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First Congregational Church of Winter Park 

Sunday Worship Gathering Guidelines


While we plan to continue all the weekly virtual class offerings, we are excited to gather again in our sanctuary, although in a smaller capacity than before. We will continue to monitor the guidelines from the CDC, the State of Florida, and the City of Winter Park surrounding Covid-19 and adjust accordingly. The Church Council and staff has given our safe re-gathering much thought and has come up with a plan that includes five parts: Your Responsibility, Reservations and Entering Worship, End of Worship Dismissal, Precautions for Your Safety, and How You Can Help.


VACCINATIONS: While we are thankful for the promise that vaccines will be bringing to us; it is vitally important to us to remember that a vaccine only protects the individual vaccinated from becoming seriously symptomatic. It does not prevent one from being a carrier or making another individual sick. Therefore, we will continue to require the wearing of masks for the foreseeable future. 


Our journeys will be different. This virus effects all of us in different ways; physically and mentally. Be respectful of your neighbor’s space.


We will be live streaming the worship service each Sunday we are in the Sanctuary at the following link:, or access through our website at and click on the Live Stream tab.




  1. If you or any member of your party have symptoms of any kind, i.e., runny nose, cough, sinus issues, allergies, etc., STAY HOME. Members/friends who have a fever or feel sick should not attend. You must be fever free, without fever reducing medicine, for 48 hours before you may attend in-person worship. If the fever was COVID related, please only return after the CDC specified days of quarantine.


  1. You, and each member of your party, will be required to fill out a questionnaire and sign a waiver each Sunday; as well as submit to a temperature scan.


  1. If you should contract Covid-19, please follow the CDC and state guidelines immediately. If you have attended worship, please contact the Administrator, 407-647-2416, ext. 102, and let the church know. All names will be kept confidential. The church will have a list of all worship attendees by date and their seating placement, therefore making it possible to help with contacting individuals who may have been exposed by the infected individual. Once we have notified the individuals who were in close proximity of the infected individual, we will notify the rest of the congregation. Self-isolate for two weeks.


  1. Look out for, and respond to, church communications regarding your worship reservation. If you need to be contacted for any reason we will do so via REALM, email, or phone.




  1. Members/Friends of FCCWP are requested to make a reservation for attendance through the website (, through REALM, or by phone 407-647-2416, ext. 102. Capacity for our regathering shall be limited to 45-50 people. (This number is based on being able to allow congregational singing – safely!) 


  1. Starting in March, as we regather, we will open our process for Sunday worship reservations to include everyone: 

    1. Please remember we have over 400 members and we can only accommodate 1/10th of that number each Sunday.

    2. When making a reservation, please make sure you click on the final register button! If you miss this step, your reservation will not register with the office. This means your reservation will not be included in the maximum number of reservations and may result in you having to wait to be seated until 10:00 a.m. 

    3. A “How-To Tutorial” is attached to the reservation link.


  1. The main doors of the Sanctuary, located on Interlachen Avenue, shall serve as the single point of entry for the worship service. Physical distancing will be observed during entry. Signs will direct members to the appropriate entrance.


  1. SPECIAL NEEDS: Those that require assistance may enter through the special needs door located on the New England Avenue side of the sanctuary. When you make your reservation, please list the assistance that you will require.


  1. The main doors and the special needs door will open 30 minutes prior to worship. Please allow time to check in and be seated.


  1. As you enter the front doors, all members/friends will need to check in at the tables located in the Narthex. Your entire party must be with you to be seated. If you do not have a reservation you will asked to wait in a designated area until those with reservations have been seated. NOTE: All reservations will expire at 10:00 a.m. Once worship begins (10:00 a.m.), those without reservations will be seated in an orderly fashion. (You will be given a number and we will seat in number sequence. Having a number does not guarantee a seat in the service. This will depend on the availability of open seats.) The doors will be closed and secured once worship begins


  1. Seating in the sanctuary shall be arranged to accommodate 6-foot spacing between families/individuals. Our goal is to seat starting at the front and work toward the back of the Sanctuary. You will be assigned a pew when you arrive. Note: You may not be able to sit in your “regular pew.” Please accept your seating placement graciously.




  1. At the conclusion of the worship service members will be dismissed by rows, starting with the back pews.  The side door by the pulpit will be used to dismiss those with special needs seated in the front pews of the church. Physical distancing shall be observed during exit. Ushers will direct attendees to the appropriate exit doors. 


  1. Once outside, please continue to follow physical distancing and keep your mask in place until you have left church property. 


  1. There will be no formal social time before or after the service. (No coffee and cookies)


  1. No other part of the FCCWP facilities will be open or available to members.


  1. Playground – the playground will not be open for use. (Before, during, or after worship.) Signage is posted.




  1. All persons shall follow CDC recommendations for physical distancing on church property. 


  1. There will be no shaking of hands or physical contact of any kind while members and/or guests are on church property.


  1. No social gathering is to take place on church property.


  1. While on church property, facemasks are required to be worn by everyone. Your nose and mouth must be covered at all times. If members do not have a face mask, one will be provided by the church. (Children under the age of two (2) are not required to wear facemasks.) You will be asked to leave if you if you refuse to adhere to this rule.


  1. There will be hand sanitizing stations set-up in appropriate locations.


  1. Bulletins will not be printed or distributed. The bulletin will be emailed to all members who may print their own and bring with them to the service. The bulletin will be available on our website and Facebook page also, for those with smart devices.


  1. There will be no passing of the collection plate. The offering will be collected at a container(s) located in a visible location(s). Please drop your offering in these containers upon entering or exiting the church. Online giving is also available through our website, REALM, or through the Text to Give app.


  1. Personal communion service is temporarily discontinued.


  1. Congregational singing - We will take direction regarding music from our Music Director and the Board of Music. The musicians and singers shall be located at least 25 feet from the members. As long as the capacity in the sanctuary does not go over 50 individuals, the congregation will be invited to join in the singing of the hymns. This is subject to change each Sunday.


  1. All membership pads, hymnals, bibles, pens, envelopes, prayer cards, etc., have been removed from the all pews.


  1. Nursery facilities during service shall be temporarily closed but children are still welcome in the worship service.


  1. The restroom in the Narhex will be the only inside restroom open. The restroom will be wiped down after each use. The outside bathroom will be available prior to and after the worship service. (The outside bathroom is located by the driveway entrance to the Fellowship Hall.) 


  1. The water fountain at the rear of the sanctuary shall be turned off and shall be posted as non-operational. Please bring your own bottled water in a closed container. Upon exiting the sanctuary, please take your trash with you and dispose of properly and safely.


  1. The entire interior of the sanctuary will be sanitized before and after each service.




  1. Re-opening requires a team of volunteer support each Sunday in order to ensure the health and safety of our in-person worship together each week. If you are interested in becoming a trained volunteer, please call the church office, 407-647-2416, ext. 102, or email We will be in contact with you in the coming weeks with further information.


  1. Open, read, and reply (if needed) to church communications via email, REALM, and the Facebook Member page.


  1. COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving health and public safety matter. With this in mind, we are aware that recommendations from the CDC, state and local authorities may change as additional scientific evidence becomes available. It is in this spirit that we ask you to be patient and flexible in the event that we need to modify our process along the way.


  1. Continue to enjoy the virtual programming and gatherings, and access the Live-Stream on Sunday mornings.


Looking forward to seeing you,


The Church Council and Staff of First Congregational Church of Winter Park

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