The Monroe County Health Department has recommended that all non-essential personnel remain at home, and so the church office is closed until further notice. Because Dining Room Ministry and Food Cupboard are essential services that we provide to the community, they remain operational under very strict health and safety protocols. At present we do still expect to stream worship from our sanctuary on Sunday.
Although the majority of your church staff is working at home, we are still available! The church’s central phone number is still operational and staff are still monitoring email. Please reach out at any time, with any comment or concern, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are still expecting to reopen the church building tomorrow (Wednesday) morning, but with slightly amended office hours—9:00am – 5:00pm. Sextons have been following CDC guidelines for cleaning and sterilizing commonly-touched surfaces and will continue to do so. We expect the Food Cupboard to reopen Thursday morning, and Dining Room Ministry to continue on Saturday morning. All volunteers will be following updated safety protocols. All other activities remain suspended until further notice.
At present, we expect the church office to reopen Wednesday, March 18 at 8:30am. Sextons have been following CDC guidelines for cleaning and sterilizing commonly-touched surfaces and will continue to do so. We expect the Food Cupboard to reopen Thursday morning, and Dining Room Ministry to continue on Saturday morning. All volunteers will be following updated safety protocols. All other activities remain suspended until further notice.
It is out of an abundance of caution that we are temporarily closing the church building. Yesterday evening, we received a communication from the daycare that rents the middle level of our education building, stating that there was a confirmed case of COVID-19 virus within that daycare program. Our Sunday nursery uses space that is also used by the daycare, and the toddler music class uses the same entrance to our building. We do not have any more information at this time. At a minimum, the church building will remain closed for at least 48 hours.
Rest assured, we will share more information with you when we have it. In the meantime, please reach out to church staff with any questions or concerns via email. We will be monitoring it continuously. And do keep all of those potentially affected in your prayers
Third Church will suspend all in-person activities until further notice. The only exceptions are Dining Room Ministry and the Food Cupboard, which serve our community’s most vulnerable populations. These ministries are operating with new safety protocols.
If your group or committee wants to meet online, your group leader may contact the church for assistance.
Our sextons are using this period of decreased church activity to conduct extra cleaning and sanitizing.
The church office remains open, and your staff is available for your pastoral care needs. Now is a time for creativity in keeping our community close, even though we must be physically apart, and we will be sharing more ways to connect in the days ahead.
Cancelled Third Church activities include:
- Worship (though we will hold an online worship experience)
- Sunday School
- Adult Education
- Lunch & Learn with Dr. Caprio
- Sunday Junior Choir Rehearsal
- Bell choir rehearsals
- Parents of Young Children Fellowship Night
For all other activities, please watch for information from your group leaders.
We recognize the extreme import of our outreach work, especially during this time, and we have made provisions to keep the Food Cupboard and Dining Room Ministry operating safely.
At its meeting Tuesday evening (March 10) the session of Third Church voted to take a number of steps to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus in accordance with CDC and New York Department of Health guidelines. While there is no documented case of COVID-19 in the Rochester region as yet, it seems prudent to take these simple steps:
- The Safety Task Force, chaired by Jim Pochodylo, with input from Dr. Krug and three nurse members of session (Beth Aten, Roxanne Boyer, and Molly Perry) are authorized to monitor the COVID-19 situation and take appropriate steps for mitigation.
- As a precaution, we will suspend the celebration of the Lord’s Supper (Communion) at our services, as well as Fellowship Hour following the 10:45am worship service.
- We have removed pew bibles and hymnals; all scriptures and music will be printed in the bulletin. We will not pass the red pew pads or the offering plates. The ushers will have offering plates available at the doors so that you can place your offering in the plate as you leave the service.
- We will begin live streaming our 10:45am worship service within the next few weeks so that those at high risk for the disease (our elderly members and friends with underlying health conditions and those with compromised immune systems) can participate in the service in their homes.
- Any person with respiratory symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) is asked to remain at home and seek medical advice/treatment. If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, please inform the church so that we can take appropriate action.
All of these steps are precautionary, practical measures that help us to do our part in protecting our Rochester community.