As the world attempts to move through the phases of reopening during this global pandemic of the Covid-19 Virus, we here at Maples have been working for weeks to develop a protocol that will allow us to return as safely as possible to in person worship in our sanctuaries for some of our Maples Family, while respecting the decision of others to continue to worship at our online, virtual campus. These protocols have been developed in long weeks of planning by your staff and Leadership Team consulting medical professionals, the CDC guidelines, the guidance by the State of Mississippi, our Bishop and other pastors of similarly situated churches.
1. We will offer services in our sanctuary at 8:30 AM and 10:30 AM in our traditional manner. The 10:30 service will be on FACEBOOK LIVE as per usual. If you are worshipping at home in our virtual campus, you will notice no change in your worship experience. We will ALSO be offering a 9:30 service in Wesley Hall to allow us to increase our capacity. The 9:30 service will be streamed live. Because we cannot replicate the worship experience from our Sanctuary in Wesley Hall, the style of worship at 9:30 will be more casual in its feel and offer some old and some new songs for worship, while keeping our liturgical and theological commitments. Please arrive early for all three services to allow time to be seated.
2. The 8:30 and 10:30 services are capped at 80 persons. The 9:30 is capped at 50. We cannot seat more than these numbers and remain in compliance and thus once capacity is reached no more people may be admitted. You can sign up to let us know which service you will be at by going to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/105983930790 . If you have difficulty signing up, Pastor Sam has a helpful how-to video that you can watch at https://youtu.be/SV8Cu7GW44E . If you do not have internet access please call the church office at 662-895-2279 and we will sign you up.
3. Everyone will have their temperature taken. If your temperature is elevated you will be asked to worship from home in our virtual campus that day.
4. Everyone is asked to wear masks. The ushers and greeters will be masked and gloved. If you have a medical or ADA reason that you cannot wear a mask please just inform the ushers and you will be seated separately. If you are unable to wear a mask then you will also be asked to not sing.
5. Everyone is asked to maintain 6 feet of separation at all times.
6. Everyone will be offered hand sanitizer as they enter the building.
7. There will be hand washing stations in the Narthex.
8. You will be handed a bulletin that will contain everything you will need for worship and will be seated by an usher.
9. The offering will be placed in baskets at the back as you leave.
10. You are asked to please clean your area with the provided wipes and dispose of them in the trash receptacle in the back as you leave.
11. On communion Sundays you will be invited to come forward individually or as families and you will be given a self-contained single person serving. You may then step to the side, maintaining social distancing, and take Holy Communion, depositing the packaging in the trash receptacle provided and then returning to your seat. A diagram of these individual servings is included on the next page.
12. You will be dismissed a row at a time to maintain social distancing.
13. There will be no passing of the peace, no hymnals, no pew Bibles, and no kneelers at communion, no nursery, or children’s church.
14. Only 1 person will be allowed in a bathroom at a time.
15. Please do not congregate in either the Narthex or the parking lot in violation of social distancing guidelines.
16. You are encouraged to make the best choice for yourself and your family in returning to worship. You are always welcome to continue worshiping at our virtual campus as we ramp up our content providing. If you are over 65, obese, diabetic, have a pre-existing heart or lung condition, a compromised immune system or some other health issue that causes you to be at risk, you are encouraged to prayerfully consider worshipping with us online at our virtual campus. If you are over 85, you are STRONGLY encouraged to not return to live in-person worship until the risk of Covid-19 is dramatically decreased.