platform seating for worship team members will be available if needed.
11. Individuals will be screened for appropriate body temperature at the main entry, just inside the double doors. We will use a non-touch thermometer. Those having a temperature of 99.4 degrees and over will not be admitted. (If there is a chance of rain, people should bring an umbrella, as they may be outside waiting in line to be screened.)
12. Hospitality workers will screen attendees, using questionnaires, temperature checks and signage to vet people for entrance. People who have: (1) had COVID-19 symptoms in past 14 days, (2) tested positive for COVID-19 in past 14 days, (3) had close contact with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases in past 14 days; and/or (4) are having suspicious symptoms will be invited to listen to the service via their FM radio in their vehicle @ FM 105.3.
13. Bubba, the “bouncer/door person” will be at the door granting people access to the building as space is available at the screening table.
14. To maximize safe-distancing and efficient square footage usage, ushers will direct people to their seats as they arrive. Seating will be assigned by the usher team, not chosen by attendees. Please be kind and respectful of the ushers as they make these decisions and faithfully discharge their assigned duties. They have the Pastor’s full backing to make these decisions. It is expected that all attendees cooperate with them.
15. Only families may sit together. To maximize seating, this may mean in separate rows if deemed best by the Lead Usher in charge that day.
16. Children are to sit with their family, no playing with other children. Families with young children are encouraged to bring coloring books, quiet lap activities, or other silent toys for their children. No food or drink will be allowed in the sanctuary, only clear water.
17. Due to safe logistical challenges, there will not be separate children’s ministry (KidZone or Nursery) in this Phase of re-entry. Children, however, are very, very welcome and invited to attend the service with their family.
18. Sanctuary and restrooms will be the only rooms accessible. Drinking fountain will be unavailable and covered.
19. Coat rack will be retired for now. People will take their coats with them to their seats.
20. Two prayer stations will be set up. One in the back by the heater in the vestibule. The other in the altar area on the drum set’s side. Both will be open pre-service, during worship, and post service, but closed during the ministry of the Word.
21. Attendees will enter building through the parking lot entrance double door. They will exit the via the sanctuary front, side door which leads to the courtyard.
22. At the end of the service, people will be dismissed row by row, front-to-back by the ushers. There will be no congregating in the building. If people need to use the restroom after service, they may re-enter the building via the main doors. Note: restroom access will only be available for a short time after the end of service.
23. Informational reminder signs regarding our policies will be posted throughout the property.
24. A donation station will be available to receive tithes and offerings. (We will not pass collection plates.) In addition, people are encouraged to give online. If you would like to give online, follow this link.
25. We hope to have indoor services translated into Spanish, however, at this time it is yet to be determined if we will have the personnel to do so. When we are able, translation devices will be handed out, but people are to bring their own ear buds/headphones with 1/8-inch jack. Attendees who use translation devices (transmitters) should leave them on their seats at the end of service. After service, an appointed volunteer will collect and sanitize the devices.
26. Those serving on the worship team are to wear masks and maintain 6’ distancing from those not of their household. If vocalists can maintain 12’ distancing from others on the platform and the congregation, they do not have to wear masks during worship segments of the service. All others in attendance do.
27. Those exhorting/preaching from the pulpit are to wear a mask and maintain 6’ distancing from those not of their household while preaching. If the person preaching can maintain 12’ distancing from others on the platform and the congregation, he/she does not have to wear a mask while preaching. All others in attendance do.
28. During Phase II, physical contact is not encouraged (i.e. shaking hands, hugging, etc.). It is important to realize the virus still exists in the community and is spread primarily through close contact. Therefore, we feel it is best to refrain from physical contact during this time.
29. For the best show of love for one another…
- Do not assume others are comfortable with what you are comfortable (i.e. shaking hands, hugging, close-proximity, doffing masks, etc.). All in attendance must respect other attendees’ boundaries (physical and conscience).
- If you are uncomfortable with something, in love, speak up. We cannot assume others “know” what makes us uncomfortable unless we tell them.
- If someone does “speak up”, we need to respect their personal comfort level with the utmost love and grace, not thinking less of anyone.
*This is not a complete list of policies and procedures but are the ones which primarily affect those who, currently, choose to attend services at Glad Tidings Church. These guidelines will be adhered to until the Lead Pastor and the Church Council deem it safe and prudent to move to Phase III and expand GT ministry opportunities.
Additional guidelines and procedures related to disinfecting, cleaning logs, tracking, and what to do in the event someone tests positive will be followed if the need arises.
** Our electronic bulletin can be accessed via our church website every Sunday starting at 8 AM. Go to www.gtfamily.org and click on the yellow banner at the top of the page.
Additional Phase II Guidelines:
- Small Groups of 15 or less may meet in the church building, with prior approval, providing they faithfully adhere to the protocols established for such meetings.