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COVID-19 Transition Team Update | Criteria

Posted by Christ Church on
The COVID-19 Transition Team of laity and staff offers the following update on their work to date:

We recognize the tension between protecting the well-being of our people and desiring to gather again for worship, Bible study, fellowship, etc. We also acknowledge that worship must necessarily look different when we resume, requiring compromise from all of us.

In deciding when and how to reopen the church, we will be guided by:

  • Formal orders and guidelines from governmental authorities (local, state, and federal) and the bishop.
  • Recommendations from medical professionals (including advice from a panel of medical professionals from within CCUM).
  • Timing and plans of neighboring churches (we prefer to not be an outlier).
  • Timing and plans of local school authorities (a determination that schools can meet safely is a good indicator for churches).
  • Wesley’s general rule to “do no harm” (we don’t want to endanger our members or contribute to a second wave).

Additional factors that will inform our decision include:

  • Our ability to comply with guidelines for safe assembly. Examples might include acquiring enough hand sanitizer for all entrances, deep cleaning of the facility, checking temperatures at the door, wearing or providing masks, limiting gathering sizes, maintaining distance between people, or controlling the flow of people as they enter and exit.
  • The presence of higher risk groups among our membership (e.g., older adults, those with underlying health conditions).
  • Unique characteristics of a church, compared to other types of gatherings, such as close contact (handshakes and hugs) and the importance of music in worship services.
  • Comfort level of staff and volunteers with resuming large gatherings and the burden required of staff to safely do so.
  • Unique issues related to care for preschoolers and young children when we meet for worship.
  • The possibility of a phased opening, allowing some activities to begin sooner than others (e.g., weddings and funerals).

The Governor announced this week that houses of worship will be permitted to resume activities on a limited basis on May 20 under guidelines that have not yet been issued. We will be watching and considering those guidelines closely. We thank you for your prayers and patience as we work toward being physically together again.

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