COVID-19 AND OUR CONGREGATION
The safety of our members, staff, friends, and our broader community are of the utmost importance to us. Our plan for maintaining church operations and re-opening our building reflects God's call to support and nurture the common good in this time of great vulnerability. Remember – church is not about the building, but about how we, as a community, live out our faith values.
SPIRIT OF SANCTUARY
For such a time as this, our ministry is to provide safe space for the most vulnerable in the midst of the COVID-19 public health crisis. As such, we ask everyone using the Goshen City Church of the Brethren building to adhere to the following protocols in order to maintain safety and sanctuary.
SAFETY PROTOCOLS AND PRACTICES
Updated as of March 20, 2022
WHEN MASKS ARE REQUIRED
Everyone (ages 3+) must wear a face mask during Sunday morning worship services and when sharing common spaces during the week when children and vulnerable individuals are present.
SIT WHEREVER YOU LIKE IN THE SANCTUARY
You may sit wherever you like in the available pews. We encourage you to respect physical distancing between family units.
WHEN MASKS ARE OPTIONAL
Masks are optional for Sunday School, fellowship time, and other church functions. If interacting with someone wearing a mask, please be respectful of spacing – and consider it an invitation to put your mask on.
STAY HOME IF YOU
Do not enter if you are feeling unwell (COVID or otherwise) or have exposed to someone with COVID. If you are diagnosed with COVID and have been inside the building, contact the church office immediately.
Our Leadership Team has implemented a five-phased re-opening plan, based on the benchmarks listed below and other pertinent guidelines and mandates. Be aware that this plan may be modified at any time, due to the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We currently are in Phase 4.
We currently are in Phase 4.
Worship held online only (i.e. benchmarks are not met, or the benchmarks are met but the congregation is not yet comfortable having onsite worship)
Online worship continues, but some small groups and pastoral visits may meet outside of the church building (i.e. partial benchmarks are met or all benchmarks are met but the congregation is not yet comfortable having onsite worship)
In-building worship resumes with physical distancing and cleaning protocols in place (i.e. all benchmarks are met, but the pandemic is still very real and presents a threat to public health)
Worship held onsite, with moderation of protocols in accordance with CDC guidelines (i.e. pandemic numbers are much improved, but no widespread vaccination is available)
We are currently in Phase 2.
Worship held onsite without need for safety protocols (i.e. everything is back to "normal" with certain qualifications that are yet to be determined)
To maintain Goshen City Church of the Brethren's mission of being an inclusive body, we will not consider holding onsite activities and worship (indoors and/or outdoors) until the following benchmarks are met.
Increases in COVID-19 cases cease to continue in our community.
The percentage of new positive cases in our region is at or less than 10% of those tested in any given week.
It is discerned that vulnerable populations can safely re-enter public spaces.
Our COVID Response Team is monitoring these benchmarks and is in regular consultation with our congregation's Leadership Team.
BENCHMARKS FOR RESUMING ONSITE ACTIVITIES
A TIME FOR GRACE & GRATITUDE
The changing nature of the pandemic and its effects on our daily lives has made the work of caring for our church and community – and the planning for our anticipated return onsite – extremely challenging. We are grateful for the hard work of our COVID Response Team and Leadership Team, and the various ways each of our church members are supporting them and one another. Thank you for continuing to build up and nurture the Body of Christ.