Lodi UMC Safety Protocols for In-Person Activities
In this time of pandemic, our guiding principles have always been:
CONNECTION, COMPASSION, and CAUTION.
Guidelines for Lodi United Methodist Church In-person Gatherings
updated on March 12, 2021
(Pastor Peace also issued a special message here on this day)
The purpose of this guideline is to create a safe environment where in-person activity participants, mostly Sunday worship attendees, can feel a deeper connection with their brothers/sisters of faith, and with God, in a sacred place.
We reopen our church building safely and faithfully.
Our guidelines reflect our understanding of two major respiratory virus transmission pathways: contact (direct or indirect, through droplets, between people and with contaminated surfaces) and airborne inhalation for hours in a closed room.
We also acknowledge that the covid-19 vaccine has been given to 75% of the seniors ages 65+ in our community as of March 12.
Beyond any practical principles, grounded is our belief in what we, as one body of Christ, ought to do. We covenant to love as Jesus has loved. In the post-pandemic world, this means we put the safety of others ahead of our personal preferences and honor the most vulnerable.
our Sunday services continue to be livestreamed online at www.facebook.com/LodiUMC at 8 and 10AM (no sign-in needed. Simply click the link.) Both services are open for you to attend in person, with these protocols below that put priority on the safety of the elderly and of those at higher risk:
Before you come to the church building,
• please make sure your answers are ALL “NO” to these screening questions:
– Within the past 48 hours, have you been sick and been experiencing at least one of the following symptoms: shortness of breath, cough, loss of taste or smell?
– Within the past 48 hours, have you been in close contact (6 feet or closer for a cumulative total of 15 minutes) with someone who showed at least two of the following symptoms: fever or chills, muscle aches, headache, nasal congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting?
– Within the past 14 days, have you been in close contact (6 feet or closer for a cumulative total of 15 minutes) with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 or experience any symptoms consistent with Covid-19?
– Are you currently waiting on the results of a Covid-19 test?
• If your answer to one of those screening question is “YES”, please worship online with us.
• Let’s continue to stay connected, as we have been, through other means of church communication and gatherings. Make sure that you receive our email communications on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. If you don’t receive them, please consider signing up here. You may join Wonderful Wednesday Meal and Program (joining from your car for simple games in the parking lot from 4:00 to 4:30, and free meal pick-up at our curbside staring at 4:30pm).
While you are in the church building
You feel comfortable attending in-person worship, and we hope that your worship experience in the church building is found to be safe and meaningful. As we gather for worship, let’s do so in a covenant of Christian love.
1. All doors will be open prior to and after worship service, and if weather permits, will remain open during the service to maximize air flow.
1-1. Due to cold weather, doors of the building may keep closed during the service, but for optimizing air ventilation, uv light tubes is installed and running in the air central system. With the system, air in the Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall is being exchanged 5 times per hour. In addition, one unit of air purifier will be running in the front area where worship leaders and pastor speak.
2. Upon your entrance into the church building, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.
3. We expect you to wear a face covering. If you need a mask, you may pick up a mask in the entrance area. Pastor wears a clear face covering to keep his droplets stay on his face side of the face covering.
4. Pick up a copy of the worship bulletin for yourself. It has lyrics, scripture passages, and information that will help you engage in worship more actively. Bibles, pew cushions, hymnals, and the other materials kept in the pews are already removed, for the time being.
5. Your attendance will be noted so that you can be informed of necessary updates.
6. Please sit where a sign is marked in the pew. Seats are marked for singles, doubles, and families. We measured a six-feet distance to ensure that everyone keeps a safe and comfortable distance.
7. We won’t keep you from singing, thus wearing a face mask is important for all.
8. Please place your offering in a plate in the front altar area or by the sanctuary door.
9. If contact with a surface is necessary, i.e., restroom doors, please use the sanitizing products nearby.
10. If you are in a role of serving during our worship, please follow the additional guidelines communicated to you via email and posted in your serving location.
11. After the 8AM service, disinfecting procedure will be applied with the spraying of a safe disinfectant registered on the EPA List N for use against Covid-19.
12. As of March 14, the Fellowship Hall is open between the two services. Less than two families will take one table to keep a safe distance. Older adults who have completed vaccination are given priority.
After you come to church
• If you become ill during the week, please call the church office immediately. Your information will be kept strictly confidential.
Our commitment to church cleanliness and sanitation is stronger than ever. These procedures are currently in place.
• Cleaning and disinfecting of the pews, doorknobs, light switches, handles and restrooms, will be performed on a weekly basis.
• Hand sanitizer stations will be located outside the sanctuary and restrooms for your convenience.
• Areas not to be used will be blocked.
• If you need to use the nursery room, please contact the church office first.
• When you plan to hold a meeting in the church building, please contact the office at 592-3480. We need to make sure the meeting space is available. We strongly encourage you to use the available cleaning kits (gloves, paper towels and disinfectant) prior to and after your meetings.
If you have any questions regarding these guidelines, please contact Pastor Peace at 592-3480 or email at email@example.com