Covid Re-opening Plan Statement

COVID-19 RE-OPENING PLAN STATEMENT

With careful thought, prayer, and consideration, Red Lion Zion UMC has decided to reopen our church building beginning March 7th, 2021 with one 10 a.m. Traditional service only. Please read on for further updated details. 

In these anxious and uncertain days, as the world deals with the serious implications of COVID-19, we remain the body of Christ, dependent on God’s grace and dependent on each other.

While we are blessed and excited to now be able to once again gather together, we also recognize everything cannot be the same as it once was – many necessary changes have been implemented in order to protect your health and the health of our congregation.

Our current reopening plans as of March 7th, 2021 include the following:

1. Face coverings should be worn by all those attending our church unless prohibited by health reasons; remember that wearing a mask is the governor’s mandate and that masks are mainly intended to protect other people, not the wearer, from coronavirus (COVID-19). If you do not have a mask, we can provide you with one. Please ask a greeter as you enter church.

2. We have roped off alternate pews in order to allow for proper social distancing and ask that you sit only with your household and maintain a six foot distance from others. In order to prevent our sanctuary from getting too crowded, we provide overflow seating in our Fellowship Hall with the service live-streamed on a large screen television.

3. We ask that you do not attend if you have a fever, feel unwell, or have a cough or shortness of breath, other Coronavirus indicators, or have another in your household with symptoms, even if they are mild. It is always better safe than sorry!

4. Hand sanitizer is provided, and we ask that you utilize it upon entering. Please refrain from greeting each other with hugs or handshakes. Air hugs are encouraged!

5. Currently, our choir is not singing in order to protect their health. The Praise Team will lead us in music. Words to hymns are available on screen so that using hymnals is not necessary. 

6. Our church is cleaned/sanitized on a weekly basis after services and all other gatherings.

7. We are not yet having Spiritual Growth Groups or any type of after service fellowship time. These will resume as the situation with the pandemic improves. Small groups will resume at the discretion of the leaders, and sanitizing will take place after each. 
 
8. We are not currently having children’s Sunday school or nursery, as it is difficult to keep children socially distanced, and maintain a sanitized environment with toys, craft items, etc. However, we strongly urge you to still bring your children! We welcome the joy (and even noise) children and their laughter, love and curiosity bring to church. Feel free to utilize the Fellowship Hall if you need to stretch out a bit – the service is livestreamed and there is plenty of space.

9. We strongly urge our members with underlying health issues that make them particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 not to attend and to utilize our virtual or phone options. We love you and want to see you, but please protect your health first and foremost. The time will come when it is safe again!

We continue to monitor COVID-19 developments and the implications for you and our church and strive to provide a safe environment for our church family to gather. Together, as we navigate new ways of being in community, even in a time of isolation and illness, we live in the promise that Jesus is with us always.

We understand there are many opinions and ideas related to COVID-19. For some people, it is still too soon to regather; for others, it is not soon enough. Many are excited to return as soon as our doors open again; others must decide to wait for a period of time before returning. You must choose what is best for the health of you and your family, and whatever you decide is perfectly fine. We will support you, care for you, and wish to continue to help you grow in Jesus Christ in any way we can. We will continue to provide video recordings of our Sunday sermons and weekly devotionals from Ron Pelletier on our website as well as the sermon hotline.

If you have any questions or concerns, or need support, or other accommodations during this difficult time, please reach out to Pastor John 717-319-8317, Judy, our Staff/Parish Relations, 717-515-2155, or Patty Greer, our Admin Chair, 410-299-3802. Prayer requests may be made to the pastor or church office at 717-244-2585 or churchoffice@redlionzionumc.org.