RE-OPENING PLAN FOR SHUMC

 

CONTEXT FOR OUR PLAN

  • We are a retirement community church where virtually every member or participant is in the vulnerable group of “older adults” who are advised to “shelter at home” until much later. Many also have complicating health issues and a number are immune compromised because of treatments for health issues.
  • Large group gatherings like worship are particularly dangerous for us
  • We are also a community that for the most part is not technologically savvy, and therefore at great danger for profound disconnect as worship continues suspended.

 

OUR PROPOSED PHASE 1 (SHUMC)

(Start after 2 weeks declining COVID cases, OK by Bishop Hoshibata)

 

  • Record services in sanctuary with < 10 people.
  • Continue efforts to reach more people virtually through resumed meetings, classes.
  • Office remains closed to public.
  • Continue encouraging staff to work from home but also allow carefully scheduled and carefully staggered hours at the office.
  • Removal of upholstered furniture and chairs from meeting spaces, lobbies, prayer room, replacement with limited number of plastic chairs that can be easily sanitized (these are now complete.)
  • Sanitizing equipment and chemicals for worship spaces is on order and expected in July.
  • Bibles, hymnals, pens etc. in all worship spaces are now boxed and stored.
  • No memorial services of any size allowed.
  • Limited services allowed in Columbarium (less than 10 people, masks, social distancing).
  • Begin to allow sandwich making for Justa Center weekly with less than 10 people, social distancing, careful sanitizing, masks, gloves (currently members are doing this in their homes).

 

 

OUR PHASE 2

(Requires approval of District Superintendent)

  • Allow all staff to work in the office at least part time, increasingly allowing return to more normal but careful co-working.
  • After a few weeks
    • Open church office for 1-2 hours at least a few days a week.
    • Provide no spaces for “congregating.”
  • Any meetings with congregants done outside office spaces
  • Memorial services in sanctuary only with limited attendance and recorded vocal music only; piano or organ allowed. Social distancing, hand sanitizing and facial coverings required.
  • Community groups and renters not allowed yet.
  • Begin to allow limited numbers of in-person meetings of 10 or less persons with facial coverings and social distancing, sanitizing before and after.

 

PHASE THREE

 

  • This will be delayed for us because our congregation is almost 100% “vulnerable”
  • Begin to offer worship “in person.” Sometime in fall, perhaps mid-September.
    • Follow guidelines available at that time for total number of attendees
    • Greatly separate worship times to allow for complete air exchange, or worship alternately in sanctuary /fellowship hall.
    • Add worship services if needed to meet attendance limitations.
    • May need people to “sign up” for worship to meet attendance limitations.
    • No worship in chapel until need for social distancing eases.
    • Observe strict social distancing in seating.
    • No congregational singing: all choral music pre-recorded.
    • Masks and sanitizers required and offered at the door.
    • No handouts including bulletins.
    • Alternate form of registration.
    • No communion until we have a method that seems safe enough.
    • Thorough sanitizing before/after each service.
    • No coffee hour until we are assured we can do it safely.