First Presbyterian Church of Victoria, Texas Revised COVID-19 Pandemic Health and Safety Protocols for In-Person Gatherings at the Church
Updated as of May 23, 2021
Public Health and Safety Protocols
for In-Person Gatherings at
First Presbyterian Church
As We Enter
· Facemasks must be worn at all times by those who have not yet been fully vaccinated for at least two weeks.
· For those who have been fully vaccinated for at least two weeks, facemasks are
optional. Nevertheless, regardless of their vaccination status, anyone may choose to wear a facemask as they desire. Anyone wearing a facemask will be treated graciously and respectfully.
While We Are Gathered
o Certain pews, which will be clearly marked, will be remain closed to seating.
o Those who do not wear facemasks, and those who wish to sing, should sit in the front half of the Sanctuary.
o Anyone who is reluctant to be around those who are not wearing masks, or around those who are singing, should sit in the back half of the Sanctuary.
o Singing: For vaccinated members, no facemasks will be required, and singing will be allowed in the front half of the Sanctuary. The lyrics to the hymns, (together with the appropriate Scripture lessons) will be printed in the Bulletin to minimize contact with the hymnals and Bibles in the pew racks.
o Passing of the Peace: We will continue to maintain social distancing during the Passing of the Peace. Worshipers will stand in body or spirit and greet one another by waiving and other expressions of love.
o Offering: An offering will be taken by the passing of the collection plates among the congregation. If you do not wish to receive the plate, simply raise your hand slightly to decline receiving it. The passer of the plate will
understand and will honor your request. Offering plates will also continue to be placed at the front and back of the Sanctuary for everyone’s convenience.
o Liturgy: When indicated in the Bulletin, worshippers will be requested to stand in body or spirit as appropriate for the liturgy.
o Communion: There will be no change to the way we currently serve
communion. When served, communion will be voluntary. Those wishing to be served will come forward down the center aisle while maintaining
appropriate social distancing. The Elders, wearing clean gloves, will place the host (the bread) into each communicant’s cupped hands (please do not reach into the plate to take the bread yourself). The juice will be served in small plastic cups. Each congregant will take his or her own cup. There will be a separate receptacle in which to deposit each cup once it is used (please do not return the cup to the serving dish).
As We Depart
· You are welcome to linger after a service to the extent you feel comfortable doing so. Please be respectful, however, of those who are trying to leave quickly so as to avoid contact with those who are not wearing masks.
· Please tell friends and neighbors who were unable to attend that our worship services will continue to be streamed on our website (www.fpcofvictoria.com) and on our
Facebook page (www.facebook.com/fpcofvictoria). Those who participate via our website will also have the convenience of the appropriate Bulletin being there as well. Please remember, also, that while each service will be streamed live on Sunday morning, it will also be “archived” so that it can be played anytime afterwards.
A Final Note from the Worship Committee
These protocols have been revised in the same manner they were prepared– only after a great amount of research and prayerful deliberation. As before, these protocols remain flexible and subject to change, and thus we welcome input from members and visitors alike about their worship experience while these precautions are in place.
We rejoice that we are able at last to return to a more “normal” worship routine. At church and elsewhere, however, we must not let our guard down. The Coronavirus and its
variants are still plentiful among us. Please remain careful and cautious!
When we published our first set of Public Health and Safety Protocols, we knew that many in our midst are still not ready to return to public worship. We understand. The revision of these protocols does not mean that we believe you should return to worship. Each of our members should continue to err on the side of caution. If you have even the
slightest concern, we encourage you to stay home, join us on our website or on Facebook, and stay isolated until you feel comfortable venturing out. You will not be forgotten or overlooked, for we shall continue to carry everyone in our hearts and prayers. May God be with us all as we continue to cope during these uncertain times.