Reopening Process

Our Reopening Team has begun its work.  Members of the team are:

SCUMC REOPENING PLAN

PURPOSE:
This plan addresses the safe reopening of SCUMC based on CDC, state, local, and church guidelines.  Our main priority is to do no harm to the congregation through preventing COVID transmission as the church reopens. The Spring Creek United Methodist Church (SCUMC) will be reopened in phases as addressed in this plan.

PHASE I 

(1) CHURCH WORSHIP:

  • Phase 1 begins May 18 and will continue at least through May 31, 2020. Movement from Phase 1 to Phase 2 will be considered at that point based on COVID status, the community and CDC and local directives for Bexar County.
  • There will be no worship activities on SCUMC campus during PHASE I.
  • Sunday services will continue to be streamed on the church website and FACEBOOK for home worship.
  • Small groups, or social bubbles*, are encouraged to gather and worship together on Sundays following the guidelines for meeting in small group.  The attendees should be symptom free, preferably not in a high risk vulnerable group, use recommended hand hygiene, wear face barrier masks, and keep a minimum of six feet between participants.  Touching each other such as shaking hands and hugging are highly discouraged. Forms of non-touch greetings such as “air hugs” or “air high fives” or waves are encouraged and promote group cohesiveness.

*Social Bubbles allow people to meet in a relatively low risk way with a fixed small group of select family and friends.

 

(2) CHURCH FELLOWSHIP AND STUDY:

  • A variety of groups including study, fellowship, and service currently meet using the Zoom app.
  • Small groups of ten or less, called Social Bubbles, are encouraged to meet person to person in home environments.  Those who meet in small groups should be symptom free, preferably not in a high risk vulnerable group, use recommended hand hygiene, wear face barrier masks, and keep a minimum of six feet between participants.  Touching each other such as shaking hands and hugging is highly discouraged. Forms of non-touch greetings such as “air hugs” or “air high fives” or waves are encouraged and promote group cohesiveness.  Group members are encouraged to bring their own chairs and are responsible for cleaning and disinfecting their own chair. Small group leaders are asked to communicate with church leaders on the progress of their Social Bubble group meetings.

 

(3) COMMUNICATION:  Phone calls, SCUMC website, writing cards/letters, Email and/or texting are encouraged as means of communication.

 

PHASE II:
BACKGROUND:  In preparing for Phase II, the Reopening Committee has spent a lot of time researching national, state, and local COVID guidelines, studying local COVID trends, working with other churches, and listening to UMC webinars and videos. The following guidelines have been established based on this research.  Yet, the guidelines are fluid and may change based on the discovery of new information.

INDICATORS FOR REOPENING:  Phase II will be entered based on the recommendations of the Reopening Committee and their review of the following indicators:

  1. A downward trend in new COVID 19 case numbers over 14 consecutive days in Bexar County as reported by the Texas COVID 19 Dashboard. https://txdshs.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/ed483ecd702b4298ab01e8b9cafc8b83
  2. The preparedness of the Spring Creek United Methodist Church to open using the established Phase II guidelines.[1]

GUIDELINES:

CHURCH WORSHIP:

  1. SCUMC will open its doors for one worship service at 10:30a in the sanctuary based on the capacity of the sanctuary (calculated based on available sanctuary space and CDC social distancing guidelines) and ability to maintain safe practices of social distancing, wearing masks, cleaning and disinfecting, and hand hygiene.
  2. The sanctuary will be filled based on social distancing capacity. Overflow may be accommodated in alternative seating areas such as the educational building or outside for remote worship with attention to the same prevention practices as stated above for the sanctuary.
  3. High touch surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected before each service.
  4. When participants arrive, they will check in with the greeter at the door, be offered hand sanitizer, and be offered a mask if they are not wearing one. Instructions for maintaining safety in worship will be posted at this site of entry.
  5. Ushers will escort attendees to the sitting that meets their needs.
  6. No printed materials or pencil/pens will be used.
  7. Although children are welcome to worship with their parents, there will be no children ministries provided during Phase II. The playground will remain closed.
  8. Parents or guardians who bring children are responsible that the children sit with their parents/guardian and obey the social distancing and other safety practice guidelines. Parents or guardians will determine if the child wears a barrier mask.
  9. Youth (middle school and up) will follow the safe practice guidelines of social distancing, wearing a mask, hand hygiene, etc. during worship.
  10. There will be no passing of the peace or other forms of direct contact although waving, eye contact, and other forms of non-touch greetings are encouraged.
  11. There will be no food and/or coffee service.
  12. Masks will be required and worn properly over nose and mouth.
  13. Singing will be limited to the band.
  14. Although singing will be limited, responsive readings may be conducted with participants using quiet voices.
  15. Baptisms will not be conducted during Phase II.
  16. Individually packaged Eucharistic elements will be used for distributing communion.
  17. Ushers will escort attendees out at the conclusion of the service.
  18. Offering boxes will be placed as you exit.
  19. The offering placed in the offering box will be processed no sooner than five days after service.
  20. No outside organizations will be allowed to use the church campus during Phase II.
  21. Restrooms will be available for use but limited to two persons at a time in each restroom. Doors to the restrooms will remain open during the service.

(2) CHURCH FELLOWSHIP AND STUDY:

These will continue as described in Phase I.

(3) COMMUNICATION:  Phone calls, SCUMC website, Email and/or texting are encouraged as means of communication.    Quiet voices may be used to converse when on the church campus.

Blessings,

The Reopening Team

Kim Henke, Ron Hubbard, Patti Grota, Holli Brunsman