Church Gatherings During COVID-19

Meeting 6PM Sundays at Hope Fellowship Church (16 Beech St, Cambridge, MA) – HEPA-13 air purifiers in use!

In order to allow for social distancing, our Sunday worship service is capped at 60 people, and the Wednesday prayer service is capped at 10 people. Please read the tabs below for more info and sign up to attend!

Given the various risks and concerns, we also understand that some of you will choose to stay home rather than join us for in-person worship. In that case, please join our Zoom call where you may watch the Livestream of the service with others who are also joining from home.

Also, if you meet any of the criteria in the “Criteria to Not Attend” dropdown, we ask that you tune into the livestream instead of joining the in-person worship service.

Criteria to Not Attend
  • You are experiencing fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and/or diarrhea
  • You are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 due to underlying health conditions and/or age
  • You have come into close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 (e.g. caring for a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, being within 6 feet of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more, etc.)
  • You currently live with and/or care for people who meet any of the above criteria
  • We will miss your presence at our gathering, and we pray earnestly that we will all be able to gather together for worship in the near future.

In order to allow for social distancing, our Sunday worship service is capped at 60 people, and the Wednesday prayer service is capped at 10 people. Please read the tabs below for more info and sign up to attend!

Given the various risks and concerns, we also understand that some of you will choose to stay home rather than join us for in-person worship. In that case, please join our Zoom call where you may watch the Livestream of the service with others who are also joining from home.

Also, if you meet any of the criteria in the “Criteria to Not Attend” dropdown, we ask that you tune into the livestream instead of joining the in-person worship service.

Criteria to Not Attend
  • You are experiencing fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and/or diarrhea
  • You are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 due to underlying health conditions and/or age
  • You have come into close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 (e.g. caring for a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, being within 6 feet of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more, etc.)
  • You currently live with and/or care for people who meet any of the above criteria
  • We will miss your presence at our gathering, and we pray earnestly that we will all be able to gather together for worship in the near future.

Meeting 6PM Sundays at Hope Fellowship Church (16 Beech St, Cambridge, MA)

The state guidelines for churches recommend that we do not exceed 50% of the building’s maximum permitted occupancy. This allows sixty people to gather while social distancing, which should be plenty of room for our church under these circumstances. Nevertheless, we ask that you sign-up to gather in-person for Sunday worship. This enables us to (1) arrange the seating appropriately depending on how many singles and household units will be in attendance, (2) recruit volunteers among those who will be present, and (3) contact trace if necessary (we will be taking attendance as well).

VIEW GUIDELINES FOR SUNDAY WORSHIP

SOCIAL DISTANCING AND FACE COVERINGS
As you enter the building, during worship, and as you exit the building, we ask you to keep a distance of 6 feet from those who are not members of your immediate household. Here is a picture of the seating arrangement:

We are also asking everyone over the age of 5 to wear a face covering or mask, unless you are unable to because of a medical or disabling condition. We will provide masks for those who need them. The state guidelines allow leaders engaged in conducting the service or making an address to remove their face covering while doing so, provided that they are able to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from those present. The music ministry leader, liturgy leader, prayer leader, and preacher, will remove their face coverings while engaged in their respective roles, but they will be standing behind the plexiglass shield (see picture above), 15 feet away from front row.

DURING WORSHIP
There will be no food or drinks available, which, unfortunately, means we will not be celebrating the Lord’s Supper. Jesus said, “I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom” (Matt. 26:29). Let us use this temporary deprivation to long together for the day when we will join our Bridegroom at the wedding supper of the Lamb.

We will have no printed Worship Guides available, so please print it out and bring your own copy, or use your electronic device to access it. The Worship Guide and Song Lyric Sheet will be available by Saturday here.

We will be shortening our service to about 1 hour and 15 minutes to limit the time of potential exposure to the virus. We will also be moving congregational singing to the end of the service for the same reason. The windows will be open during the service to increase ventilation.

There is a men’s and a women’s bathroom downstairs inside Hope’s building. However, we encourage everyone to use the bathrooms only when absolutely necessary. The bathrooms are small, and there will be a small gathering from Hope downstairs during our meeting time.

UNDERSTANDING THE RISKS
Despite all the safety measures we are taking, we want you to understand that there are some health risks involved in gathering physically for worship during this time. The risks, however, are far lower now than they have been over the last several months. The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in MA peaked on April 21st with 3,965 people. Since then, it has been on a steady, downward trend, and on July 7th, there were 621 hospitalized COVID-19 patients. The seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases has also been on a steady, downward trend, even during the phased re-opening of various sectors of society throughout Massachusetts. Many of the churches throughout Greater Boston have been meeting in-person with safety measures for several weeks now without incident.

Wednesday Prayer occurs every Wednesday from 7-8:30PM at the Woos (262 Monsignor O’Brien Highway #310, Cambridge). The meeting is capped to 10 guests, and we ask everyone to wear masks whenever not separated by 6 feet or more. We sanitize surfaces and ask everyone to wash hands upon entry. Please RSVP by clicking the button below. If you are unable to join based on the criteria listed above, you’re welcome to join us via Zoom!

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