Update to COVID-19 Guidelines for In-Person Worship & Ministry
Yesterday, Governor Cooper issued an easing of Covid-19 restrictions. The Bishop and Cabinet remain committed to our biblical mandate to “love our neighbors as ourselves” and our Wesleyan call to “Do no harm.”
We celebrate that percentages of positive test results and hospitalizations continue to show improvement while vaccine distribution increases. However, we are also aware that people across our conference are losing loved ones each day. Thus, we continue to recommend that all local churches and other ministries follow the guidance of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as they make decisions about indoor worship, small groups, and other gatherings.
Using Governor Cooper’s Executive Order No. 195 as a guide, the Bishop and Cabinet make these specific recommendations:
- For those churches whose counties are not in the “red,” indoor worship may be considered using a limit of 30% capacity or 250 persons, whichever is less. When determining the number who can safely gather in the sanctuary or worship space, social distancing should be maintained, and masks must be worn. The recommendation for no full-choir or congregational singing remains in effect.
- A 25-person limit should be maintained for all other gathering inside the church building. Please continue to socially distance and wear masks at these events as well.
As we continue to journey through the season of Lent, may we be mindful of the over 500,000 persons in the United States who have lost their lives during this pandemic and may keep all of those who mourn their loss in prayer.
Resources for Vital Congregations
GBHEM Leadership Resources
A Disciple’s Path; A Guide for United Methodist
RESOURCES TO CONNECT WITH THE COMMUNITY:
The Appalachian District Church Vitality Team has been prayerfully seeking ways to help support you and the ministries of your local congregation during this COVID-19 pandemic. Together they have diligently researched and connected with others throughout the conference and our denomination to identify resources and offer them to you. We hope they will be helpful to you and bless you greatly in leading your churches and communities through this unprecedented time. We are very grateful to the District Vitality Team and other contributors for their great work on this resource.
This faithful team has created three documents, two of which you are receiving today. They include:
- Family Home Worship – designed to help families establish a regular worship space within their homes as well as a time where they can worship together.
- Tech Strategies – to help guide you in selecting effective tools and resources within your budget to best communicate in the digital world.
We believe these resources will be of great benefit to you. Also know that the District Vitality Team is available to answer any questions you might have in regards to the documents attached. If you have questions, you may email Rev. Howard Fleming at firstname.lastname@example.org.