Phase 2 Guidelines for Small Groups and Meetings

Bishop Tracy Malone and the Extended Cabinet has recommended that churches can consider moving into Phase 2 of reopening. During this phase, small groups, committees and office functions may begin to resume. Recommendations are that small groups consist of 10 persons or less. During this phase, no outside groups will be permitted to meet in the building yet. Worship will remain exclusively online at this time.
Based on these recommendations, the Task Force for Phased Reopening at CUMC have set forth the following guidelines for committee meetings and small group gatherings. All those who choose to meet during Phase 2 must comply with these guidelines. We anticipate beginning this phase on July 1st, 2020.

Protocols and Procedures for Small Groups and Committee Meetings:

1. Leaders must contact the church office at least one week prior to meeting for the first time. If it is to be a weekly meeting, they may let the office know at that time, and they will not need to notify the office again. We are trying to limit meetings to no more than one per day to allow the room to rest and the air to recirculate before the next group uses the space.
2. All persons attending a meeting or small group gathering must wear a face mask. There is a supply of face masks on the Narthex table – please take one if you don’t have one. Do not return used face masks.
3. All gatherings will take place in Fellowship Hall. The Courtyard Room does not have sufficient space to accommodate the needed social distancing procedures. On nice days, groups may also choose to meet in the pavilion. It is asked that social distancing protocols be followed and that masks are worn, even if meetings take place outside.
4. During gatherings, a minimum of 6 feet radius must be maintained between participants at all times. The space will be set up in advance to accommodate this protocol.
5. Upon arrival, use hand sanitizer. Upon conclusion of the gathering, the group is responsible for disinfecting after the meeting. Cleaning and disinfecting products will be supplied. A cleaning protocol will be clearly posted in the room.
6. It is the responsibility of the group leader to ensure that these guidelines are followed.
7. No food or drinks will be served during the meetings. Participants are asked to provide their own personal snacks or water to ensure that nothing is shared.
8. Anyone who is in a high-risk category is strongly encouraged to stay home.
9. Anyone who is not feeling well should stay home. Please stay home if you experience any of the following symptoms: cough, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat.
10. To mitigate the effects of wearing a mask for those with allergies, please refrain from wearing perfumes
or colognes when in the building.

We thank you for your cooperation. We are excited to move forward in careful steps as we work toward being able to gather in person for worship once more. We will keep you updated on any future developments as soon as further recommendations are provided from our Bishop’s Office. Take courage, and stay safe and healthy.

Grace and peace,
Pastor Mar Bruner and the Task Force for Phased Reopening of Columbia United Methodist Church