Church Re-Opening

Update on 7/31/2020

With the Wisconsin Mask Mandate in effect, that First Reformed will follow that mandate. Masks will be worn at worship services and church activities. If you have a mask, please bring it with you or there are also masks available in the church.

Update on 6/3/2020

Dear First Reformed Church,

The Consistory met together on Tuesday June 2 to discuss re-opening worship together. We decided to open this Sunday, June 7, at 9:00am. We recognize that each of us is at a different comfort level with Covid-19. Some of you will not be ready to meet in person. We are working on a Live Streaming option for both Facebook and Youtube. We will also continue to have CD’s and Bulletins available by mail and in the box by our front door. The Radio option will continue too.

For those of you that do plan on coming to the service there will be some changes. We are taking it slow at first. It will look different than what we are used to.

Where will we meet? We will meet in the sanctuary with social distancing. We will be taping off every other pew. So please sit in an open pew. Also, please try to observe social distancing with others in the open pews.

Will we have attendance limits? No (unless it becomes an issue)

Will we have multiple services? No (unless it becomes an issue)

What kind of cleaning will we do after each service? We will be wiping down frequently touched surfaces with disinfectant. We do not have the products or ability to completely disinfect all the surfaces in the church. (for instance, there is no good way for us to disinfect our pew cushions)

Do we have to wear masks or gloves? Some people will feel more comfortable wearing masks and gloves. This is a fine choice. Others will not want to wear a mask or gloves. It is up to you what you want to do. We will have some masks and gloves available for those that forget to bring them and would like them. We will also have hand sanitizer available at each entrance.  Note: We will continue to be handshake free. The more we can do to reduce physical contact the better right now.

Will we sing together? Like I said before, we want to take things slow. For the first week or two we are going to have no congregational singing. We will see how things go after that. If the congregation is comfortable with singing together we can proceed with it later in June.

Will the service be shorter? In order to decrease the time we are exposed to each other in one place we will shorten the services to 40-45 minutes.

Will Nursery or Children’s bags be available? Not at first. Again, we want to take things slow and see how it goes.

Will the Rest Rooms be open? The Rest Rooms will be open. The bubblers will be closed. If you need water during the service bring a bottle from home.

Will we have Fellowship and Coffee? We will not have coffee and cookies after the service. Conversations and fellowship after the service will be best done outside. We will have to make sure we keep social distancing in place on the way out of the sanctuary after the service too.

What about Bulletins, Hymnals, and Bibles? Again, we want to take things slow. Bulletins will not be in their usual locations. Bulletins will be placed in the pews. Hymnals and Bibles will be removed at first. If you want a Bible in front of you please bring one from home.

What about the Offering? Offering drop off locations will be available in the back of the sanctuary. Boxes are being made for this purpose. If they are not finished yet, we will have offering plates out.

What about the Lord’s Supper? We are planning on having an at home Lord’s Supper option in the middle of June. We will provide details later.

When should I stay home? Please stay home if you feel that you are unsafe in crowds and are vulnerable. Risk is involved in going to the store or any other public place these days. It will be the same at church for a while too. Also please stay home if you have or have been in direct contact with Covid-19.

We look forward to seeing you soon. Thank you for your patience. We appreciate it.

In Christ, 

Pastor Barry and the Consistory