Phased Re-opening to Begin September 6

To our Church Family and Community,

I wanted to let you know that the Administrative Council met last night to discuss when and how we might return to in-person activities now that we’ve met the Conference’s “Do No Harm” guideline of two weeks of declining cases in our county.  

Restarting In-Person Worship & Activities

The Council voted to resume our phase-in plan beginning on September 6th, provided that (1) we’re able to secure enough cleaning supplies to appropriately clean our facilities and (2) there are no major spikes in COVID-19 cases in our county.  This decision should not be understood as the Council encouraging everyone to resume in-person activities.  We continue to encourage everyone to exercise their very best judgement, especially those with underlying health conditions and those over 65 years of age.  We’ll continue to offer online worship concurrent with in-person worship on and after September 6th for those who wish to continue to participate from home.  By reopening for in-person worship and activities, we hope to offer those who feel comfortable doing so, an opportunity to worship and engage in the other activities of the church that we all long to be a part of again.  

Meeting in Sanctuary

To facilitate a better online worship experience, we’ll resume worship in the Sanctuary, as opposed to the Fellowship Hall, which had previously been discussed as the worship location for the initial gatherings in phase 2 and 3.  

Face Coverings

Additionally, the expectation for those who attend worship and other events is to wear a mask or a face shield while in the building.  If you are unable to wear a mask or face shield, please speak with Pastor Todd to discuss the best way for us to accommodate you while also keeping others safe.  

The Phases

As a reminder, we can proceed through the following phases at a rate of one phase per week beginning on September 6:Phase 2 – 25 people Phase 3 – 50 peoplePhase 4 – 100 peoplePhase 5 – 250 peoplePractically speaking, being in phase 4 will essentially mean that we are open without any need to preregister for worship attendance.  

Sunday School

Sunday School will officially restart in Phase 4, since we have several groups meeting concurrently.  I will stand ready to lead a church wide class if there are classes that do not yet have critical mass because some folks are still choosing to participate in church life from home.

Children and YouthThe Council voted to leave decisions about returning to indoor activities for children and youth up to the Children and Youth Councils within the larger framework of the phases above.  This way, the parents with young people can converse more directly with Kelly and Amber about their comfort level with returning to in-person activities.  

Other Activities

Other activities, such as Wednesday Bible Study, Lydia Circle, etc. may resume at their own discretion in accordance with the phases above.  

Outside Groups

Outside groups that use our facility may resume their activities as well within the guidelines of the phases above.  They will be expected to clean and sanitize any areas in which they use, including restrooms.  We will be in direct conversation with any groups about all of this through our regular facility use reservation process.  

Notification of Positive COVID-19 Case

Should we become aware that an individual tested positive who has been in attendance at an in-person gathering, who possibly may have been positive during their attendance, we will simply notify all those who were in attendance at the event.  The Administrative Council will gather quickly to determine our next steps based on the situation.  

Worship RSVP

To ensure that we are in compliance with the attendance levels of each phase, we’ll need to reserve our attendance in worship during phases 2 and 3.  I will setup a reservation system that will be posted on the church website and sent out via email soon.  

Blessings & Peace,

Pastor Todd