COVID-19 Taskteam Updated Recommendations

Dear siblings in Christ:

The COVID-19 Taskteam posts its latest recommendations just as the first COVID-19 outbreak in a church is announced. That Sheboygan Falls church (not United Methodist)  did have some precautions in place, but there were also gatherings of church members outside the church is social settings. They then of course, came back together. Public worship is risky! This is especially true if your attendees are not taking precautions outside worship time.

New in our updates are some improved graphics and our Steps for Church Reopening infographic. We have also added a covenant which you could modify for your circumstances. You may add your mission statement and any particularities for your context, such as “We will enter through the east door and exit through the west door,“ etc. Other small tweaks and clarifications have been made to our guidelines. Our checklist remains unchanged and is based on CDC guidelines.

We will continue to modify these resources as new information becomes available and circumstances change. This will likely be a season of opening and closing and reopening  for many of us. For others, we may discern that wit will be next year before we gather in person. We remain the body of Christ together and apart.
The Wisconsin Council of Churches posted this quick checklist today.

  1. Don’t gather physically if at all possible
  2.  If you must, gather the smallest groups possible
  3. Outside if at all possible – if not, DEFINITELY wearing masks.
  4. Physically distanced. Lawn chairs in a widely spaced circle is great.
  5. With a relatively short time together.
  6. Choose the lowest risk activities possible (Bible studies? Fellowship groups?) Avoid singing, chanting, eating.
  7. Start with lower risk groups who will convenant to follow safety measures.
  8. Be ready to back off and rethink depending on how things are going.
  9. Or if it's going well, people are staying healthy and following expectations, try a few more small gatherings with these guidelines.
  10. Keep track of who is coming to aid in contact tracing if need be. This is not risk-free.

Thank you for all the ways in which you are the church, both inside and outside the walls of your building.
Blessings in Christ,
Kate Croskery Jones, Convener of Bishop Jung’s COVID-19 Task Team