Here are answers some to common questions you might be having about resuming church services at Hartford Christian Church:

1. What day will in-person church services resume at Hartford Christian Church?

We are planning for Sunday June 7, 2020 to be our first Sunday back in the building, so long as there is not a health concern that would require churches and businesses to shut down again.

We will have 1 service at 10:30AM each Sunday.

There will not be any Sunday School, Jr. Worship, Nursery, Sunday Night, or Wednesday Night programs starting out. This includes youth and adult programs. We will plan to resume these at a later date to be determined.

2. Will we have to wear masks and gloves?

Masks and gloves will be encouraged, but not required to attend the in-person service

3. Will we have to social distance?

Yes, social distancing must be practiced in consideration of one another. We must strive for keeping at least 6 feet in distance between persons and not coming into physical contact through handshakes or hugs. Signs will be placed around the building with instructions and encouragement.

4. Will we be able to sit together?

Households will be able to sit together (everyone is already living in the same home). Everyone else must sit with at least 6 feet of space in between them and someone from a different household.

Our auditorium can seat 500 people normally. With the state guidelines of 33% capacity that means that we can have a maximum of 165 people in one gathering. Signs will be in place and sections will be taped off to instruct people where to sit and maintain social distancing. In the future, an additional worship service time may be added if we need to better accommodate numbers in attendance.

5. Will there be a greeting time?

No, we will not have a normal “meet and greet” time in our service when we start back. As you see people at church you will be encouraged to give a “Smile & Wave” instead of a “Handshake & Hug” while maintaining social distancing.

6. Will we be singing in the service?

Currently CDC guidelines discourage corporate singing due to the increase spread of aerosol particles. As we begin in-person services again, we will not have a corporate time of singing for the first few weeks. That means that there will not be choir or congregational singing. We will, however, utilize instrumental music and special music presentations (which may include a soloist singing). Our goal is to return to full congregational singing as quickly and safely as possible. The church board will be meeting Sunday evening on June 7th to discuss any adjustments that will need to be made to the services.

7. Will there be nursery or children’s classes?

No, there will not be any nursery, children’s classes, Jr. Worship, or Sunday School starting back. Children will be in the main service with their families.

8. Will the restrooms be available?

Yes, the restrooms will be open, but only one person will be allowed to go in at a time. Disinfectant spray will be placed in each of the stalls and on the sink and individuals will be asked to disinfect any surfaces they came into contact with before leaving the bathroom. Soap and Hand Sanitizer stations will also be available.

9. How will the building be cleaned?

Before each in-person service, a small volunteer crew will wipe down and spray all of the pews, door handles, restrooms, and other common surfaces with disinfectant.

10. Will we be passing trays, handing out bulletins, Communion, etc?

In order to limit contact and reduce the spread of illness we will make the following adjustments:

  • No bulletins, prayer sheets, or pens will be handed out.
    Announcements will be on the screen and prayer updates will be given in the service.
  • Attendance pads will not be passed
  • Hymnals & pew Bibles will be taken out of the pews and placed in storage
  • Offering trays will not be passed. The blue lock boxes we have been using for offering will be available at each entrance for people to place their tithes & offerings.
  • Communion trays will not be passed. We will have tables set up with the individual pre-packaged cups set out for each person to pick up as they enter the auditorium. Trash cans will be placed by the exits so that each person can dispose of their communion cups at the end of the service.
    We will continue to celebrate communion together at every Sunday service.

11. What options are available for people who are sick or otherwise do not feel comfortable attending in-person services right away?

Anyone who is not feeling well, has displayed symptoms, or has an elevated temperature will be asked to stay home during this time. We will not be taking temperatures at the church, but trusting individuals to monitor their own health and make the appropriate decisions about attending.

Anyone who has been exposed to the coronavirus will be asked to stay home until they have completed the time of quarantine recommended by local health officials.

Anyone who does not feel comfortable attending services will be encouraged to use their best judgement.  We will completely understand your decision and will continue to love and support you!

Online services will still be made available through Facebook and YouTube. We will be updating our video equipment in the next few weeks to allow us to stream the in-person service directly to the internet so that people may participate from home.

You may still pick up communion and drop off offering at church throughout the week. We will still have people available to deliver communion and DVDs of the worship services to you.

12. How long will we have to social distance? When will we have our normal services & classes again?

The honest answer is that we don’t know. But we are going to be constantly re-evaluating what we are doing, looking at current health guidelines, talking to other churches in our community to see what they are doing, listening to our people about how you are feeling about this, and covering all decisions with lots of prayer.

We will have a board meeting on the evening of Sunday June 7th at 5PM to discuss how the first in-person service went, what changes need to be made, and create a plan going forward. This will be an ongoing process to remain flexible and make adjustments. Our goal is to gradually return to normal in a safe and responsible way.

We love our church and our community and want to make wise, informed decisions while showing the love of Jesus to our neighbors. Thank you for your prayers, encouragement, flexibility, compassion, and partnership throughout this unprecedented time! We love you and can’t wait to see you in person again!