Guidelines and Suggestions for Reopening Church Activities, May 2020
Gov. Abbott has issued a 64-page “Open Texas” order effective May 1, which ends the current “stay at home” Covid-19 orders. It supersedes any local government’s orders. There is a three-page checklist in this document that outlines the guidelines for the reopening of houses of worship. The guidelines below for reopening Scofield Church on Sunday, May 3 for worship are based on the Governor’s specific orders for houses of worship. We anticipate further directives coming later in May.
- We will continue to monitor and follow as best we can the guidelines established by our governmental officials.
- Our primary concerns are (1) Continuing on with the Worship of God and the mission of Christ and (2) Doing so in the safest possible way relative to gathering for ministry purposes. (3) Staying mindful of everyone’s health and monitoring what is necessary to minimize the possibility of virus infection.
- We will practice “non-contact” greeting and self-enforce a six-foot social distancing requirement.
- Worship Seating: we will comply with the six-foot social distancing requirement and arrange the chairs in our worship center to allow for seating in every third chair, every other row. EXCEPTION: those of the same household or those coming to worship together can sit adjacent.
- In addition, we will create a “Family Section” on the north side of the worship center with tables in every other row to allow families with younger children to sit together and have a place to “write” and “work.” A children’s sermon will be incorporated into the worship service, with appropriate materials for younger children.
- Nursery, and Children and Youth Sunday School will not be possible at this time due to social distancing. Families with kids are invited to take advantage of the Family Section seating in the Worship Center.
- Second-hour adult classes and groups can continue to meet online. Alternatively, they can meet in the facility, but social distancing will be required in all gathering and seating. Pastor Daniel can advise.
- The youth ministry will continue to meet on zoom at 11:15 Sundays.
- At-risk populations (those 65 or older, especially those with underlying conditions) are (not required but) strongly encouraged to stay at home and participate in the service online. We will continue to broadcast our services live through our church website.
- Anyone who feels sick or is exhibiting symptoms should stay home and view the livestream. Anyone who has had direct contact with a coronavirus victim should stay at home until medically cleared.
- All staff and volunteers who are serving the congregation will be screened and must be symptom-free to attend and serve.
- Those who attend worship and other Scofield activities are welcome to wear protective masks if they wish to do so.
- Bathroom usage will continue. Sanitizing wipes will be available for use in the restrooms for counters, sinks, door handles, etc.
- Extra hand sanitizer stations will be available.
- We will take care to sanitize door handles and countertops and minimize in other ways the opportunity for the virus to spread in common areas.
- Coffee service, food and meals will be suspended for a season.
- Deeper cleaning will continue after all gatherings.
- Weather permitting, the main doors will remain propped open for ingress and egress to avoid having to touch door handles, doors, etc.
- The giving boxes for donations are available for use.
- Those preparing communion or anything else passed to members will do so with masks and gloves.
- The communion elements will be set out in the aisles in the worship center and each person can serve himself/herself.
- Prayer Meeting will reopen on May 6 in the amphitheater, using the same social distancing protocols (every third seat, every other row). The prayer meeting will not be live-streamed. The Youth ministry will meet in the Family Room. (7:00 PM Wednesdays).
- The Church Office will reopen the first week of May.
Note: We have not received any report of anyone in our school or church family who has been infected with the coronavirus to date.