Updated Guidance for In-Person Worship & Gatherings

Updated November 19, 2021 (Changes are highlighted).


Contents:

Worship

1. Please pre-register your attendance here to assist with the planning, as well as for contacting tracing purposes.


2. Safety protocols

As an expression of love and care for everyone in our community, in particular the most vulnerable among us, please observe the following safety protocols:

  • Masks must be worn by everyone 2+, regardless of vaccination status. (Pastors and liturgists/speakers who are fully vaccinated may be unmasked, but must be 12 feet away from congregants.)

  • Enter through the sanctuary doors (corner of Hopkins/Napa)

  • Hand sanitizer will be available at the entrance

  • Ushers will direct you to a pew that allows for 6ft physical distancing between individuals/households/pods. (Consider arriving a bit early and entering before 10am to give our ushers time to accommodate you.)

  • Nursery care (ages 0-3) will be offered beginning at 9:45am. After the children's message, children will be invited to Godly Play (pre-K to 5th grade). Youth group (5th-12th grade) will be led by Sarah Bruno.

  • If you have a fever, flu-like symptoms, or within the last two weeks have tested positive for COVID-19 or been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, please stay home and access the worship service via livestream.

3. Music and singing

Epworth is a singing, musical congregation. It is one of our strengths and joys. Not being able to sing or make music together has been one of the hardest parts about being separated due to the pandemic. As we return to the sanctuary, we will be able to make music together. Our Do No Harm team has sought to balance our need and desire to sing together with health and safety concerns.


Beginning November 28, 2021 The choir may resume sitting together in the choir loft with some social distancing and masking, but can lead us in signing and other music. Congregational singing throughout the service will return.


4. Nursery, Godly Play and Youth Group

  • Nursery care (ages 0-3) will be available from 9:45 until the conclusion of worship.

  • Children (pre-k to 5th grade) will be dismissed to Godly Play after the children’s time. Parents will meet children at Hopkins entry after the conclusion of worship.

  • Youth group (6th -12 grade) re-commenced on July 18.

5. Bulletins: Access the digital bulletin here.

  • A very limited number of printed copies will be available in the narthex.

6. Tithes & Offerings

  • Donate online at www.EpworthBerkeley.org/donate

  • Text-to-Give: Text the dollar amount you wish to give to 1-833-276-7680.

  • Mail a check to Epworth at 1953 Hopkins St., Berkeley, CA 94707.

  • After worship, you may also place your offering in the plate located in the narthex.

7. Coffee Hour on the Front Lawn

  • Following worship, everyone is invited to the Hopkins Street grassy area for special music and time to chat and reconnect.

  • Coffee/tea and food service may resume on September 19, 2021

8. Ventilation

  • The Epworth sanctuary is equipped with two 42inch fans which circulate external air flow from the sanctuary entrance and out through the attic.

9. Holy Communion

  • We will celebrate Holy Communion on the first Sunday of the month. Individually packaged communion cups containing a wafer and grape juice can be picked up in the narthex/lobby on your way in to worship. If you are worshiping via the livestream, please have a piece of bread or cracker and juice or water ready.

Livestreaming Worship

  • Tune in to the livestream every Sunday at 10am to participate in worship remotely.

  • Watch on Facebook Live (no account or login required)

  • Watch on our YouTube Channel

  • Watch on our Website

Small Group Gatherings

Effective November 18, 2021: Epworth small group gatherings (which includes older adult ministries, choir rehearsal, committees and other church-sponsored ministries) of fully vaccinated persons may hold their meetings at Epworth indoors and may remove masks given that all of the conditions are met:

  • Everyone in the group is fully vaccinated against COVID-19

  • Group is not open to the general public*

  • Group is limited in size to no more than 100 people

  • Group is limited in access to the same, regularly gathering group*

  • Group maintains a list that identifies the names, dates, times of entry and exit of everyone who enters the indoor space

  • Group posts signs promoting self-assessment for symptoms around the exterior of the space

  • Group ensures that no one entering has fever, cough, congestion, nausea, headache, runny nose, muscle aches or any other COVID-19 symptoms.

*We know that some groups are open to new persons. In these cases, a new person can either be asked by the group’s designated protocol leader to show their vaccination card and ID, or the group can revert to masking for that gathering.


Additionally, groups must identify a protocol leader who will be responsible for:

  • Verify that the group wants to proceed under the new principle which allows masks to be removed if conditions are met, being intentional in including everyone who wants to participate

  • Verifying the vaccination status of group members

  • Ensuring that the group adheres to these protocols

  • Communicating with the church office that complete vaccination status has been verified

Building Access

Children and Youth Ministries

Church Office Hours

Volunteer Church Hosts are available to assist you Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Merrie Bunt, Director of Communications and Building Operations, will continue to work remotely on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and be in the office Thursdays and Fridays. Please email or call the church in advance so that we can be prepared to best meet your needs.


Contact Tracing

If Epworth is notified that an employee, vendor, worshipper or other visitor has tested positive for covid-19 (which should be done by contacting the church office or Pastor Kristin), we will follow CDC and Cal/OSHA guidance related to contact tracing and notification.


External Building Users/Renters

As we are prioritizing our efforts on resuming in-person worship and ministries, navigating the complexities of livestreaming, as well as awaiting the completion of elevator installation, there is currently no timeline for resuming building activity for external groups/tenants (twelve step group meetings, scout meetings, etc.).


Further Communications

Additional guidance will be share weekly in This Week at Epworth. Please subscribe to our email list here.



Recent Posts