Shepherd of the Valley In-Person Worship Policy

Shepherd of the Valley In-Person Worship Policy
Policy will change in accordance with best practices

The Session of Shepherd of the Valley voted unanimously to begin offering in-person worship on May 23rd, 2021, Pentecost Sunday.  We are excited to take this first step in a phased move into broader in-person options for church activities. Our steps are guided by the Christian principle of loving and caring for the most vulnerable.

The Session understands that individuals have different health concerns and levels of comfort that will impact decisions to return to in-person activities.  We are including a chart from the CDC that indicates the safety of a variety of activities for those who are vaccinated and those who are not vaccinated, and encourage you to use this as a guide as you make decisions.  We are committed to the health and safety of our congregation and community. We will continue offering broad access to all of our activities through online options including Zoom and YouTube for those who wish to utilize those services.


  • We will welcome the maximum number of people we safely can according to the color-coding guidance of the state of New Mexico. We will track attendance for contact tracing purposes.
  • The success of our effort to renew our in-person activities is dependent on the full cooperation of each of us.  You are invited to hold the requested procedures as a sort of spiritual practice through which we assist the church in moving forward.
  • No one should attend in-person worship if they have recently tested positive for COVID-19, have been in close contact with someone known to have tested positive, or are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 including fever, cough, muscle aches, or stomach upset. If you test positive for COVID-19 within 14 days of attending in-person worship, you are required to notify the church.
  • Each person (including those who have been vaccinated) will be required to wear a mask over both their mouth and nose at all times. (exception will be made for children under 2)
  • All worshippers will enter through the main doors, where they will be checked in and asked to sanitize hands.
  • Families and member “pods” should gather outside prior to coming into the church so they may be seated together.
  • Restrooms outside the sanctuary will be open.
  • Keep your distance: six feet distance must be maintained.
  • If you need to remove your mask for any reason you are asked to step outside.
  • Following the conclusion of worship, each row of worshippers will be sent forth into God’s world by the ushers.  Please remain in your pew after the Postlude until an usher signals it is time for your row to exit.
  • We encourage post-worship fellowship, which will be held outside. We ask that you adhere to masking and distancing guidelines, responsibly caring for one another.

Changes in Worship 

  • Fully vaccinated worship leaders can remove their masks while speaking/singing, but will wear masks at all other times during worship.
  • We will offer child care through 5th grade during worship following the children’s time.
  • Offering plates will be stationed on the tables by the entry doors to receive contributions, and worshippers can give online or mail a check to the church.