Creekwood UMC Campus re-opening Plan
A phased approach at returning to in-person worship and ministry that honors safety, experience, and all the best lessons we’ve learned in the past 4 months.
- Create the safest environment to continue reducing the negative consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic in the North Collin County area.
- Create the most hospitable environment possible that re-introduces people to public spaces without fear and re-invigorates them towards the inclusive vision of Christ’s Kingdom.
- Create a worship experience that provides the most meaningful experience for in-person and online worshipers.
Phase 1 – June 7-July 4
- Continue joining together in live-streamed, online worship, alternating styles each week at 9:45 am.
- Individuals or families with similar risk tolerance may choose to worship together in their own homes, but with this guidance from the county and public health officials:If you show signs of illness, do not host or accept an invitation.
- Limit the number to 10 or 15 people.
- Design your environment to be lower risk. Utilize outdoor patio space.
- Space out seating options.
- Open doors and windows to provide the maximum amount of fresh air.
- Maintain this time as a time of worship. Enjoy social time before or after.
- Encourage each other to register your attendance online and stay engaged with the comment feed on Facebook for more helpful links from church staff and connection with other worshipers.
Small Groups and Ministry Areas
- Through their staff liaison, small groups and ministry areas may reserve larger or outdoor spaces at the church (Ex: Room 110, 106/107, and the Sanctuary) during the week. Space must be reserved at this time and reservations will be made on a first-come, first-serve basis. Rooms may be utilized at 25% capacity.
- Small group members are to wear masks while indoors. Per the City of Allen, if masks are not worn and a small group participant is later tested positive for Covid-19, the whole group will be asked to not return to the building for 14 days. If masks are worn, no quarantine will be necessary.
- When outside, participants do not have to wear masks but should maintain distancing.
- Small groups should work with church staff to set-up chairs in a physically distanced arrangement.
- Child care will be available to small groups on an RSVP basis only.
- No groups will meet during this time on Sunday mornings.Adult groups that choose not to meet during the week at the church building or someone’s home are encouraged to utilize Zoom or another virtual meeting tool.
- Family Ministry areas will continue to offer meaningful experiences and relationship building through online tools, as well as occasional in-person experiences.
- Outside groups will be able to utilize the building and outside spaces provided they follow the same guidelines and reserve the space.
- Outside groups should immediately report confirmed cases of Covid-19 to the church staff.
- The entire church is invited to participate in the “Family Ministry Summer Mission” by signing up online for a project and receiving further instructions from Rev. Katrina Smith.
- “Food Trucks for Feeding Allen” will continue to collect money and food for Allen Community Outreach.
- The Mission Team will continue to plan for and support our core mission partners through online communion offerings and existing mission funds.
- The church office will re-open to normal business hours (8:30 am-4:30 pm) on Monday, June 15. Hand sanitizer will be available upon entering and exiting.
- Masks are required of all guests in the office.
- A small number of masks will be kept at the front desk for those who do not have one.
- Each staff member will be responsible for cleaning “as they go,” with custodial staff providing deeper cleaning 3 times a week.
- Any staff person uncomfortable with coming to the office will be allowed to work from home, provided they continue to perform up to expectations.
- Team and committee meetings may return to “on-campus” provided there is an option for online participation.
- Room 110 will be outfitted with technology that allows for absent team members to be present through online/Zoom tools.
Phase 2 – Starting July 12
- Worship will resume a normal schedule of 8:30 am Traditional Worship and 11:00 am Contemporary Worship. All persons who consider themselves “at-risk” are encouraged to worship fully online and no one at all should be shamed for not attending “in-person.” Every effort will be made to provide a meaningful worship experience for those “in-person” and online. Both services will be held in-person and live-streamed.
- Attendance will be limited to 25% of sanctuary capacity, which is around 125 people for each worship service. Spaces may be reserved through an online reservation system and chair set-up will be adjusted accordingly.Overflow seating will be available in Room 110 for those who walk-up without an RSVP on Sunday morning.
- Room 110 will be set at 25%, which is approximately 35-40 persons.
- Family members or those RSVP’ing together will be permitted to sit next to each other. All others will be seated according to proper physical distancing guidelines.
- Child-care will not be available on Sunday morning at this time.
- Children will not come forward for Children’s Time, but Children’s Time leader will make every effort to make sure they are involved.
- Children’s activities will be provided. Materials will be “take-home” or “throw-away” and traditional binders will not be used.
- Congregational Dismissal will be done by groups following the Benediction or Postlude and instructions will be given for which door you should exit out of so as to avoid close congregating in the smaller lobby area. Handshakes and skin to skin contact are discouraged. If you do, please wash your hands.
- The choir will currently not meet in full. Solos up to Quartets may take place in worship.
- Communion, when applicable, will be given in pre-packaged containers upon entry. Trash cans will be placed at exits for worshippers to throw away at the end of service.
- CDC, State, and County Precautions:Donuts and Coffee will not be served. Worshippers are welcome to bring their own coffee cup as long as it has a lid.
- Face masks will be mandatory at all times.
- Hand sanitizer will be available at every doorway and worshippers must sanitize their hands upon entry and exit.
- Staff and volunteers will have their temperature scanned with a thermal scanner before entering the building. Laypersons will be asked to be scanned.
- Any person over 65+ with a temperature of over 99.5 degrees will be asked to go home. Any person under 65 with a temperature of 100.0 degrees or more will be asked to go home.
- We will not have printed bulletins. Song lyrics and responsive readings will be on the screen only. Hymnals will also not be available.
- Ushers will not pass offering plates. Collection plates or boxes will be present at each exit and worshippers may place offerings in collection plates upon entry, exit, or at the appointed offering time, ensuring to keep proper boundaries. We will not have “Greeting Time” formally.
- Online giving through the Shelby NEXT app or Creekwood website will be available.
- The drinking fountain will be off-limits for the time being.
Small Groups and Ministry Areas
- All Children’s and CSM Zoom groups will continue similar to Phase 1, only at 9:45 am.
- In-person Children’s Sunday School and CSM groups will not currently be held on Sunday mornings during Phase 2.
- With SALT and Children’s Team approval and reservation of space, CSM and Children’s Ministries may hold properly distanced small groups and events on campus, outside on the property, or in local public spaces. All gathered groups should make every effort to provide an online option that is possible for new persons or existing group members concerned about health situations.
- Adult small groups will not meet on campus on Sunday mornings during Phase 2. Groups should continue to meet during Zoom, either at 9:45 am or finding a time that works for their group. