Here, you will find important information and updates on Spanish Fort United Methodist and it’s response to the Covid-19 Pandemic. If you have any further questions on this matter, please feel free to call the church office at 251-626-1334.
Covid Task Force Update On Returning to In Person Worship and Meetings – May 2021
Our COVID Task force’s goal continues to be to provide a safe environment for worship and other activities at Spanish Fort UMC, while moving toward returning to “normalcy” and opening doors for members and visitors, as much as possible.
We know that vaccines have been shown to be very protective in preventing severe disease. In our area, vaccines have been made available to all adults and are now available to youth, as well. We encourage all who able to get vaccinated to do so, to protect themselves and to reduce the spread of the virus. The CDC published new guidelines recently indicating that fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks indoors. However, masks are still an effective way to reduce the spread of COVID in unvaccinated individuals.
We ask for continued patience with our staff and COVID team as we adapt to ever-changing information and try to make the best decisions in planning, especially since some events require advanced planning. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the church office at 626-1334 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our New Guidelines
Within our office setting, we do not require mask usage in common areas, however, we will ask that staff and visitors be respectful and wear masks when entering an individual’s office or desk area.
Small Group Meetings (Sunday School, Bible Studies, Etc.)
The following will apply to all meetings on campus:
- All small groups must follow the below “Small Group/Event/Meeting Request” procedures for new meetings and classes on campus.
- In adult small groups, mask usage is optional. Since children and youth have not had the opportunity to be completely vaccinated at this time, we encourage, but do not require, mask usage in these groups.
- Maintain social distancing of 6 feet at all times possible.
- Attendance in groups & meetings will be taken for tracking purposes.
- Food items may be brought in for small gatherings.
- Sanitize hands upon arrival.
Small Group / Event / Meeting Requests
All new groups wanting to meet on campus must follow this procedure:
- Complete an Event/Class/Meeting Request Form (click here for form).
- Return the completed form above to email@example.com AND firstname.lastname@example.org or send to them in to the church office for approval.
- Upon approval, the group leader will be contacted by Faye in the church office.
Sanitization stations will remain placed around campus. They will include, but not be limited to, the following items:
- Attendance sheets for corresponding classes
- Disposable face masks if desired
- Hand sanitizer
- Cleaning spray
- Paper towels
In Person Worship
Beginning on May 30, 2021, we will not require mask use during worship services. We will still encourage mask usage in unvaccinated individuals. We will continue to try to utilize only every other pew, when possible, and ask for spacing between family groups within the pews. Because the scientific evidence shows that the risks for surface transmission of the virus is very low, we will return to passing our attendance binders and offering plates during the services. In person worship services will be at 8:45 a.m. (traditional) and 11:00 a.m. (contemporary).
We still encourage all persons (especially those who are in high-risk categories) to make an informed decision regarding attendance.
We will continue to offer live stream of our 11 a.m. worship service every Sunday and our 8:45 a.m. service on the first Sunday (communion) of each month on Facebook. We will also continue broadcasting our 8:45 a.m. service on 103.3 FM at Noon each Sunday.
We will be practicing the following enhanced health and safety measures:
Masks: Beginning on May 30, 2021, we will not require mask use during worship services. We will still encourage mask usage in unvaccinated individuals.
Symptoms: We ask those experiencing illness or fever, or those recently exposed to COVID-19 to worship from home.
Sanctuary Seating: Ushers will be available to help worshippers find available seating in open pews. Available pews will be designated at each service. Family groups are asked to maintain 6-foot separation.
Worship Practices: Beginning May 30, 2021 we will be passing the offering plates during the 8:45 a.m. service. There will also be offering plates available near each door as you exit to drop your tithes and offerings in as you leave.
In an effort to keep our congregation members safely connected, we are offering a socially distanced option for communion. If you or someone you know is unable to be physically present for worship, you may come by the church office to pick up individually packaged communion elements. These will be available during the week prior to each communion Sunday (typically the first Sunday of each month). Tune in to our Live Stream or Radio Broadcast as you actively participate in the blessing and receiving of Holy Communion from your home. For more details, contact Bonnie Hariel at email@example.com.
Personal Behaviors: We are still asking that all worshippers maintain social distancing at all times and please refrain from handshakes or hugs. Please no eating or drinking in the Sanctuary.
Cleaning Procedures: The sanctuary will be cleaned professionally each week.