Woodlawn Chapel Presbyterian Church
A Congregational Plan to be the Church and the Body of Christ during Covid-19
While sheltering at home during this unprecedented time we hold images of Woodlawn members united and celebrating the pandemic’s end. We hope for a sanctuary full of laughter and greetings mixed with the comfort of worship. Yet, we know, the return to in-person ministry must be gradual and carefully planned.
We know that for the foreseeable future COVID-19 will dictate our visions and reality. The Session has developed the following plan consisting of a set of Good Faith Conditions and defined stages to guide our re-entry. We will move through these stages based on guidance from national, state and local sources as well as the specific needs of the Woodlawn congregation.
The following “Good Faith Conditions” will be used as the Session evaluates each stage. Click here to view a chart of these stages: Chart
Good Faith Conditions:
1. High risk individuals (people over 60 and those with underlying health conditions) should feel comfortable and be supported to shelter at home during all stages.
2. Social distancing and use of face masks will be required whenever at church to protect all. Additionally, all attendees will monitor their own wellness, never attending if symptomatic or if they have knowingly been exposed to anyone with symptoms or who has tested positive for COVID-19. Best hygiene practices should always be followed, including no-touch greetings, collection of offering and distribution of communion elements as well as the suspension of group singing and any/all practices that increase touch or the spread of potentially infectious respiratory droplets.
3. The building will be cleaned regularly and between user groups with special attention to high-touch surfaces. Proper supplies will be available for those who are involved in the cleaning. Hand sanitizer and masks (for individuals that forget theirs) will be available once services resume. Bathroom and kitchen procedures will be clearly defined and posted. Session approval is required for all building use.
4. Fluidity between these stages will be essential and be based upon full communication between members, Session, and our county per current reality and the well-being of all.
5. The criteria for moving between stages will include: Declining case counts, availability of testing, contact tracing, vaccine, and data and recommendations from government agencies regarding gatherings.
6. In each stage, the church’s ministry will continue. As outlined in the Book of Order, the Session leads the church’s witness. worship, outreach, pastoral care and Christian education will continue as outlined in the defined stages listed below.
7. This is a living document that will be updated as new information is learned and new ideas are shared.
As this congregation begins to resume public activities, please know that we present these stages based upon careful discussion and discernment, with an abundance of caution and concern for all, and especially for those who are most vulnerable. We will continue to make decisions based upon the best scientific knowledge at our disposal, in the spirit of constant prayer, and with full trust in the grace of Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit.