Safer at Home & the WI UM Church
Governor Tony Evers and Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm issued a Safer at Home Order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, effective at 8 am on Wednesday, March 25. This order will remain in effect until 8 am on Friday, April 24 or until a superseding order is issued.
Bishop Jung affirms these interpretations in the light of the Governor’s orders:
- The Wisconsin Conference Sun Prairie Center is closed to visitors but the work of the staff continues. The majority of the staff will be working remotely. You should expect responses by telephone and email. The district offices are following the same pattern.
- Our local churches are closed to large group gatherings to honor Gov. Evers continued restriction of gatherings to less than 10 people with appropriate social distancing. As you are able, please continue your important ministry to the most vulnerable in your context. As you minister to the hungry, homeless and indigent, please follow the clear guidelines that keep you and others safe.
- If you are doing online services from your church building, please feel free to continue them with a maximum of 9 people involved and great care for the health and safety of all. There should be no gathering of more than 9 people in our churches at any time. In every instance please adhere to the healthy guidelines as prescribed by the Centers of Disease Control and Wisconsin Department of Health such as maintaining social distance of at least 6 feet, handwashing, use of hand sanitizer, etc.
- We are in this together. Should you have any questions, please contact the Conference Center or your district office. Please expect and extend grace, and practice kindness as we navigate our way through these times.
Essential Business Operations, which includes our church missions and ministries, can continue with appropriate precautions. Under Essential Businesses and Operations the Order includes:
g. Organizations that provide charitable and social services. Businesses and religious and secular nonprofit organizations, including prevocational group supportive employment, food banks and food pantries, when providing food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals, individuals who need assistance as a result of this public health emergency, and people with disabilities.
h. Weddings, funerals, and religious entities. Religious facilities, entities, groups, and gatherings, and weddings and funerals, except that any gathering shall include fewer than 10 people in a room or confined space at a time and individuals shall adhere to Social Distancing Requirements as much as possible.
For more information:
- Safer at Home FAQs from the Office of Governor Tony Evers
- Guidance on Safer at Home from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services
- Preparing for Safer at Home from the Wisconsin Council of Churches