Dear Church Family,
We hope you and your families are well. Although the building is closed, our church is open in spirit, and we know many of you would like to be able to meet again in person in a safe manner. The Health and Wellness Team (HWT) wanted to let you know what we have been working on (virtually) the past few months:
• Preschool Plan: We successfully approved a plan sent to the District Superintendent to reopen the preschool in person in a safe manner. Andrew Chapel Preschool is one of the few that has been able to open in the area, and the parents are truly thankful.
• Cleaning Protocol: We assisted in developing a cleaning protocol that meets both the church’s needs and the Virginia Department of Social Services criteria for allowing the preschool to open.
• Survey: We conducted a survey of the membership to determine members’ thoughts about returning to in person worship. Summary results will be shared soon with the membership.
• Boy Scouts: We reviewed and approved the guidelines for the Boy Scout troop to host meetings off-site.
• In Person Communion Guidelines: Most recently, we have been assisting the Worship Ministry Team in drafting guidelines to allow the church to have in person communion in an outdoor venue, which have been approved by the District Superintendent.
• Hybrid Ministry: We have discussed the idea of a Hybrid Ministry to meet the needs of our church members in a safe and effective way. While we may not be able to share in worship in person in the sanctuary, we believe there are ways in which we can fellowship together safely. We have developed a template plan for small groups to be able to meet together in an outdoor space; this plan has now been approved by the District Superintendent and is attached. The next step would be for groups within the church to use the template, and the example provided, as a guide in establishing their meeting criteria. Any such in-person meetings under the proposed criteria would need to be approved by Pastor Matt (but not by the District Superintendent) as long as the criteria track those in the attached. We hope that many small groups within the church, including Sunday School classes, the youth group, etc., in addition to members who are not part of an established group but would like to be, will use this guide to set up in person, outdoor meetings while the weather is still temperate. We believe this will afford a safe way to fellowship together in a safe manner until we can all be together again.
Please know that we are working hard to make this work, and that we are all in this together. We look forward to seeing proposals from small groups who would like to take advantage of the opportunity to meet together and encourage you to seek advice and/or ask questions, as we are happy to help. Peace be with you and your families during this time. – The HWT