Dear Church Family,
On June 21, 2020 the Virginia Conference officially entered into Phase II of our church re-opening plan. We have put together a critical Healthy Church Team (HCT) consisting of key leaders within our congregation to help guide us through the re-opening. The HCT’s key responsibility is to ensure compliance to the conference’s Technical Assistance Manual (TAM), which establishes safety protocols for our return to in-person worship. Remington UMC will begin in-person worship services on July 12, 2020 in our community garden. Here are the key things you need to know before coming to church on July 12, 2020:
- Register with the church four days in advance to let us know you are planning to attend a worship service. This will help determine capacity and other logistics (depending on demand, there may need to be more than one service). Any child that can comply with the requirements of the TAM may attend in-person services in this stage. To register, please call or e-mail Linda McClanahan at the church office.
- Due to logistic challenges during the pandemic, we will only have one combined service at 10:00 am in the community garden.
- If a person is not able to wear a face covering, the person cannot attend an in-person service in this stage or any stage where a face covering is required. If a person has breathing difficulties and cannot wear a face covering, the person is not permitted to attend an in-person service or any stage where a face covering is required
- Individuals must do a pre-attendance temperature check (temperature must be less than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit—means no fever). If you have a fever or you are sick without a fever, stay home.
- Everyone must wear a face covering at all times when attending a service on church property. The church will not provide face coverings. Bandanas work just fine. The nose and mouth must be covered at all times. As a general rule, the church will not be required to provide hand sanitizer because the supply is low and many churches may not be able to obtain enough for use for members and guests. If anyone wants or needs hand sanitizer, the person must bring it. The church will not be supplying other personal protective equipment (“PPE”) for anyone.
· Review your own health using the Health Acknowledgment Form before attending an in-person worship service.We have developed a fillable Health Acknowledgement Form that anyone can complete online on the Conference website at https://www.evc.vaumc.org/home/ After it is completed, the form goes directly to your local clergy. If you need to complete the Health Acknowledgement Form manually, you can download it and print it and send it to the church. You can also download the form from the Conference website at https://vaumc.org/return. If you are not able to complete the form online, call me and complete the form over the telephone. This form must be e-mailed to me four days before the Sunday service you plan to attend. Send the form via e-mail to me at email@example.com
- Every person that attends an in-person worship service will be asked before entering the garden on the day of the service whether anything has changed with the Health Acknowledgement Form. No clergy, member, guest, or volunteer will be allowed to attend an in-person service in Stage 2 if:
- He/she has two or more symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 14 days; or
- He/she came in contact with anyone else with COVID-19 symptoms in the
last 14 days; or
- He/she has symptoms of COVID-19 and he/she is waiting for the results of a test or is waiting for the symptoms to subside to the point of being recovered; or
- He/she tested positive for COVID-19 and is still suffering from COVID- 19.
- No shared worship materials and limited access to church facilities, including restrooms.
- Prepackaged communion will be served during phase 2. You will need to wait until you return to your call after the service to consume the elements.
- You must maintain physical social distancing (stay 6 feet or more away from others) at all times. We will not hold a service in any location that exceeds 50% capacity of the sanctuary, chapel, or fellowship hall.
- You may bring your own lawn chairs for the service or stay in your car and listen to the service on FM radio. All cars must be parked 6 feet apart from one another.
- These on-site requirements for any service or event officiated by local UMC clergy apply even when there is an off-site (private property) service or other event.
- Enforcement of rules, requirements, and protocols is critical to our safety. If someone removes his/her face covering, they will be asked to put the face covering back on. If the person refuses, the service will be stopped, and everyone will leave. The person that violates the “mandatory face covering rule” will not be allowed back on church property until he/she agrees to comply with all of the requirements. The same is true for failing to abide by strict physical social distancing (staying 6 feet or more away from others).
- If any member or guest attending a service in Stage 2 has tested positive in the past for COVID-19 and they have fully recovered and are symptom free, they can attend one of the in-person services. Those persons that have tested positive in the past for COVID-19 and are fully recovered, should contact their local clergy when they submit the Health Acknowledgement Form to discuss attendance at one of the in-person services.
- For health and safety reasons, no congregational singing will be allowed in phase 2. For outside worship, a soloist is allowed as long as they are wearing a mask.
- We will continue to livestream our services for the most vulnerable in our community
- There will be no coffee or fellowship times.
- In the event of inclement weather, the outdoor service will be cancelled and the service will be broadcasted on Facebook Live. If the planned outdoor service is cancelled, I will post an update on our Facebook Page by 7:30am. The livestream service will be at 10:00am.
We appreciate your cooperation with the “new normal” that we must implement during these unprecedented times. These common sense safety measures will allow us to abide by John Wesley’s simple but profound rules:
- Do no harm
- Do all the good that you can
- Do all you can to stay in love with God
Grace and Peace,