Montrose United Methodist

Reopening During Corona Virus

MONTROSE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

WELCOMING AND REOPENING A SAFE ENVIRONMENT DURING CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

With cases of Coronavirus, aka COVID-19, on a downward trend, and in correlation with the governor’s blessing to reopen spaces with safe protocol in place, we are looking forward to reopening the church building in a number of phases. We have and will continue to take necessary steps to protect the congregation as well as groups who gather in our facility, from this and other potential contagious illnesses (e.g. the flu). Our goal is to make sure everyone has confidence in the safety of our worship and that concerns over contagious illnesses do not impede people participating in the important and sacred act of worship.

The Montrose United Methodist Church staff, with the help from our Annual Conference and other United Methodist Conferences have been working on a plan for re-opening our building. This plan is guided by John Wesley’s Three Simple Rules, which provides a message and methodology of how to approach our strategic and compassionate plan to care for our congregation and community through COVID-19. Wesley’s rules have been placed within a stoplight framework to guide us as we move through a graduated 3-Level reentry process from red to yellow to green status in an intentional and careful model of care and mutual accountability. This plan is flexible. As we learn new information, this plan may shift and change. 

Light Status and Gathering Phases will be determined and put into effect at the discretion of the pastor in consultation with appropriate parties, such as the Montrose County Department of Health, CDC advisories, and other appropriate medical professionals.

Level 3: Red Light Status: Stop all non-critical gatherings. Essential workers only. This is the "Stay in Love with God" and stay home phase of our ministry. Right now it is best to err on the side of distancing even as we have received new guidelines from the Colorado Governor’s Office.
 
Level 2: Yellow Light Status: Cautionary Return. We anticipate this will cover a number of months. As the Coloradans and Montrose County residence and the people of Montrose United Methodist Church, we want to “Do Good” as restrictions are lifted. This means a gradual return to gatherings and doing so in a cautionary manner.
 
Level 1: Green Light Status: When we finally reach the “Do No Harm” phase—it will be because the virus is contained and our people are safe. Permission will be granted to all our study groups, youth gatherings, council meetings and Sunday morning worshiping community to return to full activity and other mass gatherings will be permitted. This will be in place only as church leadership is confident in the care of their community of faith and in following our Governor and Mountain Sky Conference guidelines. (Green lighting for all activities will likely be guided by testing protocol for asymptomatic COVID-19 carriers, antibody testing, therapeutic drug therapies aggressively caring for those who have contracted COVID-19, and approval and availability of a COVID-19 vaccine.)


The United Methodist Church recognizes returning to full participation will be based on the oversight of the Office of the Bishop, Crisis Response Team, state and national guidelines, as well as the seasonal movement of the virus. It is our expectation pastoral and laity will read through this document together allowing it to guide the response of our local faith community.

We are currently in Red Light Status and Gathering Phase 1

Gathering Phase 1 will be effective May 12 and remain in effect until more information is given by the Governor and County Health Department to is determine safe distancing and gathering practices.

PROTOCAL FOR ALL GATHERING PHASES

With health and safety being out top priority for all persons, the church has put the following in place for gatherings associated with and held at the Montrose United Methodist Church.

 

For all in person gatherings the following are encouraged no matter the size:

  1. Hand sanitizer station at all entrances and exits
  2. Disinfecting surfaces before and after each use
  3. Handwashing whenever desired.
  4. Masks may be worn at each person’s own discretion/desire.

 

Our gatherings in person will progress in size and below are some examples of groups and assumes there is safe spacing for all – 6 feet minimum between people/family groups. (The number of people “allowed” is less important than the space allotted between households.)

Some gatherings may need different physical space than originally was being used. So we will order things accordingly.

Red Light Status

GATHERING PHASE 1

Gatherings of no more than 10 persons – Gatherings in smaller spaces may be allowed, as long as adequate space is available. Examples of these groups may be: Small committees, junior high OR high school gatherings, women’s groups, book groups, band practice, Bible studies, Emmaus reunion groups, small singing ensembles etc.

If and when virtual gathering options are available, they will be utilized and encouraged. When it is not possible, these groups may meet in the physical building.

Yellow Light Status

GATHERING PHASE 2

Gatherings of no more than 25 persons – Gatherings that were taking place in rooms such as Room 1 and 2 may need space in Park Avenue Hall or Baldridge in order to ensure adequate space. Examples of these groups may be: Youth group, AA groups, NA groups, UMW circles, UMW Executive Board, Bible studies, Play practices, Committee meetings etc.

With the number of groups needing/desiring to use the space, adequate time to allow for one group to leave, time for cleaning and another group to come in will be scheduled between all groups. For instance, if Park Avenue is used for a one-hour meeting at 2 p.m. and finishing by 3 p.m., the next group in that space will not be scheduled till a start time of 4 p.m. or 5 p.m. depending on custodial availability.

Yellow Light Status

GATHERING PHASE 3

Gatherings of no more than 50 persons – Gatherings will have to take place in the Sanctuary or Baldrige Hall only as they have adequate spacing for this size group. Examples of these groups may be: Archeology, Play rehearsals, UMW circles etc.

Yellow Light Status

GATHERING PHASE 4

Gatherings of no more than 100 persons – Gatherings of this magnitude will max out our current large spaces provided. With a minimum of six feet between households, we easily will max out the Sanctuary or Baldridge Hall with only about 65 people. With this in mind, we anticipate this may be the largest we can gather for a time. Examples of these groups may be: Chapel size/time Worship services on Sundays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. (4 or 5, 30 minute services with 30 minutes between each), Weekday lunch gatherings in two or three seating times: 11:30, 12 and 12:30 a possibility with a cap of 25 people per seating?

