Bishop Sharma Lewis announced on June 3, 2020 that ALL United Methodist Churches can enter Phase 2 and thus can reopen at 50% capacity on Sunday, June 21, following the guidelines that she and her team have established. We have established a Healthy Church Team, as part of the Bishop’s Guidelines, to review these guidelines and implement them. The Healthy Church Team met on Sunday, June 7, at 12 noon to begin their work. I realize that not everyone will be rushing back to church when we reopen due to health concerns, and that is perfectly understandable. We WILL continue to live-stream the worship service on Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m.
The guidelines the Bishop and her team have set for churches to be able to reopen are more stringent than the CDC guidelines and those of Governor Northam. In order to participate in worship services in Phase 2 you MUST follow the following guidelines:
- If you are sick from anything, please stay home.
- Before you leave your home to attend the service, each attendee must take his/her temperature. It must be less than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit to attend worship.
- Bring your own face covering and hand sanitizer. However, if you forget to bring one of these items we will have a limited supply on hand to provide to you.
- Arrive early to church and be prepared to answer questions on the Health Acknowledgement Poster (see attachment for an example) that will be posted on the entrance door to the building. After reading the poster you may then come inside in which a Healthy Church Team member will ask you if you read and acknowledged the requirements on the poster. We will keep track of everyone’s attendance in case there is a report of COVID and thus everyone who attended can be notified.
- Face coverings are required from the time you leave your vehicle until you return to your vehicle to go home.
- Strict physical distancing – six feet or more at all times:
- Stay 6 feet away from others as you exit your car, and as you enter the church.
- Hymnals, Bibles, and all worship materials will be removed from the pews.
- Choirs are not permitted to sing.
- No Congregational singing, but humming or speaking the words is fine
- Digital bulletin (No paper bulletin. Everything will be on the screen).
- Children are permitted to attend as long as they are able to wear face coverings.
- Nursery will be available on the first floor in the fellowship hall.
- Youth Sunday School will be on the first floor.
- No coffee or fellowship time in Phase 2
- Restrooms are open in Phase 2. However, there will be instructions posted on the bathroom wall on how to sanitize the bathroom after use to make it safe for the next person.
- No handshakes or hugging in Phase 2
- Offering in Phase 2 will be an offering plate at the door of the sanctuary that you can place your offering in.
- Holy Communion (pre-packaged) is allowed in Phase
I know this a lot to do in order to attend the worship service, but it is for the protection of each and every individual.
In Phase 2 we will have only one worship service which will remain at 10:30 a.m. in keeping with the live streaming that we have already been doing at that same time.
Again, do not feel like you have to come. You can still watch the service on our Facebook page each Sunday morning. However, if you choose to come please know that all the guidelines must be followed with no exceptions.
If you have any questions, please feel free to call me or email me.
Pastor Justin Williams