Shenkel Covid-19 Updates

​​

8/12/2021
 

Revised Shenkel COVID-19 Protocols - Effective 8/12/2021

 

Greetings Shenkel Family:

 

The recent Delta Variant surge reminded me of the line from the movie Jaws:  “Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water.”  Consistory reviewed the latest CDC guidance regarding indoor activities and felt it was appropriate to revise our protocols.

 

The primary changes from our current protocols are as follows:

 

  • Regardless of vaccination status, all people must be masked for any indoor activity (i.e. worship, meetings, events) at Shenkel.

 

  • We will be returning to the single-serve communion elements we had been using previously.

 

  • Our after-service fellowship time in the pavilion will continue, but we ask the hosts to either provide pre-packed single-serve items or to be gloved and serve the food to the attendees.

 

  • We ask that you observe social distancing with others outside your family or group both indoors and outdoors.

 

We have not cancelled or postponed any scheduled activity, nor are we suggesting that planning for future events be suspended.  Let’s use our creative side to figure out how to safely accomplish them.

Again, I stress that each of us should be comfortable.  Wear a mask outdoors if you wish.  Continue those air hugs.  I appreciate that you’ve all been mindful of each person’s apprehension level.  I thank everyone for their support and encouragement during these yo-yo times.

 

Randy Berriker

Consistory President

5/13/2021
 

Revised Shenkel COVID-19 Protocols - Effective 6/6/2021

Greetings Shenkel Family:

 

It looks like we finally are getting some much-expected good news on the COVID front.  Infection rates, hospitalizations, and deaths have all been declining.  The CDC and Pennsylvania have both issued updated information regarding safe activities for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.

 

Consistory reviewed the latest recommendations and is pleased to announce revised protocols for worship, meetings, and special events when they are held both indoors and outdoors.  These changes will be effective Sunday, June 6th.  At that time, we will move to the Grove for Sunday worship.

 

We have elected to ease our current restrictions slowly at the start.  As the summer progresses and additional CDC guidance becomes available, we will loosen or tighten our protocols accordingly.  I want to stress that each of us should do what makes us comfortable.  In particular, I ask that you be sensitive to others and their dealing with this pandemic.  It’s ok that we have different apprehension levels and that you may decide to mask or social distance even if vaccinated.

 

The primary changes from our current protocols are as follows:

 

  • Masks and social distancing will not be required for vaccinated individuals for outside worship or outside events.Masks and social distancing will still be required for unvaccinated individuals outside and inside.Masks will be required for all individuals for inside events.

 

  • Limited hymn singing and live special music will be permitted for outside worship.Any lyrics would be printed in the bulletin.

 

  • Bulletins, offering, and communion will still be available at the entrance table rather than being passed among the congregants.

 

  • Later in the summer food may be permitted after outside worship.Food would be permitted for indoor events that does not require use of the kitchen.

 

  • More areas will be available for indoor meetings and special events.

 

  • Special events would not be required to pay for disinfecting the areas that were used.

 

A Safe Activities Chart published by the CDC for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals has been a valuable tool in revising our protocols.  We’ll have the chart posted in the Grove and Fellowship Hall.

 

Let any Consistory member know if you have any questions about these changes.  We aren’t back to “normal” yet; but, we’re closer than we have been for some time.

 

Randy Berriker

Consistory President

 

Outdoor Worship Services:

 

  1. The 9:45 service will be held in the Grove.The 8:30 service will begin once the former attendees ask that it be reinstated.
     

  2. Based on weather, the 9:45 service will be moved under the pavilion.Only under the most severe of weather conditions would the service be moved into Fellowship Hall.
     

  3. Masks will not be required for fully vaccinated individuals 12 years and older.If you are not fully vaccinated or younger than 12 years of age, we ask that you be masked and maintain social distancing.
     

  4. If you are not comfortable with being unmasked, feel free to wear one.Please be aware and respect another person’s social distancing comfort level.
     

  5. Each attendee’s name will be taken in order to facilitate notification if an attendee subsequently tests positive.
     

  6. A table will be outside the worship area containing:
     

    1. Bulletins

    2. Offering plates

    3. Extra masks

    4. Hand sanitizer

    5. Single-serve communion packets will be available for communion Sundays
       

  7. All offerings must be placed in the plates at the entrance table. There will be no passing of the plate.
     

  8. Hymns with limited verses will be sung during the service.All lyrics will be printed in the bulletin
     

  9. Live special music will be part of the service.
     

  10. Antibacterial wipes and paper towels will be in the restrooms for disinfecting prior to and after a person’s use.
     

  11. For now, no food or beverages will be served as a fellowship time after a service.This protocol will be revisited later in the summer.

 

Indoor Worship and Meetings:

 

Current Shenkel groups and committees will be able to meet in the Grove with the same protocols as used for in-person worship.  Indoor Worship and meetings in Fellowship Hall will have the following protocols:

 

  1. All spaces including the Sanctuary (except for the kitchen and the lower-level classrooms) will be available.
     

  2. The following items will be available for use indoors:
     

    1. Extra masks

    2. Hand sanitizer

    3. Antibacterial wipes.
       

  3. Masks must be worn at all times inside.Fully vaccinated individuals do not need to maintain social distancing.
     

  4. Each attendee’s name must be recorded for facilitation of notification if an attendee subsequently tests positive.
     

  5. Social distancing must be observed for unvaccinated individuals.
     

  6. Antibacterial wipes and paper towels will be in the restrooms for disinfecting prior to and after a person’s use.
     

  7. The kitchen will not be open for any type of food service. Food or beverages may be brought in for a meeting.
     

  8. If tables are used, the group is responsible to set them up and disinfect them after their use.The room must be reset with chairs on the designated lines for a potential inside service.

 

Funerals and Other Special Events:

 

  1. The sexton can setup the room as per your requests.
     

  2. All spaces including the Sanctuary (except for the kitchen and the lower-level classrooms) will be available.
     

  3. The following items will be available for use at the event
     

    1. Extra masks

    2. Hand sanitizer

    3. Antibacterial wipes
       

  4. Masks must be worn at all times inside unless all attendees are from the same household.
     

  5. Each attendee’s name must be recorded for facilitation of notification if an attendee is subsequently tested positive.
     

  6. Social distancing must be observed for unvaccinated individuals.
     

  7. Antibacterial wipes and paper towels will be in the restrooms for disinfecting prior to and after a person’s use.
     

  8. The kitchen will not be open for any type of food service. Food or beverages may be brought in for a meeting.