Green Light Status

GATHERING PHASE 5

Gatherings of no more than 250 – Gatherings of this size may not be possible in our current building space for quite some time, due to the space needed between households. There is a possibility that with current distancing guidelines we will not be back to this phase for the better part of the year. Examples of these groups may be: All three Sunday Worship services, no more than 45 minutes, adding more time between services for cleaning and moving about the building.

MORE TIME and INFORMATION is needed for some of our bigger gatherings: VBS, Community Events etc., as well as children’s gatherings because of the lack of ability and space for safe distancing.

If in person gatherings of less than 25 persons CAN take place virtually, we will continue to meet virtually, in order to help limit the need for sanitization and cleaning.

 

When we are able to worship together in the Sanctuary the following guidelines will be protocol:

Door Greeters/Ushers

• Greeters will welcome and invite all to use hand sanitizer from stations.

• Encourage people to spread out and take space in pew.

  • Disinfect handles and interior push bars regularly.

• Avoid shaking or touching hands. Greet with head nods, smiles and hands over heart.

• Wash hands before and after greeting.

• East side greeters, disinfect bathroom door handles and push plates.

  • Main entrance greeters will disinfect the tops of pews between services.

• Suspension of the passing of Attendance Pads and Offering plates. Attendance will be taken via cell phones when possible and/or by one person writing in Attendance Pads at entrances. (Great way to meet and lean names) Disinfect vinyl portion of attendance pads before and after service.

  • Offering baskets will be in 2 or 3 places in the sanctuary. Congregants will be made aware of their location when greeted and encouraged to place offering in baskets before and after worship (or when they stand to pass the peace of Christ). No plates or baskets will be passed during worship.

 

Communion

• Individual disposable cups of juice will be handed by attendants with gloves to congregants. No common cup.

• Bread will be handed to congregants by attendants with gloves to congregants; they will not select their own.

• After receiving communion from the pastor, all helpers sanitize their hands before serving others.

Worship (All congregants)

• Handwashing before service will be highly encouraged!

• Greeting with handshakes or any other hand touching (e.g. high fives) will be discouraged.

• Pastor will greet after the service but not shake hands.

• We will make people aware of our livestreaming and online giving options.

DISINFECTION PROCEDURES

Disinfecting surfaces and hands is only effective if done properly:

• Hand sanitizer is effective against cold, flu, and COVID-19 if used correctly. The hands should be completely covered and wet with sanitizer including between the fingers and under rings to at least the wrist. The person disinfecting their hands should rub all surfaces vigorously until dry.

• Hands should be washed regularly with soap and water. Wet the hands, apply enough soap for a generous lather, scrub all surfaces of the hand, including between fingers, palms, back of hand, and under rings, to at least the wrist for no less than 20 seconds. Rinse with warm water while still rubbing and keeping the hands below the wrists. Turn water off with a paper towel, do not touch the faucet with clean hands.

• Surfaces should be wiped down with either an approved disposable wipe (Clorox or equivalent approved by staff), approved cleanser provided by staff in a spray bottle, or bleach water. Surface should be visibly damp after wiping and allowed to air dry whenever possible. If using a reusable cloth to disinfect, these should be replaced frequently and the cleanser should be sprayed directly on the surface and then spread with the cloth whenever practical to avoid moving germs from one surface

 

 

Responce During Corona Virus (March 2020)

Dear Church Family and Friends, 

At the recommendation of the Bishop Karen Oliveto, we will suspend our in-person worship beginning this Sunday, March 15th. This decision was made after much prayer, concern and consideration of the rapidly changing health situation in our country. 

Below are links to our online worship and online giving on our website. (You do not have to have a facebook account to watch!) For now, I need you to do three things: 

1. Call someone in the congregation you know does not receive/have an email address and let them know that worship has been postponed in person. Possibly ask to help them if they have a computer and you know how, to set up a bookmark with our online worship. 

Link to our facebook page (you don't have to have an account to watch!): WORSHIP AT 8:15 AM

Worship online via live stream at 8:15 or watch it later. Step by step instructions: 

1. Click the above link 

2. When you see our brick sign from outside, scroll your mouse down to see the live feed (or the video later) of worship. 

3. Make sure your computer volume is turned on and up.

4. You may also need to click on the video for it to begin playing. 

5. Hover over the screen and the buttons for volume and screen size will appear. You may need to turn the volume on the video on or up and enlarge the video if you'd like. 

If the video pauses or stops, you may try to refresh your page. 

(We are going old school and new school. OLD: call your circles, committees, friends. NEW: online worship) 

2. Grant those around you in stores, restaurants and out and about the community some grace, we are all operating under a little stress and under new circumstances. The peace of Christ is passed by our loving words and actions. 

3. Send your prayer requests to: montroseumcprayers@gmail.com or text them to 970-765-0557. Pray for those who are in need as well as make calls to people in our community you know are isolated and may need an extra hand because they can't get out and about. 

You are blessed to be a blessing my friends. More information in the days to come. 

Link to our online giving: ONLINE GIVING LINK 

You are all in my prayers. Please reach out with any questions or concerns. 

We love each one of you and want you all to be safe and well. Jesus knows our hearts and desires, and calls us to care for ourselves and one another. Be well my friends.

I look forward to being in your living rooms, in your kitchens and online with you tomorrow morning.

 

Pastor Lisa

Office Hours:
Monday: 9:00am-5:00pm
Tuesday 9:00am-5:00pm
Wednesday 9:00am-5:00pm
Thursday: 9:00am-5:00pm
Friday: Closed
19 S. Park Ave., Montrose, CO 81401
P: (970) 249-3716
United Methodist Welcoming Congregation