After careful analysis of our sanctuary and air flow exchange, current vaccination rates in our congregation and in Rice and Dakota Counties, along with low case counts and positivity rates, the COVID Task Force has determined that First UCC may return to full capacity in church, no registration required, beginning at Valley Grove on July 4.
Worship will also continue to be live streamed online via Zoom (except for July 4, when there will *only* be in-person worship).
Singing will be allowed, unmasked (fully vaccinated) or masked (not vaccinated). Children who are not yet able to be vaccinated may unmask when seated with their family in a pew, but will be expected to mask the rest of the time.
We honor and affirm your choice to wear a mask, even if you have been fully vaccinated. Wearing a mask is ALWAYS OK.
Pew pads will be used consistently to collect contact information for contact tracing, and will be kept for two weeks. Pew pads will also be available for use at other gatherings held in the sanctuary. Ushers will be available to seat you further away from others if that is desired. Communion and passing of the offering plate is tentatively set to resume August 1.
For the summer, conversation after church will be on the front lawn; chairs will be available. Look for the return of coffee hour in September (tentative).
Beginning July 4, those who are fully vaccinated will not need to wear masks when entering the church building, except for gatherings in the Assembly Room, where masks will still be required (see below). Unvaccinated individuals are requested to wear masks. We honor and affirm your choice to wear a mask, even if you have been fully vaccinated. Wearing a mask is ALWAYS OK.
The COVID Task Force is still making decisions about further use of the building beyond the sanctuary for gatherings. While masks won’t be required in the building for vaccinated people in general, masks will still be required for small group gatherings in the Assembly Room. Gatherings in the Assembly Room are limited to 15 at this time, due to airflow issues in that space. The kitchen may be reserved for food preparation for gatherings or meetings, but if possible, food and beverage must be consumed outdoors. In case of inclement weather, eating indoors is allowed with social distance and masks on when not eating. Lawn chairs are available for use for groups to meet outdoors on the lawn. Please contact the church office to schedule meetings or gatherings.