UPDATE June 22, 2020
The ACUMC Healthy Church Team (HCT) has advised that the church building will remain closed through Labor Day.
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On May 15, 2020 (amended 5/22/2020), Bishop Lewis released the first document resulting from the work of the Virginia Conference UMC “Return to In-Person Worship Workforce”. Details of the plan for return to in-person Worship can be found at www.vaumc.org/return
The recommendations adhere to the tenets of John Wesley:
DO NO HARM. We value the health and well being of all God’s family
DO GOOD. Submit to spirit-led self discipline so that we may do good for others
STAY IN LOVE WITH GOD. We recognize a long to return to in-person worship, but must strive to stay in love with God during this time of uncertainty.
Virginia Conference UMC churches will follow guidelines set by Bishop Lewis and the Governor of the Commonwealth. The return to in-person worship will be in 4 phases (phases 0, 1, 2, 3), with restrictions based on the regional severity of the viral outbreak. As of May 24, some select churches will begin limited in-person worship (phase 1). ALL NORTHERN VIRGINIA CHURCHES REMAIN IN PHASE 0 (NO IN-PERSON WORSHIP).
For ACUMC this currently means that there is
1) No onsite gathering of more than 10 individuals
2) No in-person Worship
3) No choir practice
4) No VBS
5) No Pre-school or MDO
6) No use of church property by outside groups
We have been advised by Bishop Lewis’ Workforce to begin preparations as follows: Form a Healthy Church Team (HCT) that will plan for reopening Andrew Chapel in a way that is as safe as possible for our congregants. This plan includes issues concerning building use, signage, sanitation and social distancing. ACUMC has formed a team made up of the following members: Pastor, Lay Leader, Head of Church Council, Head of Trustees, Head of SP/PRC, Worship Ministry Team leader, Director of the Chancel Choir and the Pre-School Director. The HCT has already met and will continue meeting throughout the upcoming months. The first meetings have primarily discussed the Bishop’s guidance, Workforce recommendations and the cleaning of the church interior. The HCT will periodically advise the Church Council and all Ministry teams of ongoing efforts during this ever-changing situation.
As we pray to find a way to gather together once again, Bishop Lewis exhorts us to “Embrace the Now, Prepare for the Next!”