Letter from the PCF Elders: gathered, in-person services beginning June 7

Dear PCF family,

We thank God for each one of you and pray that Christ will continue to hold you fast. We have missed you greatly during this time apart. God made us to be together in person as his people and tells us to gather regularly with one another (Hebrews 10.24-25), so we’re excited about resuming in-person services on Sunday, June 7. This letter is meant to update you on our plans. Please read it carefully and respond with any questions and comments.

For many in our congregation, it will be wiser to continue participating in our livestream service rather than gathering in person at this point (more on that below). For those who do gather at PCF on Sundays, our experience of church will be a blessing, but unlike any worship experiences we’ve had before (more on that, too). For all of us, it will be very important that we bear with one another in love, and that we seek to abound in grace toward each other. We believe that God is working in this time to expand his kingdom in ways we can’t even anticipate. As your leaders, we’re asking for your prayers and for your trust as we navigate uncharted waters.

Beginning on Sunday, June 7, we’ll have weekly in-person worship services at 8.30am and 11am. At each step along the way of getting back to a ‘new normal,’ we will be seeking to comply with Governor Charlie Baker’s ‘Places of Worship Massachusetts Safety Standards’ (we’ve also had multiple conversations with our local Health Agent for Pepperell). In accordance with the safety standards for churches in Massachusetts, here’s what gathered worship at PCF will look like in this next season. Please know that we’re taking the following steps in submission to our governing authorities to protect one another and limit the spread of the virus. We expect that each person who joins us on Sundays will comply with these requirements as an act of love and care for one another and for our wider community:

  • Chairs in the sanctuary will be grouped in family clusters, each cluster six feet away from the others to ensure social distancing. There must be no handshakes or hugs, and non-family members should maintain a distance of six feet at all times.
  • Because seating will be limited (65 people per service), everyone planning to attend on Sunday mornings will be required to sign up each week through a link that will be provided through the PCF News (you may also sign up by a phone call to the church office early in the week if you don’t have a computer). When you sign up to attend on Sunday, you’ll see the ‘Form for Reopening Pepperell Christian Fellowship.’ Please read it carefully. By signing up to come on Sunday, you’ll be agreeing to observe the requirements in the form. If more than 130 people would like to gather on Sunday mornings, we’ll explore other options, such as Life Groups gathering in homes to livestream the service and worship together.
  • Those arriving at PCF on Sunday morning will be welcomed by greeters and ushers, who will help you to your seat. The only entrance will be the entrance off the deck, between the front and back buildings (accessible by a lift and by stairs).
  • All those six years and older who attend services must wear facemasks at all times, from their entrance into the building until they leave (except for those with medical conditions which preclude the wearing of facemasks). Parents can decide whether their children ages 2-5 wear a facemask. Children ages 2 and under should not wear a facemask.
  • With the exception of Communion and the worship team (while on stage leading), there will be no food or beverages in the building until further notice.
  • The only adults not wearing facemasks will be those on stage, while they’re praying, preaching, or leading singing. To ensure further protection, we’re looking into the possibility of having these leaders stand behind plexiglass shields. We’ll also keep the sanctuary windows open so that fresh air can move into the building.
  • We will not be providing nursery, children’s church, or PCF Kids for the foreseeable future. Children will remain with their parents at all times while on church property. No child should be left unattended while inside or outside the building.
  • The front building will be closed, and we will not pass out bulletins or Bibles.
  • We will continue to have congregational singing in our services. In order to lessen the risk of the virus spreading through singing, we will sing at the end of the service, and will also sing for a shorter time than in our pre-COVID services. Also helping in this respect will be the social distancing in our seating arrangement, the wearing of masks, smaller worship teams, and the windows being open.
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be provided in the building and there will be cleanings of public spaces between and after the services
  • Ushers will help people leave the sanctuary at the end of services in such a way as to avoid clustering.

Needless to say, Sunday mornings will be different during this time! As stated above, we expect each person who joins us on Sundays to comply with these requirements. This is our way of loving and serving one another.

No matter what steps we take to minimize risk, we can’t guarantee that Sunday mornings will be risk-free. In fact, depending on your lifestyle and responsibilities, it may be that for some period of time to come, Sunday mornings at PCF will be the riskiest hour in your week. We ask you to think carefully and prayerfully about whether it is best for you to return. If you are 65 years old or older, or if you have prior medical conditions that place you at increased risk in the event of contracting COVID-19, we strongly advise you not to attend Sunday services in this first phase of reentry. We are committed to providing an excellent livestream, available on our website and on Facebook, for all who remain at home during this time. This livestream may also be attractive to parents of young children.

God is good and he is in control! Together as the body of Christ we can bring great glory to him in this season. Please respond with any questions or suggestions you have. We’re eager for God’s wisdom through you and look forward to hearing from you.


The PCF Elders


Form for Reopening Pepperell Christian Fellowship

Note: If you are 65 years old or older, or if you have prior medical conditions that place you at increased risk in the event of contracting COVID-19, we strongly advise you not to attend Sunday services in this first phase of reentry.

Individual Requirements for Attendance

I have not knowingly had contact in the last 14 days with someone who has COVID-19 or is currently under self-imposed or mandated quarantine for COVID-19.

I do not currently have a fever, cough, or cold.

If I test positive for COVID-19 or exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 within the next 14 days I will notify Pepperell Christian Fellowship immediately.

Pepperell Christian Fellowship Requirements

  • Attendees who are not part of the same immediate household must be seated at least six feet apart. Members of the same immediate household are permitted to sit together.
  • All will wear face coverings or masks at all times while inside and while entering and exiting places of worship or otherwise participating in in-person services, except where a person is unable to wear a face covering or mask because of a medical or disabling condition and except when leading the service from the front.
  • For children between age 2 and 5, the wearing of a face covering or mask is at the discretion of the child’s parent or guardian. Children under the age of 2 should not wear a face covering or mask.
  • All in attendance will refrain from touching non-household members or their belongings.
  • Our offering boxes on the back wall will be available for receiving donations.
  • The church building will be cleaned and disinfected between each service, including disinfection of heavy transit areas and high-touch surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, bathrooms, microphones, shared instruments).
  • We will keep the building well-ventilated by keeping windows open.
  • We will comply with building occupancy requirements.
  • With the exception of Communion and the worship team (while on stage leading), there will be no food or beverages in the building until further notice.
  • If we learn that an individual with COVID-19 attended a service or otherwise entered the place of worship, we will conduct a deep cleaning and disinfecting consistent with the Centers for Disease Control guidance; notify all attendees immediately; and notify the local Board of Health.

By signing up to attend PCF on a Sunday morning, I affirm the following: ‘I pledge to follow all the above requirements for participating in activities of Pepperell Christian Fellowship.’

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