A Communal Covenant for In-Person Worship at Grace Presbyterian Church
Throughout the Bible, God engages with God’s people through the use of covenants for the purpose of strengthening relationships between God and God’s people and for God’s people with themselves. These covenants help us to remember the generous and sacrificial “agape-love” with which we are bound together.
Part of the way in which we respond to, and model, God’s generous and sacrificial agape-love for others is through charitable acts of compassion. We acknowledge that after one year of a global pandemic, many within our community may be hesitant or anxious about being in public spaces with others, whether fully vaccinated or not. Agape-love for each other within the following covenant strives to honor each other by understanding we may not all be in the same place physically, emotionally, mentally, and/or spiritually. Our agape-love for each compels us to embrace these charitable acts of compassion for the purpose of glorifying God and the building up of our community.
To that end, we establish this communal covenant between the installed leaders and the worshipping community of Grace Presbyterian Church for the purpose of resuming in-person worship on Sunday, (June 13, 2021). The following has been constructed based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and State of Texas and City of Round Rock ordinances.
Grounded in agape-love for others, we the leaders of Grace Presbyterian Church covenant to:
1. Worship Spaces
a. Seating will be one empty chair between each family.
b. The HVAC system in the sanctuary will be scheduled to run before and during worship to keep air circulating.
c. We will explore the option for outdoor worship with video/audio of the service to outdoors during the indoor worship service.
a. Pastors will not stand at the door as congregation exits the sanctuary.
b. Ushers will assist with congregants locating their seats for worship.
c. Ushers will prop open all exterior doors before and after worship.
d. Children will not come forward for the Children's Message but will stay with their parents.
e. The band will resume and spread out on the stage area as much as possible.
f. Reserve an area/row for band to sit while listening to the message.
3. Areas of Touch
a. We will continue encouraging electronic forms of financial offering, but a common offering bin will be made available for those desiring to give in person.
b. All entry doors will be propped open for worshipping guests.
c. We will encourage elbow bumps.
4. Care for Worship Participants
a. Masks or shields will be required for all unvaccinated members of the congregation during worship.
b. We will have masks and shields available and provide hand sanitizer at both entrances.
c. We will safely provide communion using individual servings of bread and cups.
a. Worship leaders will not inquire about COVID vaccination status nor require proof of COVID vaccination to worship in-person, nor will we take temperature readings at the doors.
Grounded in agape-love for others, we the worshipping community of Grace Presbyterian Church covenant to:
1. Care for the Worship Community
a. We will:
i. Monitor our own symptoms and temperature and make an agape-love decision as to whether to attend worship in-person or not.
ii. Not attend worship in-person if not feeling well and/or have been exposed to COVID.
iii. Willingly move towards and sit in the front chairs as the congregation continues to fill working backward.
iv. Bring our own bibles or use a digital bible.
v. Wash and/or sanitize our hands regularly.
vi. Agree to glorify from our available seat understanding that it might not be our “regular” spot.
vii. Voluntarily offer the gifts of our time, talent, and money to support the in-person worship experience for the glory of God.