Re-Gathering Plan (as of 09.01.2021)
Welcome to Unity’s page dedicated to providing our congregation and community with the most updated information regarding the church’s plans to resume on-campus activities in a coordinated, safe, and methodical way.
(From SCDHEC Website – York County, SC COVID cases, click here to view.)
Frequently Asked Questions
What does the Re-Gathering Team do and what metrics do they look at?
Unity’s Re-Gathering Team meets weekly to review COVID metrics and to develop and update protocols for opening our Sanctuary and campus using appropriate precautions for our Congregation. The primary metrics that the Team is using are (a) the 7-day moving average of new COVID cases, (b) the 7-day moving average for percent positive tests for COVID, and (c) hospitalization rates. The Team reviews these metrics weekly for York, Lancaster, and Mecklenburg Counties as those are the major areas where our Congregation lives.
Are you open for in-person worship?
The Session approved holding the 11 AM worship service in the sanctuary beginning on April 18, 2021. After holding the 8:45 AM service in the sanctuary throughout the summer, the Worship and Music Ministry Team and Church staff requested permission to resume Live on the Lawn services at 8:45 to provide an outdoor option for our congregation and community to gather for worship. Live on the Lawn services resume on September 5 and will be held for eight weeks.
What are we doing to make it safe to regather for worship and ministries on Unity’s campus?
As COVID-19 metrics continue to increase in Fort Mill and surrounding communities, continued vigilance is required to ensure that we minimize the risk of both spreading and contracting COVID-19, particularly for those (under age 12) who have not had the opportunity to be vaccinated. With the recent surge in the delta variant, we are following CDC guidance to strongly recommend wearing masks indoors (for those 4 years and older) regardless of vaccination status as long as the community remains an area of substantial or high community transmission. In addition, staff and volunteers who work indoors with children (under age 12) in programs and functions at Unity Presbyterian are required to wear masks when children are present. And lastly, we are still requesting individuals to maintain social distancing, particularly during worship services.
|What We’ve Done
· Regular cleaning and disinfecting the church campus
· Upgraded air filters in the HVAC and increased airflow during worship
· Established hand sanitizer stations in the narthex
· Marked every other pew to ensure proper social distancing
· Trained Ushers to ensure smooth flow of people entering and exiting the sanctuary
· Established safety protocols for Children in Worship and Nursery
|What You Can Do
· Self-Screening: If you do not feel well, please worship online at home
· Get vaccinated—not required, but definitely encouraged
· Wear your mask while indoors
· Social Distancing: Maintain a little room between immediate families in the same pew
· Sanitize or wash your hands
· If you become ill with any COVID-19 symptoms on the days following the service, please notify the church office immediately.
|What to Expect
· Enter only through the Narthex
· Sign-in sheets when you arrive and guests will be asked to share a cell # or email address
· Find your own seat in the sanctuary
· Spoken responses, unison Affirmation of Faith, the Lord’s Prayer, and one Congregational Hymn
· Communion and Baptisms will both be celebrated safely
Over the last few weeks, we have had several reported exposure events on campus and ask everyone to follow CDC guidelines if they are not feeling well or have been in close contact (within 6 feet for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) of someone who has COVID-19. For close contacts, the CDC recommends that you quarantine unless you have been fully vaccinated. People who are fully vaccinated do NOT need to quarantine after contact with someone who had COVID-19 unless they have symptoms. However, fully vaccinated people should get tested 3-5 days after their exposure, even if they don’t have symptoms, and wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative.
The Re-Gathering Team will continue to meet weekly to review COVID metrics, review the effectiveness of our protocols, and continue to look for ways to expand the opportunities for worship and ministries on the Unity campus. Any decisions on expanding opportunities will be based on continued, improving COVID metrics.
Can I visit the church office?
The Church Office is open Monday – Thursday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. It’s always best to call ahead, especially during the summer, to be sure the person you are coming to visit will be available.”
Below are links to the current COVID-related protocols:
- Live on the Lawn Worship Protocols
- Phase A – Indoor Meeting Room Protocols
- Phase B In-Sanctuary Protocols for Worship
- Nursery & Children in Worship (CIW) Protocols
We want all members and visitors to feel welcome when we gather, while still providing for the health and safety of the vulnerable and those at risk.