Palermo Christian Church,
Given the latest guidelines from the state, this is what the elders have come up with for services starting May 31. We will have two Sunday morning services starting this weekend. The 9am-10am service will be for people with last names starting A-K. The 11am-12pm service will be for people with last names starting L-Z. The Sunday evening service at 6pm and the Wednesday prayer meeting at 6:30pm will now be open to everyone since those meetings shouldn’t exceed 50 people.
Why are we doing this? Yesterday I got confirmation from the Christian Civic League of Maine that the person who wrote the Governor’s policy said only 50 in a building at a time regardless of the building size or the number of separate rooms. They were pushing for number of people allowed based on seating capacity, but didn’t get it. It seemed feasible and reasonable to divide our people between the sanctuary and the gym into two separate gatherings and keep one 9am-10am service, but that would be in violation of the current orders. So we opted for two services on Sunday morning. We have divided you up by last name in order to prevent us from exceeding the maximum capacity of 50 people per gathering. What do you do if you come with someone else and your last names are on conflicting services (e.g., Adams and Mahar)? If you’re in this position, pick the service of your choice. What if you’re assigned to 11am-12pm and that doesn’t work for you? Then contact someone scheduled for the 9am-10am service and agree to switch services. And make sure the numbers add up. Let the usher that greets you know that you switched when you arrive. This is inconvenient, but it is imperative that you keep to the service you’re assigned to so that we don’t have to turn people away because we’re at capacity.
What should you expect this Sunday morning? The only unlocked doors that you can enter through will be the sanctuary front door and the sanctuary side door by the entrance with the accessible ramp. You will be greeted by an usher who will guide you to your seat. Please do not walk immediately to your seat. The usher will show you where you will sit. In order to make sure that we can fit 50 in the sanctuary while maintaining appropriate physical distancing, people need to be seated strategically. If someone sits in the wrong place, it could throw off the whole arrangement and take away a good number of seats. So please let the ushers show you to your seats. When the service is over you will be dismissed by row in order to ensure social distancing is maintained. There will be no nursery, Junior Church, Sunday school, or fellowship time this weekend. These are currently on hold while we seek to get our worship gatherings in order. Don’t worry about following previous service schedules. There will be no greeting team. The ushers will be composed of elders and trustees. The current focus is getting Sunday morning services back up and running. We’ll reevaluate other ministries in the coming weeks.
What safety precautions are we taking? We will do our best to comply with the guidance we’ve received from the state. The pews will be sanitized before you’re seated. This includes in between morning services. Buddy Spaulding is overseeing this aspect and I assure you he is taking this seriously. Physical distancing will be maintained by keeping seating between different households at 6 feet apart. This is why it is critical you let your ushers determine your seating. Doors will be propped open to reduce common contact surfaces. Hand sanitizer will be provided as you enter. Paper bulletins will not be passed out. You can pick them up on your own. The offering plate will not be passed by row. It will be located somewhere near the sanctuary entrance at the determination of our ushers. They can help you locate the offering box. Cloth face coverings are encouraged, but not required. The ushers will be required to wear face masks. Please maintain physical distancing and refrain from hugging, hand shaking, etc.
What should I do if I’m at risk? Do not feel obligated or pressured to come. If you are concerned about your safety you are welcome to stay home. There is no pressure to attend. Use your best judgment. The live streaming will continue to be offered for the 9am-10am service. We can faithfully follow the guidelines given to us, but we cannot ensure there will be no risk if you gather with us. Please be advised that the guidance given to the churches encourages the following high-risk persons to make use of remote options like the live stream:
● People 65 or older
● People of all ages with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled including:
▪ People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
▪ People who have serious heart conditions
▪ People who are immunocompromised: Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune system weakening medications
▪ People with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher)
▪ People with diabetes
▪ People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
▪ People with liver disease
For the Governor’s guidance to the churches see:
For how to protect yourself see:
What’s next? Like you, we don’t know. Maybe we’ll have to wait for months to get back to one service? Maybe things will advance quicker than originally planned? Be prepared for either case. But let’s rejoice that we can gather this weekend and see people we haven’t been around for quite some time. That we can worship the Lord together in-person. And let’s look out for one another and do the best we can to protect one another. Before we regather on Sunday, I’d like us each to ask ourselves a question. How can I glorify God this Sunday given the present restrictions? Let’s ponder that as we prepare to gather. Thank you to those who’ve made the live stream work and thank you to those of you who are doing your best to ensure our safety and follow the guidelines we’ve been handed.