Since the spring of 2020, Tabernacle has been taking precautions to minimize the spread of Covid-19 and follow the advice of our government and medical professionals. We closed our doors for over a year and switched to online worship via Livestream. Below you will find the original Safety Protocol Document, created by the Safety Protocol Team and voted on by the church. As agreed, the Safety Protocol Team has been monitoring the situation and continues to create up-to-date guidelines for us to re-enter safely.

In May 2021, we will open worship to the public following Phase 1 of the Protocol document. Everyone in person is asked to follow these guidelines for in-person gathering:

Wear masks while inside the building.Maintain social distancing (six feet from people not in your pod).Maintain proper hygiene (wash hands, cough into elbows, etc).Stay home if ill or showing possible symptoms.

More information on what in-person worship will look like:

Latest Covid-19 Updates

Protocol Team Update early January, 2022………….

Dear Tabernacle Family,

We hope that you are doing well and that you are enjoying this Christmas season!

When we joined the Protocol Team two years ago, none of us thought this would be a two year commitment. With that said, we are so grateful for your support and for hanging with us in the midst of changing protocols as we have tried to adjust to the changing nature of this pandemic.

Two years in, our team believes that each individual knows the risks that come with COVID. Since switching to “masks optional,” very few people have taken this option in the larger worship setting. We truly think that people are doing a good job taking care of one another.

Here is a refresher on our current protocol:

· Assess your own personal/family risk, then alter YOUR behavior to mitigate that risk in the best way possible.
· Wearing a mask indoors is recommended.
· Seating will not  be restricted, but we do ask that you respect those seeking to be separated. The balcony is open for those who want even more space.
· If you are sick, stay home.
 · If you have been in contact with others at a church function in the past 5 days, and you find that you have become ill shortly afterwards, get a COVID test to confirm if it is COVID. If you have been diagnosed with COVID, contact the people you were with and the leadership of the activity to advise them to get tested.
· Participants may share a meal in community as long as the above criteria are met. Food may be prepared and shared by participants without restriction.
· Leaders in individual ministry areas (Community Ministry, Music) may modify these recommendations as needed to address the perceived risk profile of their own activities.
– If we are hosting a service that may draw a larger community presence, masks will be mandatory.

Thank you for continuing to keep our congregation safe through following this protocol. Our hope is that the projections of this being a quick surge is correct and that we can find more ways to safely be community together while reaching out to change the world around us.   

The Protocol Team

Protocol Team Update November 8, 2021…………

We make the road by walking. No doubt, the road that we traveled in the past 20 months ended up looking much different than what we expected. We have endured much, but have also learned much. It has prepared us to move forward.

One thing that God is showing us at this point in time is that COVID-19 is probably here to stay. Numerous local and national public health experts confirm that. The good news is that we now have effective vaccines to protect the most vulnerable from severe illness, hospitalization and death. Though we hope that no one gets COVID, clearly identified and effective treatments are available. Additionally, vaccines for children have been approved and should be readily available soon.

Community infection and transmission rates continue to affect decisions about how we interact with one another, especially within our faith community. The good news is that increased vaccination rates in the communities where we live, work, and worship can significantly decrease transmission rates. Casual conversations with many within our community tell us that the vast majority of the adults in our congregation have been vaccinated. Within our own community, not only have we protected ourselves, but we have also protected others with whom we come in contact. Additionally, the last 20 months have made us acutely aware of monitoring our own wellness and recognizing the impact that it could have on others. Furthermore, the ionization equipment in the sanctuary provides an additional layer of protection for us as a community.

This information gives us the confidence to say that we support proceeding with a more relaxed approach in our interactions with one another. We recommend the following guidelines:

  • Assess your own personal/family risk, then alter YOUR behavior to mitigate that risk in the best way possible.
  • Wearing a mask indoors is recommended, especially for children and those who have not been vaccinated, which is consistent with VDH and CDC guidelines.
  • Seating will no longer be restricted.
  • If you are sick, stay home.
  • If you have been in contact with others at a church function in the past 5 days, and you find that you have become ill shortly afterwards, get a COVID test to confirm if it is COVID. If you have been diagnosed with COVID, contact the people you were with and the leadership of the activity to advise them to get tested.
  • Participants may share a meal in community as long as the above criteria are met. Food may be prepared and shared by participants without restriction.
  • Leaders in individual ministry areas (Community Ministry, Music) may modify these recommendations as needed to address the perceived risk profile of their own activities.

Community infection and transmission rates continue to affect decisions about how we interact with one another, especially within our faith community. The good news is that increased vaccination rates in the communities where we live, work, and worship can significantly decrease transmission rates. Casual conversations with many within our community tell us that the vast majority of the adults in our congregation have been vaccinated. Within our own community, not only have we protected ourselves, but we have also protected others with whom we come in contact. Additionally, the last 20 months have made us acutely aware of monitoring our own wellness and recognizing the impact that it could have on others. Furthermore, the ionization equipment in the sanctuary provides an additional layer of protection for us as a community.

  • Re-Entry Phase One
    Dear Church Family, We are thrilled that COVID numbers continue to improve! The light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer and closer, but we are not there quite yet. We are, however, ready to move forward, especially in light of the new recommendations that have come from the CDC. At the same … Continue reading Covid-19 UpdatesRead more
  • Re-Entry Phases
    We are thrilled that COVID numbers continue to improve! The light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer and closer, but we are not there quite yet. We are, however, ready to move forward, especially in light of the new recommendations that have come from the CDC. At the same time, we acknowledge … Continue reading Covid-19 UpdatesRead more
  • Returning in-person safely
    Dear Tabernacle Family, The time has come! Next Sunday Tabernacle will open its doors wide and welcome people back into the sanctuary for the first time in over a year. You can RSVP to attend our in person gathering here. We know that some are not ready to return. We see you and fully recognize that … Continue reading Covid-19 UpdatesRead more
  • Return to in-person worship
    Dear Tabernacle Staff and Church Family, During the last few months, you have tasked our committee to come up with protocols that would help keep our congregation safe in the face of COVID-19. We have gone through a long year of not being able to be face-to-face! Now, however, we are approaching the metrics originally … Continue reading Covid-19 UpdatesRead more
  • Safety Protocol Implementation Team Update
    Dear Church Family,  Today I am writing to you on behalf of the “Safety Protocol Implementation Team.” Over the last few months, our team has worked together to put structures in place that have allowed us to re-enter the Church building as safely as possible. Over the last couple of weeks, we have been able … Continue reading Covid-19 UpdatesRead more

Original Safety Protocol Document

Our church family agreed on the Safety Protocol below. Our Safety Protocol Implementation Team continues to monitor conditions and give updates (found above) based on the latest information.