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Changes Due to COVID-19

Dear Friends,


As you know by now First United Methodist Church will be offering “in Sanctuary” worship services again beginning Sunday June 7th. It is important for everyone to understand that while we will be returning to a familiar space, our worship will likely feel quite different to us. Every church is tasked with attempting to offer meaningful and safe worship experiences. In our situation in Warren County we must abide by rules established by our Governor, directives from our Bishop as well as recommendations from our insurance company. Additionally, the architecture of our building presents still more issues that we have done our best to address.  Based upon all available information each church will come to their own conclusion as to what is appropriate and safe. Because of size and location, you may hear that another church is handling things differently. That does not make them any more or less correct. Just know that we are doing our best to keep everyone safe!

Here is a list of what you can expect if you choose to worship with us on Sunday morning. Please understand that we have no idea how long any of these protocols will need to remain in place. We should likely assume that there will be changes over the coming weeks and months. While there may be “expectations” for worshipers that you are not thrilled with, we ask that you understand that we are simply doing what we can to keep safe those most vulnerable in our midst. And if you do not feel comfortable with these “expectations”, know that our online and live streaming of worship will continue so you might desire to worship this way until we return to “normal.”


  • Initially worship will be offered at our traditional SUMMER WORSHIP TIMES of 8 AM and 10 AM. If after three weeks, however, we determine that the combined numbers of our two services are less than 75 attendees we will move to a single worship service for the remainder of the summer and return to two services in the fall.

  • All services will be held in the Sanctuary

  • While families can sit together, individuals and family units will be expected to maintain social distancing in the sanctuary (6 Feet). Alternating pews will be used for worship. If a pew is marked as reserved or ribboned off, please do not use it.

  • Worshippers are expected to mask for worship. You can bring your own or use a disposable mask that will be available as you enter the building.

  • Those leading worship will typically not be masked so as to be able to be heard and understood. This, however, necessitates that we allow for a 20 foot separation between speakers and congregation.

  • All attendees are expected to enter through the parking lot doors or the elevator entrance on 2nd Avenue.

  • Doors will be open so that you will not need to touch handles in order to enter or exit.

  • A greeter will be present to welcome and direct but is expected to refrain from personal contact (handshakes, hugs, etc.)

  • Congregating in the building in rooms other than the sanctuary will be discouraged. Rooms will be locked or posted as such.

  • Our expectation is that the doors will be open at 10 minutes prior to worship. Until that point you are encouraged to remain in your car or outside the church doors maintaining appropriate social distancing.

  • Bulletins and prayer cards will be available as you enter worship. Prior to worship the bulletins will be handled always with gloves and sealed in a container. To further provide for your comfort and safety, the church bulletin will also be available online several days before worship. You may choose to print it at home and bring it with you or simply use your phone or iPad to follow along in worship.

  • If you desire to use a prayer card please fill it out and drop it in the basket at the front of the sanctuary at the beginning or worship.

  • At the conclusion of worship we will ask those in the front of the sanctuary to exit first and then for the remainder of those gathered to follow at an appropriate distance.

  • Following worship, please DO NOT congregate in the hall ways of the church. Exit promptly to the church parking lot. (*It will be necessary to clean the sanctuary after 8 worship!)

  • For the foreseeable future, Holy Communion WILL NOT be celebrated. We are following the recommendation of our Bishop.

  • Offering plates WILL NOT be passed during worship but instead will be available at the door.

  • There will be NO NURSERY until further notice

  • Attendees will be asked to remain seated for the entire worship service

  • The order of our worship service will look different for the foreseeable future and we will explain more regarding this in worship on Sunday morning.


Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as we continue to navigate this unique time.

We will have Children's activity bags available for the worship services

at both entrances to the Sanctuary.

Please leave the bags on the pew after service is complete!  

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