A lot of guidance has been given between the NH Stay at Home 2.0 guidance for Houses of Worship, the NH Stay at Home 2.0 Universal Guidelines, and the CDC Interim guidance for communities of Faith.
The elders have considered all of this as we prayed and asked God what is right for Shiloh. We are following all things that are mandated (such as no children’s ministry or occupancy at 40% or less if required to maintain rows 6’ apart), but those were easy decisions.
The tougher decisions quite frankly were the myriad of suggested safety practices and deciding which ones were right for Shiloh, which ones were not necessary, or where Shiloh needed to be unique knowing the people that come here.
As the elders made decisions, our #1 consideration was the safety of everyone coming. Our missionary to Haiti, Melissa Saint Cyr lost her dad to this virus. He was in his 60’s with no underlying conditions. One of our members lost their sister, another lost their Uncle, and many more have died that we are not personally connected to.
Let me start off by making sure we are all grounded on the science of what we know about how this virus spreads.
The virus spreads by water droplets that come out of your mouth either when you speak, cough or sneeze. The droplets are heavier than air and fall to the ground which is why social distancing of 6’ is necessary. Wearing a mask does nothing to protect yourself. Wearing a mask protects others by preventing the droplets from your mouth becoming airborne.
Some people have symptoms, some do not – meaning they are asymptomatic. For this reason, you could think you are well, but could be a spreader of the virus unknowingly!
Asymptomatic people become more of a concern, the greater the crowd!
We are asking those that come to come in unity, love, and share our desire to protect the others that are here.
Hopefully any questions you may have will be answered in the FAQ and details which are below. The 2 primary things we are asking everyone to adhere to the 6 foot social distancing recommendations, to the best of your ability, and that everyone wear a mask for the duration of the service. Mask wearing during the message, while seated, is optional.
We are currently open on Sundays with both an 8:30a and a 10:00a service in-person and online. A 5:30pm service is also offered online only.
If you have any questions, please email Greg at firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Can I sit with my friends?
- At this time, we are asking households to sit together and leave 3 seats empty between your household and the next.
2. What if I drove with a friend to church. Can I sit with them?
- The intent of saying 'household' is these are people you’ve been seeing regularly for more than 14 days. If you haven’t seen a person for weeks, but give them a ride, you should sit 3 seats apart for everyone’s safety.
3. What if I don’t have a mask?
- Shiloh will be providing masks when entering if you don’t have one or forget to bring it.
4. Will Shiloh be “enforcing” the guidelines?
- We are expecting as we come together in unity and preferring one another in love that everyone will follow the guidelines. They will know we are Christians by our love!
- We understand 6’ is sometimes impractical and that’s why we are all wearing masks.
- If you come and are uncomfortable wearing a mask, we will ask that you do not join us here at church, but please watch the service virtually.
- We ask for everyone’s help refraining from handshakes or hugs. Once one person starts, it can become contagious (in more ways than one.) Even if you and the other person agree, we are asking all to refrain from handshakes and hugs.
1) Before you enter the building, there will be signs advising you of the risk factors. If any answer below is yes, you are asked to attend online.
- Have you had any of the following symptoms of COVID-19?
- Fever in the last 72 hours–feeling feverish or temperature of 100.0 F or higher. (per Stay at Home 2.0 guidance for Places of Worship)
- Respiratory symptoms such as runny nose, nasal congestion, sore throat, cough, or shortness of breath
- Whole body symptoms such as muscle aches, chills, and severe fatigue
- Changes in sense of taste or small
- Have you been in close contact with someone in the past 14 days who is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19?
- Healthcare workers who were caring for COVID-19 patients and wearing appropriate PPE excluded
- Have you travelled in the past 14 days either:
- Internationally (outside the US)
- By cruise ship
- Domestically within the US outside of NH, VT or ME on public transportation (bus, train, plane, etc)
2) Shiloh requests all attending adhere to the following
- Before you enter the building, masks will be provided to anyone needing one (recommended for children 2 and over)
- All are asked to wear a face mask at all times during the service. Mask wearing while at your seat for worship and the message is optional
- Follow signage for specific sanctuary entrance and exits
- Leave 3 empty seats between your family and the next guest. Rows of chairs will be set up 6’ apart.
- Maintain 6’ social distancing and wear a mask when you are talking with others
- Refrain from handshakes and hugs
- Children must remain with their parents at all times. No children’s ministry at this time
- The nursing mothers room is closed at this time.
3) Shiloh is taking the following precautions
- Doors will be propped open or held open to limit touch surfaces entering/exiting
- Ushers will help people find a seat in the sanctuary or direct them to overflow seating downstairs if necessary
- Entrances and exits will have tape on the floor 6’ apart as a social distancing reminder
- Rows of chairs inside the sanctuary will be 6’ apart
- Additional seating will be provided downstairs in the Shine room and the Shiloh café
- No coffee or food will be provided
- Signage provided on “How to stop the spread”
- Upstairs bathrooms will be open with hand sanitizer available to use before entering and sign inside to remind about hand washing before you leave. Sanitizing wipes will be available inside the bathroom.
- Anyone who is more at risk because of their age or underlying conditions (or living with someone in this situation) is asked to prayerfully consider staying virtual for the time being.
- Shiloh staff and volunteers will undergo screening before serving
- The building will be cleaned per CDC guidelines
4) Shiloh Service Style
- The Shiloh service is in a similar format as it has been online
- Children’s programming is continuing to be offered in the virtual setting. There is no in-person children’s ministry on Sunday morning at this time. Children will need to remain seated with their parents.
- Offering is not be taken up front. There will be offering boxes at the entrance/exit.
5) Screening of Shiloh Staff and Volunteers
- All staff and volunteers who are sick or not feeling well are required to stay home. Please notify the ministry lead as soon as possible. In addition, if any of the Risk Factors identified in 1a, b and c are present, the staff member or volunteer is required to stay at home.
- All staff and volunteers need to be screened by an identified person wearing a mask. The screener will go through all of the risk factors in 1a, b, c and have the person confirm their “no” answer.
- The screener will take the temperature of the staff person or volunteer which must be 100F or lower. (Note – temperature from Stay at home 2.0 universal guidelines for employers)
- Stated Policy for any staff, volunteer or person from the public that doesn’t meet any risk factors in section 1 and starts to presents symptoms during the service.
- They need to put on a mask if they are not wearing it and immediately leave the building and head to the parking lot by the café entrance where arrangements can be made for them to go home. An elder should be notified by phone when they are outside to assist as appropriate.
- Shiloh volunteers and staff will be wearing masks when serving at their post. Worship team members and preacher on stage will not wear a mask due to generous social distancing.