YORK SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH REOPENED SATURDAY MAY 30 2020
York County was placed in the yellow phase of Governor Wolf's reopening strategy on Friday May 22. It moved to the green phase on Friday June 12. The “green” phase increases our potential gathering, but we are going to stick to under 75% of church capacity. On Friday November 20 requirements changed due to the holiday season travel, but will not impact our church capacity.
We know now that COVID-19 can be spread to others by infected persons who have few or no symptoms. Even if an infected person is only mildly ill, the people they spread it to may become seriously ill or even die, especially if that person is 65 or older with pre-existing health conditions that place them at higher risk. Because of the hidden nature of this threat, everyone who attends our Church should follow the practices specified in the following protocols, all of which facilitate a safe and measured reopening. As COVID-19 is still circulating in our community, we will continue to observe practices that protect everyone, including those who are most vulnerable.
• We strongly encourage the at-risk population to watch the service at home because the York Church will continue to live-stream both Sabbath School and the Divine Service.
• If you decide to attend, there are two locations to watch the services from:
1. Sanctuary - limited to 100 persons 2. School Gymnasium - limited to 75 persons (ONLY if necessary)
Note: The services in the school gym will be a projection from the live services taking place in the sanctuary.
• If necessary, we will be locking the doors between the school and church so that those attending the Divine Service in the school use ONLY the school facilities and those attending the service in the church use ONLY the church facilities.
• If you are attending the sanctuary service, please park in the sanctuary side parking lot. If you are attending the gymnasium service, please park in the gym side parking lot.
• Again, there is limited space in each service (100 persons), so plan to arrive early if you want a seat. Once the capacity reaches 100 in the sanctuary we will have to close the doors. Same applies to the gym.
Note: Please be understanding if you arrive and the doors are closed. We are only following Governor Wolf's guidelines and don't want our church to be found out of compliance. This could lead to problems that could have easily been avoided.
Message from the Pastor: “The guidelines above are not about religious liberty. Even in the future, when the subject becomes about religious liberty and the Sunday Law, we should not be defiant or act maliciously. In Last Day Events it reads, ‘Do not fly into a passion over this matter but take everything in prayer to God. He alone can restrain the power of rulers. Walk not rashly. Let none boast unwisely of their liberty, using it for a cloak of maliciousness. This advice is to be of real value to all who are to be brought into strait places. Nothing that shows defiance or that could be interpreted as maliciousness must be shown. To defy the Sunday laws will but strengthen in their persecution the religious zealots who are seeking to enforce them. Give them no occasion to call you lawbreakers.’”
• We recommend all attendees wear a mask or covering in accordance with the Governor’s guidance, until you are seated. But as you interact with others, please demonstrate courtesy and wise judgment by wearing your mask or covering.
• The seating will be like communion service, where it will be every other row. Please keep at least six feet separation between parties in the row you choose. The ropes will be on the rows that are to remain empty.
• Each Sabbath you attend these services you can be sure that the facilities are clean and disinfected. There are hand sanitizer dispensers in the hallway and the bathrooms have soap and water.
• Please continue to practice your own personal hygiene routine not only for your benefit but also for the benefit of others around you. Please understand, that these recommendations cannot anticipate every unique situation. The York Seventh-day Adventist Church leadership will stay up to date and informed of the current COVID-19 situation and take actions based on common sense and wise judgment that will protect the health and safety of all.