August 28, 2021
Beloved members and friends of Foundry,
It is exciting to welcome you back to Sunday worship at 16th & P for the first time since March 2020! We have been singularly focused on ways to care for everyone’s safety and want all who enter our building to feel as comfortable as possible.
We recognize you may have reservations about returning, even with all our safety-focused preparations. Therefore, this Reentry Update offers additional information on the safety protocols we’ve implemented since announcing that masks will be required at all in-person services for the foreseeable future.
Please be assured that your safety is our priority as we return to in-person worship on September 5. Here are some safety protocols that will be effective next Sunday.
Timing for Entrance
The time allowed to gather and connect indoors will be reduced in order to adequately care for sanitization and air quality control in common spaces. Access to the building will start at 8:40 a.m. for those attending the 9 a.m. service, and 10:55 a.m. for those attending the 11:15 a.m. service. At the end of services, worshipers will be encouraged to exit through the main doors to the plaza for ongoing interaction in the fresh air with pastors and laity. No food will be served.
Entrance will be through the Bell Tower Lobby (center of building off the plaza area) which is accessible via ramp or stairs. Greeters will be positioned outside the building and at the Bell Tower entrance to offer assistance with electronic sign-in, masking, and social distancing. Masks will be offered to anyone who needs one. Masking is required in all areas, including restrooms, hallways, the Community Commons and the Sanctuary. Scarves, bandanas, etc. may not be worn in place of a mask. There will be a welcome and check-in station in the Community Commons for visitors/guests and for families who require childcare. All other worshipers will be invited to move directly into the Sanctuary.
Worship guides will be available for access via a QR code on your personal device. For those who require a printed worship guide, a limited number will be available. Ushers will be happy to assist with proper spacing in the Sanctuary pews. Tithes and offerings will be received either online or in collection plates available as you exit worship. All servant leaders participating in worship leadership and Sunday hospitality ministries, as well as child care workers and volunteers, will be fully vaccinated. Only those speaking at a microphone will remove their masks during worship.
No Sunday School will be offered for children or adults until we can safely manage hybrid learning (simultaneous in-person and virtual learning options) and care for the safety of our younger children who still don’t have the protection of a vaccine. These offerings will be made available when it is feasible to safely execute for each constituency.
We will identify alternative days/times (other than Sunday) for in-person and hybrid adult learning at Foundry, and will build child care requests into the registration process so that is not a barrier to participation. We will also continue offering a variety of virtual options for group study.
You will be asked to sit or stand with adequate spacing between individuals, family pods or friend bubbles, accounting for six feet of distance wherever you are. A special ‘Family Zone’ will be reserved on the right side of the Sanctuary for family pods with children who wish to avail themselves of that resource. Worship engagement bags will be available for small children. Pastors will deliver the children’s sermon adjacent to the family section.
Cleaning & Air Purification
Our Sanctuary and shared spaces will be deep cleaned weekly on Mondays and Saturdays. We will also be cleaning in-between services, with a special emphasis on the Family Zone. Four new air filters have been purchased that are capable of scrubbing the air in the Sanctuary every 20 minutes. These will be run continuously throughout services.
After much effort by our staff, we are grateful to be making progress with Colonial Parking Garage on P Street. On September 5, the Colonial Parking Garage will be open to Foundry members from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. We do not have any parking passes available; please just let the guard know that you are attending worship at Foundry. At this time, there is no cost to park, but contributions are accepted.
If you are or plan to participate as an usher, greeter, childcare volunteer, reader, Communion steward, choir, or other Sunday ministry, please support our safety efforts by submitting a copy of your vaccination card to firstname.lastname@example.org. All cards will be received and stored securely.
The Re-entry Implementation Task Force will work throughout the month of September to evaluate our effectiveness in providing safe, accessible worship experiences, while factoring in any new information on COVID variants and related developments. We will also continue to provide updates on parking. Finally, if you’re unable to join us in person, we will stream both the 9:00 and 11:15 services live. We look forward to worshiping with you as we turn this corner!
In the Spirit,
The Re-entry Implementation Task Force (Gwen Williamson, Nick Jessee, Matt Hansen, Sam Kilpatrick, Paula Blair, PJ Taylor, and Rev. Ginger Gaines-Cirelli)