Reopening Update
May 27, 2021

Beginning June 6, 2021 WCF will move from an all-online worship service to a hybrid format – combining in person worship in our church sanctuary with online streaming of WCF LIVE for those at home or outside the Washington, DC area.  

Please review the Community Principles for Reopening, our Detailed Reopening Guidelines, and our Check In Expectations below. 

Register to Attend In-Person Worship

Community Principles for Reopening (June 2021)

  • WCF is committed to vibrant worship, personal transformation, authentic community, and social impact whether meeting in person or online.  Loving our neighbors and fellow church members means putting the needs of others before our own.

  • We will care for and protect the most vulnerable in our church community, including those who are immunocompromised or ineligible for vaccinations at this time, and commit to acting in ways that do not put community members at unnecessary risk. 

  • We acknowledge divergent views among our community related to COVID precautions, and varying tolerance for actions/activities perceived by some to be at higher risk, including in-person fellowship and worship.  We will respect others whose views on COVID precautions may differ from our own and will pursue approaches that make it easy for community members to engage together for fellowship without causing undue distress or unnecessary confusion.  

Detailed Reopening Guidelines (June 2021)

 

  • REOPENING:  Starting June 6, 2021 – WCF will welcome individuals into the sanctuary for in person Sunday morning worship; we will also continue to welcome those who choose to worship from home using WCF LIVE.

  • REGISTRATION:  Individuals interested in worshipping at WCF in person will register for each Sunday they plan to attend to allow for contact tracing, if necessary (advance registration is preferred, though morning of registration will also be allowed).  Note that DC has lifted all capacity restrictions.

  • MANDATORY MASKING:  All individuals over age 2 will wear masks while in the building for worship, with the exception of those moments when individuals are on the platform actively speaking at a microphone (for Service Leader, Scripture reader, or person giving the Sermon).  Masks will be provided for adults and children who forget to bring a mask with them.

  • SINGING:  Worship Leaders and all congregants may sing during in person worship but must do so while wearing a mask.

  • CHILDREN:  Children attending in person worship will sit with their families in the pews for the duration of the service; WCF activity bags will be available.  Childcare will be provided for children 2 and under; families should register in advance to ensure proper caregiver ratios.

  • PHYSICAL DISTANCING:  We recognize and respect community members may have different comfort levels with in person activities and fellowship, including worship.  In recognition of this, we will institute the following protocols to help facilitate mutual understanding and minimize anxiety about potential unwanted social interactions. 

    • STOP LIGHT colored wristbands will be available on Sunday mornings for all community members, easily signaling varying levels of comfort with touch, distancing, and communication with individuals outside of their household. 

      • GREEN:  I welcome hugs or handshakes, being in close proximity is ok.

      • YELLOW:  I desire some physical space, elbow bumps are ok.

      • RED:  I prefer more spacing, waves from a distance are ok.  

    • We will establish a clear zone/area of physical distancing within the Sanctuary.  While DC may no longer formally require 6 feet of spacing or impose capacity restrictions, we recognize that some individuals may still desire physical distancing for a period of time.  Thus, the right side of the sanctuary will become a dedicated space for physical distancing between households and also our designated fragrance free zone.  Signs will clearly designate this area and appropriate spacing.   

    • Individuals choosing to sit on the left side of the sanctuary (the side closest to the musicians) may sit in closer proximity to others and/or with individuals outside of their immediate household.  

  •  ILLNESS/CONTRACT TRACING:  Individuals who are sick or experiencing any physical symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should stay home and not attend in person worship, out of an abundance of caution.  Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 within two weeks of attending an in person worship service or other fellowship activity must promptly notify Kate Lawson-Hedger in the Church Office (kate@wcfchurch.org).  Community members will then be notified of potential exposure, while protecting the confidentiality of the COVID positive individual.

  • VACCINATION STATUS:  WCF will not ask questions about vaccination status for individuals worshiping with us.

  • TRANSITION/CHANGING WORSHIP PROTOCOLS:  During this time of transition from an online format to a hybrid of online and in-person worship, community members should recognize that the worship service may look different than “normal.”  Initially, the orientation of the WCF worship service (e.g., speaker eye contact/cameras, prerecorded elements, videos, etc) will continue to be focused towards those watching from home, though in time, as greater numbers attend worship in person, we will shift our orientation to those physically present in the sanctuary.  Some historical practices of in-person worship will be adjusted to minimize unnecessary physical contact including eliminating paper bulletins, continuing online giving, and modifying the passing of the peace and communion.  

  • UPDATES:  This situation is fluid; WCF’s reopening guidelines are subject to change and will be reevaluated as needed.

 

 Check In/Registration Expectations

(In Person Registration will require an affirmation/“check mark” by all individuals registering for in person worship)

  • I will love my neighbor and care for my church community, committing to act in ways that do not put community members at unnecessary risk.

  • I will wear a mask at all times while in the church building for Worship. I will stay home if I am sick or experiencing any physical symptoms consistent with COVID-19. 

  • If I test positive for COVID-19 within two weeks of attending an in-person WCF worship service or other in-person fellowship activity, I will immediately notify the WCF church office at kate@wcfchurch.org. 

 

 

This plan has been:

  • Affirmed by the Worship Commission May 13, 2021
  • Affirmed by the WCF Deacons May 18, 2021
  • Affirmed by WCF Elders May 19, 2021
  • Finalized May 27, 2021