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Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors
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Re-Opening Protocols

Updated March 25, 2021

We are excited to be able to look towards a gradual expansion of activities at CHUMC, due to the increasing distribution of the COVID-19 vaccination. While we are pleased to return, we also must remind ourselves the pandemic has not yet passed and we must continue to be vigilant in the measures we take to provide for one another’s safety. 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 Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Texas Department of State Health Services and developed the following procedures with an eye toward loving our neighbors by providing for worship and, now, a plan for expanded activities in a safe manner.

Office

Starting Monday, March 29, the office will be open from 8 am to 1 pm Monday through Friday. Office hours will expand further as our office managers are able to receive their vaccinations and surpass 21 days beyond their final COVID-19 vaccination.

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 has also returned to our Fellowship Hall as of February 1 and is sequestered in that room. The Reopening Team will be meeting soon to determine if/when it will be safe to host the Project Transformation summer program.

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 members of CHUMC adult Sunday School classes and small groups which meet any day of the week, including choir, who have been vaccinated and have surpassed 21 days since their final COVID-19 vaccination may resume meeting at their previous times and spaces. We will require, out of an abundance of caution, that those attending continue to wear their masks over their face and nose and socially distance at least three feet apart. It will be each small group leader’s responsibility to confirm the vaccination status of their group members and report to the pastor for final approval before they resume meeting. As further members are confirmed to be 21 days past their final COVID-19 vaccination, they too can join their groups after their group leader confirms with the pastor and receives approval. 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 Reopening Team previously determined that the Hand Bell choir could safely meet with masks and social distancing on Wednesdays in the Choir Room. The choir will be meeting in the sanctuary for practice on Wednesdays so the Hand Bell Choir may continue to meet in the choir room.

While youth and children are not permitted to be vaccinated at this time, the Reopening Team has 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 21 days from their final COVID-19 vaccination. 

The procedures for participating in in-person worship are as follows:

Entry into and exit out of the church

  1. Participants and attendees will enter from the parking lot through the South entry under the blue awning only. All other doors will be locked.
  2. Face masks will be required for all participants and attendees entering the CHUMC campus. Disposable face masks and 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Once the entrant is wearing a mask and their temperature is checked, they will be sent down the main hallway to the sanctuary. An usher will be available to assist you in finding a seat if needed.
  6. 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. 
  7. 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.
  8. 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. 
  9. Hand sanitizer will be available at the entry and exit as well in each restroom.
  10. Receptacles for disposal of used facemasks and hand sanitizers will be placed at the exits. 
  11. Everyone will exit through the main entrance which we also enter through. We will no longer exit through the Fellowship Hall since Project Transformation will be using that space the next day. 
  12. As groups dismiss to go to worship, no one will be permitted to congregate and socialize in the hallways. You will need to go directly from the room your group meets in to find your seat in the sanctuary for worship or exit the building. 

Worship

The nursery will be permitted to reopen only after our nursery workers have surpassed 21 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 our for adult Sunday School, Small Groups, and Other Ministry Groups as laid out above. The one exception is that when worship ends, the ushers will dismiss those in attendance row-by-row and everyone will be asked to immediately exit the building without congregating or socializing indoors.

Worship Procedures
  1. While the choir director and others will lead in worship, we will not be singing congregationally, due to the risks shown by current research of group singing in an enclosed space. When measures are in place that provide for singing safely, we will once again sing together in worship.
  2. Likewise, the Chancel Choir will not be singing together until they meet the vaccination requirements for adult Sunday Schools, small groups, and other ministry groups as mentioned above.
  3. The children will remain in their seats during children’s time.
  4. For the time being, congregants will not be invited to kneel at the altar during the community prayer.
  5. 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. 
  6. 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.

Miscellaneous

  1. We ask that congregants do not gather inside the building. Once you are escorted to your seat, you will be expected to remain in your assigned seat until your row is dismissed following worship, unless you need to go to the restroom. If you wish to visit with one another, please do so after exiting the building and while remaining socially distanced. 
  2. The donut station, coffee station, water fountain, ice maker, and kitchen will remain closed.
  3. Chilled, bottled water will be on hand in case it is urgently needed.
  4. The Fellowship Hall will remain closed.
  5. All other areas of the building will remain closed during worship at this time.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 it takes for the vaccine to be fully effective.

We thank you for your understanding and cooperation as we return to worship. 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.

Music Ministry

EPHESIANS 3:18

I wish above all things that you may know how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ for you.