In-Person Worship Resuming

March 21, 2021

Procedures for In-Person Worship

Reserve a spot

Use this online reservations form within 48 hours of the worship service. If you don't have online access, make a phone reservation by calling the church at 201-444-6598

Arrive at worship

  • Plan to arrive between 9:30 and 10:00 AM
  • Enter through center doors to the church (the ramp is available for entry if needed)
  • Wear a mask and maintain social distancing
  • Keep your coat with you; windows will be open
  • You will be seated as you arrive; you must enter together if you want to be seated together; seating will be from front to back
  • Use hand sanitizer that is provided as you enter the narthex
  • Ushers will verify your reservation
  • Pick up a bulletin at the entry to the sanctuary
  • Wait at the entrance to the sanctuary until you’re invited forward by an usher who will direct you to your seat
  • Flow of traffic will be marked on the floor of the sanctuary (enter down main aisle; exit by side aisle); all movement to be controlled by ushers’ direction

During worship

  • Please, singing and massed recitation cannot be permitted
  • Currently there will be no communion

Following worship

  • Exit as directed by ushers, from back to front
  • Each side will exit via the nearest exit
  • Offering plates will be placed by exit doors
  • Please maintain social distancing while on church grounds

Restroom use

  • One single-person, handicap-accessible restroom outside of Fellowship Hall will be open

If you become ill

  • For the protection of your fellow worshipers, please notify the church if you are diagnosed with COVID-19 after attending in-person worship by calling the church office at 201-444-6598

A message from Church Council President Maurice Willoughby:

March 10, 2021

Dear Members and Friends of Good Shepherd,

Lenten Season Greetings to you and your families. I am happy to report that the Church Council voted this past Monday to adopt the recommendations of the In-Person Worship Committee and open the sanctuary for in-person worship starting Sunday, March 21st.

I would like to personally thank Carol Voss, committee chair, and the other members of the committee, Art Waltking, Chris Podd, Claudia Gentner, Doreen Remmen, Pastor Jay Unzaga, Jon Osborn, Lillian Ostrander, Pat Spencer and Vin Colicchio for their hard work.

It is our hope that this will be welcome news for many especially during this holy season.

Reservations for Sunday Service will be available:

(1) via the Good Shepherd website (reservation form);

(2) via a link in the Life @Good Shepherd digital bulletin; or

(3) by phoning the church office at 201-444-6598 and leaving a message.

As COVID-19 is still very much a concern, the protocol for in-person worship will remain as it was prior to the pause of in-person worship in December 2020. In this way, we will also be able to do contact tracing should someone become ill after they attended church.

The health and well-being of our whole community is top-of-mind for the committee. Everyone’s cooperation would be greatly appreciated in observing the following protocols:

  • Capacity will be limited to 25% or 70 persons.
  • Windows will be open.
  • Entry to the church will be from the front door; exit via the side aisles.
  • Attendees will be required to check-in upon entry for contact tracing purposes.
  • Facial covering will be required.
  • Priority will be given to those who make a reservation to attend church services in advance. Others who have not reserved a place will be accommodated if seating capacity has not been reached.
  • Ushers will seat members of the same family/group together, socially/physically distanced from other attendees.
  • Unfortunately, communion will not be able to be provided at this time.
  • Silent responses to the liturgy and silent prayers will be observed.
  • In addition, attendees should refrain from singing.
  • Access to the church building will be limited to the sanctuary and narthex and the individual restroom below the narthex.
  • Everyone is expected to exit the church directly after the service.

Check your email for the survey sent by the In-Person Worship Committee on March 10th. The email is from GOOD SHEPHERD LUTHERAN CHURCH with the subject line, “Ready to return?/ March 10, 2021/Survey”. This survey will help us better understand the needs and desires of the congregation. Please check your spam folder if you do not find the email in your inbox. We’d be grateful for your responses as this feedback will be used in planning for future in-person worship gatherings.

We look forward to seeing some of you on March 21st. How we have looked forward to this day! Let’s continue to pray for God’s guidance and blessing as we take these steps.

For the Church Council,

Maurice Willoughby

COVID-19 Updates 

The health and safety of our community members is of the utmost importance to us. Below are Pastor Jay’s answers to some frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and our church life. This page was last updated Wednesday, March 10, 2020.

What is the status of church programming? The standard for church programming right now is that it takes place online only, but will resume in-person worship beginning March 21, 2021.

What does that mean for worship? Regular worship services are broadcast live every Sunday on Facebook at 10am and on YouTube later in the week. In person participation of the online worship has been suspended until March 21, 2021. 

How are we handling pastoral visits? Pastoral visits are taking place by phone and zoom.

What is the Chinese Community Center - CCCNJ doing? The CCCNJ is meeting remotely online.

What are the Alcoholic Anonymous - AA groups doing? The AA groups are meeting remotely online.


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