Updated May 20, 2021
We are excited to announce changes to our CHUMC Reopening Protocols in light of new recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. These changes are going to require all of us to embrace the honor code as it pertains to each person’s vaccination status as we seek to love each other and all our neighbors as ourselves. Failure to do so could result in not only the spread of COVID-19 among the members of CHUMC but also the community. Please read this in its entirety so you will know what to expect and what is expected of you.
The Reopening Team, appointed by the Church Council of CHUMC, committed to studying much of the research concerning the Coronavirus as well the recommendations of the CDC and the Texas Department of State Health Services and developed the following revised procedures with an eye toward loving our neighbors by providing for worship and, now, a plan for expanded activities in a safe manner.
As of May 10, 2021, all office staff are vaccinated and beyond two weeks from their final vaccination dose. The office has returned to our regular hours of 8:00 am to noon on Mondays and 8:00 am to noon and 1:00 to 4:00 pm Tuesday through Friday. Masks are optional for all staff and persons entering the building if they are fully vaccinated and beyond two weeks from their final dose.
Partner Organizations and Other Outside Groups
The German International School of Dallas is back in session. We have relocated the furniture and supplies for the Ancient of Days room and the nursery temporarily to the North Wing of the campus so GISD will be entirely sequestered in the South wing of the campus until we are notified herd immunity to the COVID-19 virus has been achieved.
Project Transformation’s After School program previously returned to our Fellowship Hall as of February 1 and was sequestered in that room. The Reopening Team determined the Summer program may use expanded facilities in the building for the Summer Camp commencing June 2, with the knowledge that all PT staff and participants will wear masks and the normal cap for total enrollment will be half of what it usually is.
The German church group led by Kurt Maerschel is going to maintain an online presence going forward and will not need any space at this time.
No other outside groups will be permitted to use the CHUMC campus until we are notified that we have reached herd immunity to the COVID-19 virus.
Sunday School, Small Groups, Ministry Groups
The Reopening Team has decided that Sunday School classes and other small groups will be allowed to meet in full. Masks are optional for those who are fully vaccinated and are two weeks beyond their final dose. However, those who are not fully vaccinated or are not two weeks beyond their final dose are asked to wear masks and maintain the recommended social distancing. Should you choose to not be vaccinated, you will be required to wear a mask until further notice.We will not require documented proof of vaccination because we trust that as members of CHUMC, the United Methodist Church, and the Church universal, in covenant with God and one another, that everyone will be honest and will love their neighbor so that they will not risk the well being of their fellow members and the community.
The CHUMC Choir and Handbell Choir will operate under the same provisions as small groups as stated above.
While children under age 12 are not permitted to be vaccinated at this time, the Reopening Team had previously decided that, due to their lower vulnerability to the virus, they may also return to Sunday School and other gatherings with masks and social distancing once all vulnerable adult volunteers are vaccinated and have surpassed two weeks from their final COVID-19 vaccination. Masks will be optional for fully vaccinated adults once they are two weeks beyond their final dose.
The same applies to youth ages 12-18 with the caveat that as youth are fully vaccinated and have surpassed two weeks from their final COVID-19 vaccination, masks will be optional for them as well.
The procedures for entering and exiting the CHUMC campus are as follows:
Entry into and exit out of the church
- Participants and attendees will enter from the parking lot through the South entry under the blue awning only. All other doors will be locked.
- Face masks will be optional for those who are fully vaccinated and two weeks beyond their final dose. Face masks will still be required for those who are not yet fully vaccinated or are less than two weeks beyond their final dose. Those who choose not to be vaccinated will be required to wear a mask until further notice. A limited supply of cloth face masks will be available at the door. The CDC is now recommending double masking as an added measure to prevent spread of COVID-19 should you elect to use this measure.
- An usher will meet each household at the door to be sure you have a face mask and take your temperature with a contactless thermometer.
- Inasmuch as it will take time to process each person’s entry into the building, we ask that everyone maintain an orderly line with the recommended social distancing observed.
