You are welcome to join us at 8:30am, 9:45am, and 11am for in-person worship!
We have been working diligently to plan for a safe, pleasant, and meaningful experience for all of our members, guests and staff. Below, please find our policies and procedures. In-person attendance is completely dependent on an individual’s personal decision. Please use your best judgment on whether or not to attend our gatherings. If you feel you should stay home, please don’t feel guilty, and know that you are loved. We will still be offering our readings, prayers, and sermons via Facebook on Sundays at 9:45am so people are more than welcome to watch from home or wherever they might be on any given Sunday. They will experience the same message that those who are attending in person will hear.
We hold each other in prayer and faith that the Lord Jesus will guide protect and bless each and every person, family, member and guest who participates in any or all of our ministry options either virtually or in person. When these opportunities unfold we may find it necessary to edit the protocols below. Our desire is to always keep our people safe and to honor God in all we do.
Dr. Stephen Swisher Mr. Peter Machin
Senior Pastor Chief of Operations
Epworth Sunday Worship Health Safety Protocols
- We will have clearly marked separate entrance and exit doors for the time being:
ENTER through Valleyview doors (doors under portico)
EXIT through South doors/door #5 (doors in new section of building)
ENTER through Central Ave. doors,
EXIT through Sanctuary side door/door #3
- Prior to the first service, in between each worship service, and at the conclusion of the third Sunday morning Worship Service: Pews & door handles will be wiped down (using the disinfectant used by TPS), and Pew cushions will be disinfected with Vital Oxide and a diffuser (the disinfectant used by Toledo Hospitals)
- There will be ushers at the entrance doors with hand sanitizing wipes and masks for congregants as they enter the building at the Central Avenue and Valleyview Drive doors. Both cloth and disposable face masks are available and recommended, but not required. Each person will also be invited to wipe their hands prior to entering the sanctuary.
- Every other pew in the sanctuary will be roped off and extra chairs (as in Easter and Christmas worship) will be set up in the lobby to allow for social distancing.
- Our heating/cooling units will be turned off during Worship to prevent spread of germs.
- There will be no printed bulletins or attendance cards until mid-June.
- Offering plates will not be passed. Baskets will be located at the back of the sanctuary for drop off.
- Only instrumental music will be played at worship at this time. We look forward to being able to sing our favorite hymns and praise songs around mid-June. This is in line with the protocols put in place from our West Ohio Conference office. Although most of us love to sing, particularly in worship, we are advised that it is unsafe to do so at this time. We will have occasional special music from the chancel area and look forward to resuming congregational singing in June.
- No coffee or snacks will be available in the lobby. They will resume when it is safe to do so.
- Our Senior Pastor and Associate Pastors will not be shaking hands (although they very much want to) to maintain social distancing. Also we should not touch other Parishioners for the same reason.
- Holy Communion will continue weekly at the 8:30am service and at the first Sunday of the month for the other services. Following our sanitation protocol, a pre-packaged sealed cup and wafer will be placed at each seat before the service. During communion, each person will open their own cup and wafer. Ushers will be able to assist anyone who may need help. The kits are NOT gluten free. Separate gluten free communion will be made available as requested.
- Children are invited to remain with their family during worship, even during the special children’s moment. There will be children’s activity bags at the Sanctuary entrance. The Children’s Ministry Team will continue to offer their online Facebook Live stream each week and provide additional resources on their Facebook page and at Epworth.com. There will not be nursery or childcare provided at this time.
- Our Youth Ministry will continue to meet online only at this time until further restrictions are lifted. Future Summer Youth Events will be shared on our parent/teen email chain, Facebook and Instagram pages.
Epworth Office Health Safety Protocols
- Our church offices will reopen on May 26 (Tuesday after Memorial Day) with summer hours, Monday through Friday, 9am-3pm.
- Hand sanitizing wipes and masks will be available at the Central Avenue entrance for all who enter.