Article 3 of the UCC Constitution states “As members of the Body of Christ, each expression of the Church is called to honor and respect the work and ministry of each other part. Each expression of the Church listens, hears, and carefully considers the advice, counsel, and requests of others. In this covenant, the various expressions of the United Church of Christ seek to walk together in all God’s ways.
It is in that Spirit, that I offer this information to guide the prayerful consideration of congregations as we care not only for ourselves but for the vulnerable in our congregations, our neighbors and our communities.
Some questions for discussion:
- How has COVID-19 changed your understanding of what it means to “gather”?
- What have we learned about worshiping together online; what do we like; what do we miss most?
- As we think about returning to our buildings, what do we look forward to?
- Is what we look forward to still realistic in the age of COVID-19?
- When we return to our buildings what will have to change?
- For some, worship has been more accessible since it has been online; how will we continue to welcome and include those whose health requires that they worship online only and those who simply prefer the online experience?
- How will we nurture a common experience of community?
- What about our pastor? What if many, even most the congregation wants to return to in person worship, but our pastor doesn’t feel it is safe, has a compromised immune system, or lives with someone who has a compromised immune system? How will we together come to consensus on a way forward?
Below is a list of resources; by no means an exhaustive list. If you need something not covered in the information below, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Reopening Plans for Churches
Church Staff, Volunteers, Congregation
A source congregation may wish to use as they consider resuming in person gatherings. “Covid Act Now has crucial, real-time modeling and metrics to help America reopen safely. See how your community is doing at covidactnow.org.