Safety Guidelines and updates

As we gather in person...

Update 08/18/20


Dear friends,

In response the question raised at the 08/16/20 TownHall meeting, we have received verification of current Massachusetts regulations for places of worship. 


1.   Page 3, paragraph 2 of Governor Baker’s 8/07/2020 COVID-19 order no. 46:  Gatherings for political expression and religious activities:

     "...gatherings for the purposes of  religious services shall follow the COVID-19 safety rules and 

      capacity limitations set forth in the sector specific protocols and best practices“.


2 .  Please follow this link to review these Guidelines for Places of Worship


3.  Open two PDF documents: 

     1.  "Phase III Protocol Summary for  Places of Worship"


      2. "Phase III Checklist for Places of  Worship" .  


Relevance to our congregation:

These are the documents and guidelines the CRT will follow, until the Governor rescinds or otherwise modifies these sector-specific protocols and best practices. 


Faithfully and prayerfully yours, 


Joe Welch, Chair; John Madvig, Interim Transitional Pastor ; Beth Killian, Communications Specialist; Donna Lareau, RN; Brian Wilkins, Logistics Specialist

ECC Guidelines:

Dear friends,

Your Pastors, COVID-19 Response Team, and Leadership Team at ECC Springfield have been working diligently to review statewide and national resources, including safety standards for places of worship, and have created an action plan that will allow us to gather together safely. Let us be up front in saying that there will be changes, and we ask you to gently let go of expectations that everything will “be just as it was” prior to COVID-19. We encourage flexibility, adaptability, understanding, grace, and patience as we navigate this transition together. Let us emulate Jesus Christ by adopting an attitude that assumes the best of others amid these unexpected bumps in the road, so as not to be disappointed, but grateful to be in each other’s presence again!


Outdoor Service Guidelines

  • Ushers will greet your vehicle upon entering the parking lot- please follow their direction to the designated parking area.

  • Please come with lawn chairs and/or a blanket to sit on. If you prefer to remain in your vehicle, you are welcome to. We will have a section similar to a “drive-in theater”.

  • Upon exiting your vehicle, ushers will direct you and your family to designated seating locations. Each will be an appropriate distance from other groups. For the time being, we cannot shake hands, hug, or high five. Smiling and waving “hello!” is fine, but be sure to maintain appropriate distance!

  • Please bring a mask, hat, sunscreen, light sweater, water, and anything else you may need to remain comfortable outside.  Although we are outside, we must each wear a mask at all times to prioritize the safety of others.

  • We are hoping to keep the flow of people in and out of the restrooms limited- please be mindful of this before you leave your homes. Our restrooms will be open to one person at a time and will be sanitized following each use. Please observe the 6-ft guidelines if forming a line. Restrooms will be open on the south side of the building. 

  • When you are in the parking lot, please remain socially distanced from other households. Of course, you can speak to others outside, but please do not congregate in large groups. The message we want to convey and adopt is that we at ECC have the health, safety, and well-being of all in mind as we resume in person gathering!

  • If you are feeling ill, have a fever, a cough, or shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell, please do not come to service. We want to see you, but we also have the responsibility to keep people safe. Our Zoom services will continue, and will take place in conjunction with the on-site 

  • If in the last 14 days, you have been exposed to someone with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19; please refrain from coming to the on-site service. A potential exposure means having household contact or having close contact (within 6 feet) with an individual with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time (over 10 minutes) while the person is symptomatic or 48 hours before symptoms developed. We want to avoid having to cease our in-person services because of exposure in our building. Thank you for your understanding.

  • Persons who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 according to the Centers for Disease Control (e.g., due to age or underlying conditions) are encouraged to stay home and continue to participate in services online for now. We will not make this call for you, but you should be aware of the risks.


Indoor Service Guidelines

In the event of rain, please familiarize yourself with the guidelines for indoor service below.

  • Worship will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday. Please arrive no more than 15 minutes prior to service to await guidance from ushers.

  • We unfortunately cannot have fellowship time before or after service in the lobby.

  • One person/household may be allowed to utilize the elevator at a time. If you are physically able to utilize the stairs, please do so.

  • Please bring a mask with you to wear as you enter the building and throughout services. Children under 2 should not wear masks. Wearing a mask for children 2-5 years old will be left to the discretion of their parents. If you do not have a mask, one will be provided as you enter. Please keep your mask on at all times throughout the service, especially when singing. Our priority is keeping all of you safe and healthy.

  • There will be a hand sanitizing station just outside the sanctuary. Please maintain a 6-ft distance between persons as you wait for an usher to seat you.

  • You will be seated with your household (anyone who lives in the same place as you). You are not required to be physically distant from them. Your household will be seated by an usher so as to socially distance you from other households. Every other pew will be closed, and we will try to alternate which half of each pew is occupied to insure adequate distance. We are aware that you all have seating preferences, but it will be much easier for us to maximize our space and time while maintaining proper distancing guidelines if you will follow the directions of ushers.

  • We are hoping that the flow of people in and out of the restrooms will be limited- please be mindful of this before you leave your homes. Our restrooms will be open to one person at a time. Please observe the 6-ft distancing here as well.

  • When service concludes, ushers will release you to leave row by row via the side aisles. Again, please follow the direction of the ushers. This prevents us from having a bottleneck in the lobby and allows us to stay as safe as possible. We encourage you to use the hand sanitizing station as you exit the church.

  • Two receptacles to collect offerings will be available in the back of the church to utilize after the service has concluded. Please be mindful of maintaining distance from others when depositing your offering here. Alternatively, we recommend that you continue to give via mail or our online giving webpage to avoid a crowd forming in the back.

  • We will not be able to congregate in the lobby following service. Please note that most of the building will remain closed.


We know this is a lot to take in and digest, and we are grateful you are choosing to work with us as we maintain our commitment to our community’s health. We invite you to shift your focus from Covid 19 measures to our real purpose for gathering together: immersing our souls into the joy of being gathered, in person, to worship our Heavenly Father.

Evangelical Covenant Church Springfield

915 Plumtree Road

Springfield, Ma 01119

Phone: 413-782-5212

Office Hours: Tuesday - Friday  

9:30am - 2:30pm

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*The church will be closed for weather if Springfield Public Schools are closed. See WWLP for listings.*