COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Response Policy
Being mindful that our congregation is made up of a diversity of people which includes those who are older and those with weakened immunity systems, the Council has decided that we should have a planned response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
Rev. Williamson in consultation with best practice standards set by the United Church of Christ as well as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and has come up with this response policy that was approved by the Church Council.
Current standing: STAGE 2
Stage 0 No active threat in the region
Provide hand sanitizer in Narthex and Soap and Water in the bathroom
Encourage people to wash their hands with hot water, scrubbing them while singing the Doxology or saying the Lord’s Prayer before rinsing,
Ask all who enter the building to remember basic hygiene including washing your hands before and after a meal, going to the bathroom, touching another person.
Encourage those not feeling well to not participate in group activities
Advocate for the health and wellbeing of all people
Pastoral prayers and pastoral care as appropriate to those who are in need of support
Encouraging fist bump, elbow bump, and hand waves when passing the peace and greeting others
Stage 1 No confirmed case in Tennessee or North Georgia
Continue measures in Stage 0
Remove the toys in the nursery and children’s area for cleaning
Request parents bring their own toys to children’s time
Close Mercy Junction
Those who are running a fever, short of breath, or a dry cough should seek medical attention and stay away from community events.
Stage 2 Confirmed case in Tennessee or North Georgia
Continue measures in stages 0-1
Serve communion in individually wrapped containers to be picked up at the altar.
Passing the Peace (verbal response only)
Open roped off pews.
Offering plate will be placed in the back of the sanctuary. During the offering, those who are able are encouraged to walk their offering to the plate. On communion Sunday the offering plate will be moved to the altar. Your offering can be placed in the plate when you pick up your prepackaged communion. The offering plate will also be available in the Narthex before and after service. The treasurers will be provided with disposable gloves for counting the money
We will no longer serve food and coffee during coffee hour. Individuals are encouraged to come and enjoy the fellowship by bringing their own drink, cup, and snack from home.
Visitors will be asked to text their information instead of filling out a visitor card
Prayer request will not be written and placed in the offering basket. Instead, prayer request will be done verbally and repeated from the microphone at the pulpit.
Notify the groups that use our building of our COVID-19 (Coronavirus) policy.
Live stream worship on Facebook and YouTube for those who are unable or uncomfortable with attending in person. Sermon available through email by request.
Project the worship bulletin and announcements as an alternative to paper bulletin for those who wish to avoid them.
Staff limit work at building to essential work and do the rest from home.
Limit pastoral care to the sick and elderly to the telephone unless it is an emergency. Emergency will be defined by the comfort level of the pastor and the person requesting pastoral care.
Develop a plan to help local schools with food for students whose only meal is served at school
Develop a plan to help college students who may have to leave campus with nowhere to go.
Stage 3 widespread cases in Tennessee / North Georgia or confirmed case from within our congregation.
Continue measures 0-2
Cancel worship and move all worship to Facebook live.
Encourage offerings to be made online or mailed in to the church.
Cancel all public events at church building
Limit all pastoral care to the telephone unless it is an emergency. Emergency will be defined by the comfort level of the pastor and the person requesting pastoral care.
Staff work from home