News & Publications

Reopening & Attending Events in Person FAQ

November 22, 2021

Will masks be required?

Yes, for all persons, vaccinated or not, masks will be required whenever people are inside the building. This includes children over the age of 2. If you forget your mask, we will provide a disposable surgical mask. We will not be asking about vaccination status and, of course, children under 5 years old will not be vaccinated.

Will the participants be masked?

All event and service participants will be masked unless they are speaking. Speakers will take off their masks when speaking and put them back on when they are finished. All singers will remain masked while singing.

How will registration for worship work?

In-person attendance will be capped according to the current phase (as of this posting, we are able to welcome 100 people in the Sanctuary). Anyone interested in attending our worship services in person will be required to pre-register here. Registration for Sunday worship will open at 9:00 a.m. each Monday for the following Sunday, and will close at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday. Unless you hear otherwise from us, you are confirmed to attend and we are expecting you! If you are having trouble with the registration link, you may call the church office at 703-538-4886 for assistance. If you need to change or cancel your reservation, please email welcome@rockspringucc.org.

How will registration for other events and services work?

Similar to how registration works for Sunday worship, in-person attendance for all other events and services will be capped according to the current phase (as of this posting, we are able to welcome 100 people in the Sanctuary). Anyone interested in attending an event in person will be required to pre-register. Registrations can be found on each individual event posting on our Calendar. Unless you hear otherwise from us, you are confirmed to attend and we are expecting you! If you are having trouble with the registration link, you may call the church office at 703-538-4886 for assistance. If you need to change or cancel your reservation, please email welcome@rockspringucc.org.

What if I registered and cannot come?

If you are sick, please stay home! If you pre-register but find you are not able to come due to illness or any other reason, please let us know so that we can invite another person in your place. Please call the church office at 703-538-4886 before 2:00 p.m. on weekdays, or email welcome@rockspringucc.org anytime.

I have family in town. Can they come with me?

If your guests have pre-registered, of course they can come! If it’s last minute, please have them register and then keep an eye on your email. Unless you hear otherwise from us, you are confirmed to attend and we are expecting you!

I’ve got a reservation. When should I arrive? Where do I go?

We will open doors about 10 minutes before each service or event begins. We will be using the main entrance (up the steps into the Narthex) and the handicap accessible entrance only. Please do not enter the building through the door by the Office. Please put your mask on as you get to the door, and please have your entire group with you when you enter, which will help us keep track of the reservations.

When you enter the building, an usher will greet you and escort you to a pew. Once you are in the Sanctuary, we ask that you remain seated in your pew until the end of the service. You are of course welcome to talk with the people seated around you, but please do not move around the Sanctuary.

Do I need to bring anything?

Please bring a mask for everyone 2 years old or above. You are also invited to bring your own coffee mug for coffee hour (more details below).

Will there be a bulletin?

As part of our Net Zero efforts, we will not be printing bulletins. The worship leaders will give you all the prompts you need. If you would prefer to have a print copy during the service, you are welcome to print it at home (the worship bulletin can be found on the website and is linked in the Friday email). Or, if you’d like to follow the bulletin online during the service, there will be a QR Code on the back of each pew that will link to the bulletin, the virtual friendship pad, and our online giving page. (To access, simply open the camera on your phone and point it at the code.)

I don’t have a reservation. Will the service still be livestreamed?

Yes! We have been livestreaming our worship services for more than 5 years now and will continue to do so.

Are we going back to a “normal” worship service, with all the familiar parts?

You can expect there to be many familiar parts of worship with some new innovative twists. For example, we will not be collecting an offering during the worship service, but we will have baskets by each door if you wish to bring your pledge or offering to church (you can also give online – we are grateful to all of you who do!). We will not be “passing the peace,” but will have other ways to connect with one another.

Will there be Sunday School? Will the nursery be open? Are my children welcome in worship?

Children are always welcome in our Sanctuary! At present, we will not be offering Sunday School or Nursery care during the worship service. Instead, we are introducing a holy experiment called the “Prayground,” a welcoming space in the Sanctuary where children can fully participate in the worship experience alongside their family while engaging with quiet activities. Changing tables are available in the two gender-neutral bathrooms (one on each floor).

Will there be bathrooms available?

Yes. All bathrooms will be available.

Will there be name tags?

Of course! In fact, you were invited in June to request a new nametag. If you haven’t done so, please click here so that we can have one prepared for you.

Will the library be open?

Yes! The library is open on Sunday mornings. We ask that you remain masked and maintain social distancing while in the library.

Will there be coffee hour?

Weather permitting, the Deacons host a very simple coffee hour outdoors, set up under the portico outside the Bozman room. Please help us go green by bringing your own mug. We will experiment with a variety of ways of offering hospitality and evaluate as we go. No food or drink will be permitted inside the building.

Can I still be a liturgist?

Yes! Please contact Laura Martin (laura@rockspringucc.org) to express interest.

What is your cleaning protocol?

On Monday mornings, our custodian will thoroughly clean all areas of the church building that were used on Sunday. He has been trained in Covid cleaning protocols and will pay special attention to “high touch” areas.

Will there be additional ventilation?

Whenever possible, we will open the windows in the Sanctuary during worship. Please dress accordingly! In addition, we have installed air purifiers in some enclosed areas (bathrooms, the library) to improve airflow in those locations.

What is all this “holy experiment” business?

God is still speaking, and we are always listening and exploring new ways to be the church. We have dubbed the changes we are piloting this month as “holy experiments,” acknowledging that change can be difficult even as we know that the Spirit is at work in our midst. As always, the staff will continually evaluate what is working well and what needs tweaking. We will appreciate your feedback, as well as your grace, as we engage in this ongoing holy experiment as a community.

Pivoting to all online worship and community life was challenging. Figuring out how to return in a hybrid fashion, giving careful attention to the needs of those who are eager to return as well as those who are not yet able to do so, is even more challenging. Rock Spring is one community, made up of people with a wide variety of needs and preferences. Our goal is to ensure online and in-person participants have an equally robust worship experience and continue to feel connected to the church, to each other, and, most importantly to God as we move forward together into a new phase of the pandemic.