Bristol United Church of Christ     "The Church on the Hill"
Bristol United Church of Christ         "The Church on the Hill"  

Pastor's Corner



Re-Opening for In-Person Worship


Greetings Members and Friends of Bristol United Church of Christ,


Given the current state of COVID-19 infection in our state, and especially in our area, the Deacons and Ad Hoc Committee on Re-Opening believe we may begin to have in-person worship again.  PLEASE NOTE:  IF THE SITUATION CHANGES DRAMATICALLY AND IT SEEMS WISEST TO DO SO, THE CHURCH BUILDING WILL CLOSE AGAIN.  We do not want to endanger anyone's health unduly.  We understand that many of our congregants have not been able to access the on-line services for the past several months, or if they could, they have not found that experience fulfilling.  We hope that resuming in-person experiences will better meet the needs of this population.  With that said, we understand that many cannot or should not attend in-person worship.  For this population, we shall continue to have an on-line service.  As of this writing, our goal is to have a single service that will have some congregants participate in person while others participate via the Zoom platform we have been using.


In-person worship will not be just like we had in February or last year.  There are still health risks that accompany in-person worship and we hope to minimize these as best we are able.  To follow the distancing recommendations, we can only accommodate about 40 worshippers.  This is true for either Fellowship Hall or the church sanctuary.  We do not feel that this limit will post a difficulty given our average attendance figures.  But is we fil the available seating, people will need to be turned away at the door.  At his time, we do not believe a reservation system will be needed.  We shall be holding the services in Fellowship Hall at this time as it will be easier to distance when the chairs are set at the appropriate distance.  Based upon the best information we have now, there will be no live singing in the services and we shall try to keep the length of the service to approximately 30 minutes.  There are many other small details that will need to be attended to but rest assured that the ushers and I will help everyone to understand what to do, and how.  For now, here are the highlights:


1.     Arrive only five minutes early.  Don't bunch up or cluster as you enter.

2.     If you are feeling sick or unwell (fever, cold, respiratory symptoms, flu-like sumptoms, gastrointestinal 

        symptoms, etc.), please worship from home.  Let's love our neighbors by keeping them safer.

3.     Masks are required at all times. (We'll have disposables if you forget yours.)

4.     Use sanitizer upon entering.  (To keep touchable surfaces as clean as possible.)

5.     Follow ushers instructions for where to sit and which way to go for communion or exiting.

6.     Follow social distancing (6 feet) at all times (with all who are not members of your own household).

7.     Follow traffic patterns (arrows on floors). 

8.     When we pray together, keep your voice to about a whisper.  God will hear you and there will be less chance

        of making aerosol droplets that might get out of masks.

9.     Put your offering in the box on your way out.

10.   Please move along upon exiting so that others may leave in a timely manner.


Finally, let me assure you that the worship space will be sanitized after each service.  Meetings and classes will continue to be on-line and/or outdoors at this time.


Rev. Andrew