Reopening SPW

It is important that we address the transition plan to restart our worship services with people present.  Your patience and trust are highly valued by the SPW staff and executive board.  We care about you.  We care about the Kingdom of God.  And we look forward to advancing as a church in this next season.  We understand that some of the SPW family are eager to return and others are more nervous to return.  Both are ok.  Please understand these guidelines are for our return to be as safe as possible.  Our cleaning company will be cleaning before and after our services to ensure the most sterile environment we can provide.  SPW’s livestream will continue to be offered during this transition season.

Mutual Expectations

Each person who attends a worship meeting at SPW agrees that he/she feels in excellent health and displays no symptoms of any contagious illness.  Known symptoms of COVID-19 are a fever, tiredness, dry cough, aches & pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat and diarrhea.  If a person has one of these symptoms mildly, our mutual expectation is that the person will stay home and not potentially infect anyone at SPW.

Short-Range Expectations

SPW worship gatherings will look different than we’re accustomed to during the transitional season, which is the season between not meeting at SPW and meeting “like we used to” at SPW.  Some of the differences we can expect in the short-term:

Registering for Attendance – We will begin by allowing 40 people to meet for worship. To administrate our worshipping numbers, we ask you to register by emailing Pam at by Friday at noon for the following Sunday worship and stating your household worshipping number.  You will receive a confirmation email by Friday at 5pm assuring your spot at Sunday’s service.  When the spots are all utilized, you will receive notification that we are full.

Building Usage – During this transitional season we will be relegating our building usage to the worship center and entry way.  As long as the weather is favorable, we ask you to enter through the main doors.  The fellowship hall may be entered if a person needs to use the restroom.  The downstairs is not accessible during this time.

Nursery & Children’s Church – Initially we will not be opening the Nursery.  This will be re-visited as soon as we feel it’s safe to do so.  Children’s Church will not occur during this season either.  Children are absolutely welcomed to join us in worship all together.

Wearing Masks – Each person who enters the facility will wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth.  The mask is required to remain on the person during the duration of the person’s time in the building.  The notable exceptions to this are the musicians (while they play/sing) and the pastor (while he speaks).

Interacting with Others – There are two simple rules we agree to abide by:  1) We do not touch; 2) We do not get within 6’ of a person from a different household.

Seating – There will be circles on the pews that measure 6’ from each other.  Each household must sit a full circle away from the nearest occupied circle.  Every other row is left empty.

Communion – We will be offering the Lord’s Supper during this season.  However, there are changes.  Upon entering the worship center/sanctuary, each communing person will take a pre-packaged Communion set (bread and grape juice).  At the time of Communing, the pastor will lead each person to do so from their seats.  No one will come forward to the altar.  At the end of the service, we ask you to kindly bring your disposable wrapper with you and toss in the trash can as you exit.

Offering – Offering baskets will be set in the rear of the worship center at the end of the service.  You may put your offering in the basket as you exit.  Online giving is a permanent feature of SPW at stpaulwestport.org/giving

Fellowship – During this transitional season we will not be hosting a coffee fellowship time.  When the service is over, you may speak to people in the worship center abiding by our two simple rules: no touching and 6’ apart.

Sunday Morning Bible Studies – We will continue to have our “9am” Bible Studies meeting online and utilizing Zoom.  However, to accommodate people who participate in Bible Study and in the worship gathering, these Zoom meetings are being adjusted and will meet from 8:30am-9:30am.  This allows time to drive to SPW for worship beginning at 10am.  This is in effect for Men’s, Women’s & Children’s Zoom Bible studies.  Email Pam at to be connected to any of these studies.

Long-Range Expectations

We have more questions than answers at this point.  We do not know how long the short-range expectations will be in place.

One of the key questions we’ll ask for this next season is How might the Lord be leveraging our strengths as a church to impact our community with the Gospel?  Several of our strengths are we are a Bible-believing church that prays big prayers, and we are an incredibly caring family.  As we strive to forecast the long-range expectations we don’t simply want to be what we were pre-Covid.  We want to be the SPW family that the Lord is calling us to be in the new season to impact others.