- Once the entrant is wearing a mask, if required, and their temperature is checked, they will be sent down the main hallway to the sanctuary. Available rows will be marked so as to provide social distancing while in worship. Small household groups will be seated on each end of every other row in the sanctuary. If you have someone who is not of the same household who you normally ride to church with, you may be seated as a household.
- Should you arrive early enough, you will be able to choose which end of which row you will occupy. Otherwise, an usher will assign you a seat. The number of occupants on each available row will be limited so as to provide for social distancing.
- Two or three people may be seated on the end of every available row. If a group of four or more is seated on one end, the other end of that row shall remain vacant.
- Hand sanitizer will be available at the entry and exit as well in each restroom.
- Receptacles for disposal of used facemasks and hand sanitizers will be placed at the exits.
- Everyone will exit through the main entrance which we also enter through. We will not exit through the Fellowship Hall since Project Transformation will be using that space the next day.
- As groups dismiss to go to worship, you will no longer be asked to exit the building to gather and visit. However, we ask that those who are not vaccinated or are not two weeks beyond the final dose maintain social distancing for the safety of themselves and other non-vaccinated individuals.
The nursery will be permitted to reopen only after our nursery workers have surpassed 14 days beyond their final COVID-19 vaccination. As we move towards gathering together again, all Ministry Safe requirements will be in full force.
The procedures for participating in in-person worship are as follows:
Entry into and exit out of the church
The entry procedures will be the same as the procedures laid out for adult Sunday School, Small Groups, and Other Ministry Groups as laid out above.
- Masks will be optional in the sanctuary for those who are fully vaccinated and are two weeks beyond their final dose. Those who are not fully vaccinated or not two weeks beyond their final dose are required to wear masks. Those who choose not to be vaccinated will be required to wear masks until further notice.
- Any worship leader, pastor, staff member, children’s time leader, choir member, or other individual speaking or singing in worship that has been fully vaccinated and is two weeks beyond their final dose, will be able to do so without their mask. Those who are not fully vaccinated or not two weeks beyond their final dose are required to wear masks. Those who choose not to be vaccinated will be required to wear masks until further notice.
- We will once again join together in congregational singing, though we ask anyone who is not fully vaccinated and two weeks beyond their final dose and those choosing not to be vaccinated exercise great care in their singing at this time.
- The children will remain in their seats during children’s time.
- For the time being, congregants will not be invited to kneel at the altar during the community prayer.
- The offering will be received by congregants placing their offerings in a box at the back of the sanctuary when they arrive or as they depart rather than passing plates.
- Holy Communion will be received on the designated Sundays using prepackaged elements that will be distributed as congregants arrive. We will still share in the Invitation to the Table, Confession, and the Great Thanksgiving. Congregants will then partake of the elements while remaining in their assigned seats. Each person will dispose of their empty packets which contained the prepackaged elements in the receptacle at the exit where disposable masks are disposed.
- The donut station, coffee station, water fountain, ice maker, and kitchen will remain closed.
- Chilled, bottled water will be on hand in case it is urgently needed.
- The Fellowship Hall will remain closed.
- All other areas of the building will remain closed during worship at this time.
- The restrooms at the end of the main hallway will be for your use, limited to a single occupant at a time. We will not use the Fellowship Hall restrooms since they will be needed by Project Transformation the following day.
- We ask that anyone over the age of 65 and/or has a pre-existing condition that places them in a high risk category, carefully consider if they should return to worship at this time. If you have received your double dose of the vaccine please keep in mind the guidelines for how long it takes for the vaccine to be fully effective.
We thank you for your understanding and cooperation as we slowly return to normal. Please note that the failure to comply by these procedures or the spread of COVID-19 among our congregants could lead to CHUMC having to close down once again or to those individuals who choose not to comply being asked to join us online for worship. We understand the current pandemic has created significant disruption to every facet of our lives and we share in your desire to return to normal as we worship. While that is not possible at this time, we are thankful we are able to worship together once again as we take further steps back toward normal.
May God be with you until we meet again.