Updated: August 1, 2022
Below is an update of COVID protocols for University UMC East Lansing.
University UMC will continue to consult and be guided by best practices of the science of the Covid-19 Virus, CDC and Local County Health Department Guidelines, as well as Michigan State University Guidelines and any guidelines from the Michigan Conference of The United Methodist Church. Protocols are updated as needed, and then communicated to the congregation in a timely manner.
The safety and well-being of everyone in our faith community is the number one guiding principle and we will do all we can to help stop the spread.
The Director of Children and Youth Ministries has the authority to modify the protocol as needed for children and youth programming.
Decision Making and Communication of Updates
University UMC has a small task group which includes a person with current medical expertise, as well as the lead pastor and several key staff members who meet as needed to review and update the COVID protocols. This task group then makes recommendations on the protocols to the Policy Governance Board for final approval. The information is then communicated to the congregation as a whole. Questions about the protocols can be made to the lead pastor, to be shared with the task group.
Mask Wearing Indoors is Recommended
University UMC recommends face masks be worn by everyone inside the building. The church will provide one if you need it. The face mask is meant to protect others if you are sick. You could spread Covid-19 to others even if you don’t feel sick.
During Sunday morning worship services for those in person, all pews on the main floor will be available for seating. Social distancing is encouraged.
Mask Wearing Outside the Building is Optional
University UMC recommends that wearing a facemask outdoors is optional.
Coffee, Coffee Hour, and Coffee During Worship is Offered
University UMC values hospitality and during warmer weather provides coffee and refreshments outside in the garden following the summer worship service. During the school year, coffee will be offered before the 9:30 traditional service and coffee and cookies offered in between the traditional service and the 11 a.m. REACH (Band led) service. Feel free to bring coffee into the sanctuary with you, but please keep your mask on and only remove it to drink a sip of your coffee. Please deposit used coffee cups in the trash bins provided outside of the sanctuary doors
Everyone who comes into the building is asked to sign in on the clip board at the entrance to the parking lot. Signing in both on Sundays and during the week helps us in the event that we need to contract trace due to a COVID exposure and will act as a record of attendance since we no longer keep those in the pews.
For everyone’s safety we have regular, enhanced cleaning of common surfaces and pews and hand sanitizer and wipes available at various stations around the building.
COVID-19 Protection and Care
In accordance with federal https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/gatherings.html#:~:text=Attending%20a%20large%20gathering%20or,after%20your%20last%20close%20contact;
state https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/resources/orders-and-directives/lists/executive-directives-content/gatherings-and-face-mask-order-6 ;
and local Michigan State University (MSU) https://msu.edu/together-we-will/directives.html#:~:text=Effective%20May%2016%2C%202022%2C%20MSU,owned%20or%20governed%20by%20MSU
guidance on the protection from COVID-19 for large gatherings, the COVID Task Force of the University United Methodist Church (UUMC) in collaboration with the Michigan Conference of the United Methodist Church is outlining the following policy for members and guests participating in worship and other church related/sponsored events.
Several members of our body of believers have chronic health conditions. We also know that many carriers of the virus may not know they are infectious. Because we are a caring community and recognize these facts, we highly recommend the wearing of masks in indoor worship and situations in which large numbers of people congregate in closed spaces within the building such as the sanctuary and classroom areas. During fellowship time in the Memorial Garden or in the parking lot, masks may be removed, and social distancing observed.
Because the guidance related to the COVID-19 virus and public safety concerns is a dynamic situation, the policy will be updated at regular intervals AND when/if surges in infection rates warrant updates.
Should individuals begin to have symptoms (fever or chills; cough; shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; fatigue; muscle or body aches; headache; new loss of taste or smell; sore throat; congestion or runny nose; nausea or vomiting; diarrhea), become ill and test positive for COVID-19, we recommend following CDC guidelines (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html#) for isolation and quarantine prior to returning to in person church functions.
This policy is reviewed/approved by the University UMC COVID Task Force and the University UMC Policy Governance Board and will be distributed to church members and guests via morning worship slides, website links, the Tower Alert newsletter, and other church communications. Our goal is to keep you informed and protect the health and safety of our church community.
At University United Methodist Church, we affirm that as disciples of Jesus Christ, we are an open and inclusive congregation and welcome all persons into full participation regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic situation, age, ability, education, background and whether single or partnered.