Updated Monday, August 31
For at least the next year, we anticipate our lives to be shaped by a timeline set by COVID-19. Are we waiting for a vaccine or an effective treatment or successful ways of avoiding this virus? We don’t know. That’s much of our uncertainty. We face difficult choices between conflicting needs and imperatives. If anything, we will exercise as much caution as possible, because we do not want to encourage the most vulnerable among us to choose between keeping themselves and others safe and participating in congregational life.
PHASE ONE: began Monday, June 1, 2020
- Online-only worship through at least Sunday, September 27. Most parts of worship are recorded earlier in the week with the sermon presented live at 8:45 and 10 am. This date may be extended as necessary.
- Small groups, youth and children’s ministry will continue to meet primarily online. Some groups are offering small, in-person gatherings. To connect with these groups, parents of children can contact Karen Klekner at email@example.com, and parents or youth can contact Sami Tierney at firstname.lastname@example.org. Adults should contact Kami Pohl at email@example.com for help joining a group, for Bible study or online connection to others.
- Weddings and funerals will be kept to less than 10 in attendance (immediate family only).
- Face masks are required to be worn while in the building.
- In-person office functions are as limited as possible to ensure essential operations. Hard surfaces will be regularly sanitized. Staff will continue to work and meet remotely.
- All groups, including ministry teams, of 10 or fewer may request to meet in the building. One group at a time will be permitted to meet in the building. Groups must agree to observe gathering limits and physical distancing protocols, as outlined in the Messiah Care Covenant (coming soon).
- All group meetings of 10 or fewer must be scheduled in advance with Phil Weiler, Director of Operations, at (612) 750-4847 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- All groups are required to sanitize their meeting area before and after their meeting. Cleaning supplies and instructions will be provided by Messiah Church.
- Names and contact information for every person meeting onsite must be provided to Phil Weiler, Director of Operations, immediately following each meeting in case a COVID-19 exposure notification is needed. All information will remain confidential.
- No food or drink may be brought into the building.
- The church kitchen is closed to everyone except Bloom Early Learning & Child Care.
- One person at a time in the public restrooms. Those waiting to enter must allow 6’ of distance while waiting in the hallway.
- Drinking fountains are closed.
- High risk individuals (people over 65 and those with underlying conditions), including visitors, staff or volunteers, should continue to shelter in place.
- Whenever possible, please stay home.
What You Can Do
- Pray for those who are affected by this virus – those who are ill, the medical professionals treating them, the scientists working on vaccines and cures, those with mental health concerns, and the leaders making tough decisions to try and curb the spread of the virus and keep us safe, as well as those who are feeling lonely at this time – please reach out to anyone you think might be feeling isolated.
- Educate yourself about the Coronavirus from credible and reliable sources, such as from the Center for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, the Minnesota Department of Health. Know the symptoms and have a plan for what you would do if you or a family member were to become sick.
- Check on your friends and neighbors. If you know someone who may not have internet access, give them a call and share this information. Continue to reach out and care for one another through phone calls, emails and social media.
- Take care of you. Uncertainty and confusion can have a harmful effect on your mental health. Click here for an article from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention giving you five ways to take care of your mental health in the face of uncertainty.
- Consider ways you can bless the medical professionals with acts of kindness and notes of appreciation.
- Remember this is temporary. Our church continues to serve our congregation and community. Continue to be a part of the ministry – the need for the support you give to this community and around the world continues despite the pandemic. Watch your email for opportunities to serve individually or in smaller groups. Please continue your financial support of the work of the church.
You can help prevent the spread of the virus
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Wear a mask when you are out in public, especially when social distancing isn’t possible.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough/sneeze with a tissue (or into your elbow), then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the restroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.