Greetings North Central Region,
As we regather our churches after this unprecedented time in the life of our nation, we wanted to provide for you suggested guidelines for reopening your congregation. You will find language of “strongly suggest” in various places. Please receive this as our pastoral concern for the safety of you and your congregation. We are offering this as a resource to help the leadership teams of our congregations during this time of regathering the Church.
Important Reminder about COVID-19 Symptoms:
- Individuals with underlying health conditions should consider whether it is best to worship from home. Underlying conditions include but are not limited to chronic lung disease, asthma, serious heart conditions, hypertension, immunocompromised conditions, obesity, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, undergoing dialysis, and liver disease.
- Those who are 65 years or older are also more vulnerable.
- If you have COVID-19 related symptoms, please contact your primary care physician and do not attend church in person. Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, headache, chills, muscle pain/aches, loss of taste or smell, gastrointestinal disorders, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue and conjunctivitis.
We strongly suggest that you consider providing the following instructions to your congregants:
- Sanitize your hands before you attend. Wash hands for 30 seconds before leaving home and also use hand sanitizer before entering church.
- It is recommended that you check your temperature at home before leaving for church. Temperatures should be taken for all family members who are planning to attend a service. If anyone has a temperature of 100 degrees or higher (per CDC), please remain at home.
- You are strongly encouraged to wear a mask inside the building.
- You may sit with your immediate family members only. We encourage groups to maintain as much space as possible from one another when inside the building.
- This “no-touch” service means the following practices are temporarily on-hold:
- Physical contact (i.e., hugs, handshakes, holy kisses, etc.)
- Coffee and food (including any brought from home)
We know that different congregations will have different opinions on how many restrictions are necessary. The above reminders and suggestions are our best attempt to find a moderate position to regather our churches and to do it as safely as possible. We hope that the above information helps guide the conversations your leadership team is having on how to safely regather.
We continue to pray for you and ask that our gracious God will use this crisis moment as an opportunity to open doors for a fresh outpouring of the Spirit. May the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead empower you as you regather your congregation and serve as a positive witness to your community. If you have any questions, then please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
With Grace and Peace,
The North Central Regional Leadership Team