First United Presbyterian Church and COVID-19

This Week's Resources

Services at 10am on Sundays.

Online Service Information:

Sunday ZOOM Link  Password: 568914

Or Call:  312-626-6799  Meeting ID: 819 275 7661

This Week's Worship Materials:

This Week's Bulletin11/29 Bulletin 

This Week's Music: 11/29 Music

Children's Bulletins: Ages 3+, Ages 7+

Online Giving Information

Virtual Prayer Group

Thursdays at 7:30am.

Thursday ZOOM Link   Password: 445450

Or Call: 646-558-8656  Meeting ID: 711 028 209

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a serious public health challenge, and we are accordingly taking it very seriously.  After our review of the risks involved in worshiping in the sanctuary and a careful analysis of what we need to have in place, we are offering in person worship in the sanctuary starting on July 12! However, we continue to offer services on-line for anyone who is considered high risk and vulnerable to COVID-19, feeling ill, or who would simply prefer to join us virtually. We encourage you to use the utmost discretion before returning to worship in the sanctuary. 

  • Anyone with symptoms must stay home—fever or feverish, new cough (not related to chronic condition), new nasal congestion or new runny nose (not related to seasonal allergies), muscle aches, new loss of taste or smell, shortness of breath, chills, headaches, or sore throat.

  • Anyone with a recent diagnosis of COVID-19 must stay home -- see section below for guidance on returning to worship after a diagnosis.

  • Masks are required at all times, except for children under the age of two, or worshipers who are unable to physically keep a mask or face covering on.  For children between the ages of 2 and 5, face coverings are encouraged but should be at the discretion of the child’s parent or guardian.  

  • Anyone with underling health conditions which make them vulnerable to COVID-19 is encouraged to stay home.

  • If a staff member or worshiper tests positive for COVID-19, the church must be notified and the Cambridge City Board of Health notified for tracking and tracing purposes.

  • Ushers will seat worshipers in order to provide maximum social distancing.

If there is a major setback and the city or state takes a step to reintroduce protective measures, we will follow suit. 

What to Expect in the Sanctuary 

  • Upon entering the double doors into the back of the sanctuary you will be greeted by an usher. If the usher is busy helping someone else, please wait outside to avoid crowding at the back of the sanctuary.  The usher will ask you how you are feeling and check if you need a mask.  Masks must be worn at all times in the building. If it is a communion Sunday the usher will direct you to the elements and hand sanitizer. You may wash your hands downstairs in the bathrooms and three additional hand-washing stations are available in the kitchen.

  • The bulletin will be posted at the top of this page. We encourage you to use your phones/devices for the bulletins. However, if you would like paper bulletins they will also be available at the back of the sanctuary. 

  • The usher will direct you and your family where to sit, ensuring that you will be spaced appropriately six feet from others. If you would like to sit closer to the front due to hearing concerns please make this need known to them.

  • If you need to get up in the middle of the service for any reason, use the aisle closest to you.

  • The pastor will not be masked while behind the shield at the pulpit, but will don a mask when leaving the pulpit.

  • There will be singing in the service, but masks will remain on.

  • Childcare will be available downstairs, but our Godly Play curriculum has been suspended.

  • Following the conclusion of worship, an usher will dismiss each row, beginning in the back to leave. Please maintain 6 feet from others as you exit.

  • We will take offering by placing the offering plates by the doors as you exit. When you leave just place your offering in on your way out.

  • You may wish to greet people outside following the service and you may do so, but we do ask you continue to maintain 6 feet of distancing and keep clear a lane for others to exit behind you.

Preparation We Have Taken for Your Safety

  • Cordoned off pews to maintain social distancing from seats

  • Posted Signage for clarity and reminders

  • Ceiling Fan blowing down to reduce airborne particulates

  • Front doors open

  • Windows open

  • Fans set to blow air out

  • Safety precautions for communion

  • Hand sanitizer in every open pew

  • Sanitizing of high-touch surfaces

  • Continuation of Online Worship Service

Communion in the Sanctuary

  • We have both pre-packaged and fresh bread and juice available for communion.  As you enter in the back of the sanctuary, please pick up the communion elements for your family.

  • Fresh bread and juice will be covered and distributed by the Seating Usher who will be wearing gloves.

  • If intending to have the fresh bread and juice, take a small sandwich bag available next to the hand sanitizer, and inform the Seating Usher how many people with you are intending on taking communion.

  • The Seating Usher will place enough bread into the bag for each person, and hand each person a small cup of juice.

  • People at home and in the sanctuary will eat of the bread and then drink from the cup together following the words of institution.  When it comes time to take communion, you may remove your mask to eat and drink. Please replace it when communion has concluded.

  • Following the service, please take your cup with you and place it in the trash receptacle on the way out.

Instructions for On-line Worship

On-line worship may be accessed using the ZOOM application.  Click here to download instructions for installing the application.  Please let us know if you have any trouble with the installation, and we would be happy to provide technical support.

Alternatively, you may dial directly into to the service using a phone line to call 312-626-6799.  Enter Meeting ID 819 275 7661 when prompted. Please make sure your phone is muted.

Communion At Home

Communion elements may be received pre-packaged from the church or prepared at home.  Pre-packaged elements may be picked up at the church or delivered to your home. Please contact Pastor Ben to make arrangements.

Preparing BREAD at home

  • You may use any kind of bread you wish: e.g. Italian, white, matzah, or shortbread (avoid using chips, etc)

  • You may cut the bread ahead of time into bite-size portions, or break off a piece of a loaf when it comes time for communion.

  • Place it on a plate before the start of the service and make sure there is enough for everyone who is planning on participating in communion

Preparing JUICE at home

  • At home you may use grape juice or red wine. (Avoid purple juice drink or koolaids)

  • Before the service pour a small amount into a small glass(es) or wine glass(es).

  • Place the glass(es) on a table nearby prior to the beginning of the service.

  • You may wish to have just one glass with the juice in it and have those participating dip the bread into the single cup. In this scenario when we are eating the bread you would dip and eat your bread along with us on the screen, then wait patiently until we had finished with the cup as well.

Returning to Worship After COVID-19 Diagnosis

Worshipers should be extremely cautious in returning to in-person worship.  If you attended in-person worship in the 2 days before your diagnosis, we also need to know about your diagnosis in order to initiate contact tracing with other worshipers from that Sunday.  Cambridge Presbyterian is following the state's recommendations for its workers in providing the guidance below.  Please reach out to Pastor Ben so the church can provide support and prayer for your family as you recover.

Persons with a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 case who have symptoms and were directed to care for themselves at home may return to worship if at least 6 days have passed since recovery, defined as:

  • Resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and;

  • Improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) and; At least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

Persons with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 who have not had any symptoms may return to worship when:

  • At least 10 days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 diagnostic test and;

  • There has been no subsequent illness and;

  • They remain asymptomatic.


Cambridge Presbyterian

(617) 354-3151

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1418 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 398089, Cambridge, MA 02139

©2020 by First United Presbyterian Church.