Worship Service Plans On Hold
Due to the increased community spread of COVID-19 in our area, our plans for In-Person Worship are currently on hold. We will update this page when we are able to resume our plans for an in-person service.
Join us for an 8am in-person traditional worship service.
What does an in-person worship service look like at St. Peter’s? Check out the video and FAQ section below to for more information on what to expect when gathering in-person to worship our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Helpful Reminders As We Worship
You will need to call in a reservation to assure a spot in the pews for worship. Call the church office at (717) 569-9211.
You will receive an inclusive bulletin for the service and a communion element packet from ushers upon arrival.
You are asked to wear a mask at all times. While on premises, practice social distancing, and please do not linger after the service concludes.
Bathrooms will be available for use one at a time.
Please observe these safety precautions so as to keep your fellow worshipers safe. May our worship honor God’s love, and honor our promise to love one another.
We thank you for the ways that you financially support the mission of St. Peter’s. Please consider donating through our online giving platform.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why the start time of 8:00am?
- It has long been the practice at St. Peter’s that no worship services overlap with educational offerings. With the livestream well established at 10:45 and educational offerings starting at 9:15, 8:00 is the logical time to begin a worship service.
- What will the service look like?
- This will be a weekly 30-40 minute long traditional service of communion following the Revised Common Lectionary readings that we are accustomed to. The service will NOT include singing, rather music will be instrumental in nature.
- What safety protocols will be in place?
- Attendance is limited to 110 (20 percent of the rated seating capacity of the room)
- Attendees are encouraged to call the church office in advance to receive an assigned seat, enabling households to sit together but maintaining proper distancing.
- All attendees are expected to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and not attend if they are symptomatic or have a positive test
- Handouts and individual communion servings will be available for worshipers to pick up, and offerings will be deposited at the entrance rather than collected in passed plates.
- EVERYONE, including those leading the service, must wear a mask for the entire time they are inside the church building. Those who are unable to follow this rule are welcome to continue with the Church @ Home service
- There will be no singing, but instrumental music will enhance the service
- Why no singing?
- Singing has been shown to be a high-risk activity when it comes to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Singing aerosolizes particles from the respiratory tract. Since the virus is spread through the air, sending these particles in the air and being exposed to them for an extended period of time poses a significant health risk. In an effort to show our love for our neighbor, it is the decision of the Worship and Risk Management Committees with the support of the Director of Music to conduct indoor services without singing. If you desire more information, articles to read on the topic, or to relay feedback, please contact Adam Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Why communion?
- With the potential for the drive-in service to be more regularly unfeasible due to weather, the worship committee felt it important we offer communion every week. This had been our practice pre-COVID, albeit split among different services.
- Do I have to call to reserve a spot? What about guests/visitors? Will anyone be turned away?
- Calling ahead to reserve a spot is the best way to ensure a spot in the worship service. In the event guests or visitors arrive, we will accommodate as best as we can, providing we stay under the stated limits of our worship space. Calling ahead also provides us with contact tracing information in the event of a positive COVID-19 test. Names and contact information will be gathered from anyone in attendance who did not call ahead. In addition to the sanctuary, we may be able to set up an overflow area in the narthex in the event we need to accommodate more worshipers.
- Can I reserve a spot in my favorite pew?
- Due to the realities of combining multiple services into one while trying to maintain proper distancing, we are not able to accommodate requests for specific pews.
- I always sit at church with someone who is not in my family. Can I still sit with them?
- If you have decided to be a quarantining “pod” together with another person or family, meaning you have spent time together and are sharing your space, and you are both comfortable sitting together in church, absolutely. Please mention it when you make the reservation so we don’t accidentally reserve more spaces than necessary and so we ensure your names are listed together in the same pew.
- Why are we starting this service now?
- In light of the most recent worship and educational survey, the Worship Committee along with the worship staff determined there was a section of the congregation who had indicated a strong interest in an in-person offering. The Risk Management and Worship committees see this as an opportunity to begin a worship service after the congregation has had a chance to practice good safety protocols such as temperature taking, mask wearing, etc. in the public square. Also, with the success of some of the safety protocols associated with drive-in worship such as fellowship cups, offering collection, and bulletin distribution, the St. Peter’s community has practiced being together as a community of worship. Although overall positive test numbers are up, severity of cases and hospitalizations are down, leading the Risk Management and Worship committees to believe it is reasonable to offer this simplified, in-person worship service which complements our other online and drive-in services.
- What happens if there is an outbreak? What would cause the cessation of this service?
- The Risk Management and Worship Committees have identified the following situations which would serve as criteria for suspending in-person services:
- If Manheim Township/Warwick school systems suspend in-person classes due ot an outbreak in the school or community
- If an attendee at St. Peter’s tests positive for the virus soon after their attendance (contact tracing and deep cleaning of the church would be required)
- If the state or county reimposes a limit of 25 people or fewer at indoor gatherings.
- Will the live-streamed service go away?
- No. We intend to continue live-streaming a service indefinitely.
- Will the drive-in service be replaced by this 8:00 service?
- We don’t know yet. We intend to continue the drive-in service as long as it is feasible; however, cold and inclement weather will likely force a change in that service at some point.