A Covenant

with and between members and friends of

Shepherd of the Hills UMC

as we seek to re-open during the COVID-19 pandemic

 

We the people of Shepherd of the Hills United Methodist Church, in the spirit of John Wesley’s proclamations “Do no harm. Do good,” and Jesus’ call to love our neighbors as ourselves, covenant with one another to protect the health and safety of our congregation and community as we gradually begin to 
re-open our church.

COVID-19 Reality: We are well aware of the fact that the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has been declared a worldwide pandemic by the World Health Organization. COVID-19 is extremely contagious and is believed to spread mainly from person-to-person contact. This reality is what calls us to enter into this covenant at this time.

Accordingly, we covenant with one another to:

  • Abide by the directives and guidance of the Bishop of the Desert Southwest Conference regarding re-opening our church campus and offering in-person gatherings.
  • Refrain from attending church activities if we have symptoms of COVID 19; or if we have potential exposure to the virus within the last two weeks.
  • Wear a face covering at church gatherings to protect the health of others.
  • Maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet between ourselves and others outside our “family group” (Those who share our household) while at church. We will not hug, shake hands or touch. We will find other ways to express our joy and love.
  • Practice regular handwashing and use of hand sanitizer.
  • Be willing to attend worship and other activities at times we might not usually choose, so there can be room for all.
  • Register in advance, if deemed necessary, to meet attendance limitations.
  • Be willing to sit in a different place for worship, if necessary to maintain safe distancing.
  • Continue giving to the church as we can and increase our giving, if possible, to make sure extra COVID-19 related expenses are covered, in a time when some are struggling financially.
  • Inform any guests we bring about these measures and secure their cooperation.
  • Be patient and gracious as we seek to find the safest way forward in challenging days.
  • Because of the love I/we have for others, within two weeks after attending an activity on the church campus, if I/we test positive for COVID-19, I/we will let church office know of the diagnosis. I/we also understand that the church may keep our identity confidential.
  • Continue these practices until leaders in the scientific and medical communities, and leaders in the Desert Southwest Conference, advise that it is safe to alter any of them.

 

Acknowledgement and Waiver

Grounded in the love of God, I/we acknowledge that the instruction from scripture is that we, as covenant people, deal with disagreements and concerns in grace-filled ways, and, therefore, agree that we accept responsibility for our own choices, and the risk that goes along with them. I/we waive any claim against the church in the event that I/we or my/our children, if any, contract COVID-19.


Date:     ________________________

 

Signed:

 

Printed Name:

 

Signed:
 
Printed Name:

 

 

Philippians 4:5-7 NRSV

Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.