Health Team Guidelines and COVID-19 Update

Comprising both members of the congregation and staff, the Gary Church Health team has been working to find ways for us to be together in person, while following the safety recommendations of government agencies and the Northern Illinois Conference. Please know this information is subject to change if conditions regarding the coronavirus pandemic change. We will continue to offer a variety of virtual opportunities as well as limited in-person gatherings.

Gary Church’s Health Team continues to monitor the COVID-19 guidelines of governmental agencies and the Northern Illinois Conference. The Health Team requires all people wear masks inside the church.

Check-in Upon Entry

Self-check-in upon entering the building will no longer be required. However, the hand sanitizing station and a small table with masks and wipes will remain.

Masking

Mask mandates have been removed for outdoor activities for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

Following the State of Illinois mandate, all people must wear masks indoors.

Sunday Morning Worship

  • Pre-registration and check-in procedures will no longer be necessary. We will return to a modified greeter and welcome host format and encourage fist or elbow bumping instead of handshaking.
  • We will have a closing hymn (post benediction). Before it begins, the pastors will provide an opportunity for those who want or need to leave the Sanctuary to do so. Masks are required for everyone who wishes to participate in singing the closing hymn.
  • Kids’ Church has returned. Following the Children’s Message, Preschool 3s–Grade 3 will proceed to Gamon Hall.
  • Seating in the Sanctuary will continue to be marked in a socially-distanced way, alternating rows of pews and staggered seating at least through the summer or until attendance approaches capacity limits.
  • Holy Communion will be celebrated the first Sunday of each month. Those who want or need to leave the Sanctuary will be given the opportunity to do so. We will continue using individualized Fellowship Cups.
  • The Offertory will continue to be a drop-off on the way into or out from the service. Plates will not be passed.
  • Please register your attendance online here.

Food Service

  • Food and drink will be permitted if it is individually plated/poured. We will not permit buffet service at this time; however, a pre-plated slice of cake or fruit salad is acceptable.
  • Special Blend on Sunday mornings will resume in a modified format. This summer, join us in the Courtyard after the service for fellowship and a popsicle.

Meeting Spaces

  • Some meetings rooms may continue to have reduced capacity with consideration being given to the air exchange rates and possible viral load of the space. Room assignments will be scheduled to allow for adequate social distancing.
  • We will no longer require a 24-hour period between meetings in a space.

Other Items

  • Weddings and Funerals will follow the same guidelines noted above.
  • Worship Talk will continue at 11 a.m. on Zoom throughout the summer.
  • Plans are underway for the return of Sunday School for all ages in the fall.

Gary's Health Team will continue to monitor COVID-19 guidelines and will communicate any revisions to our practices through email. We're excited for the new in-person opportunities to be with our church family again.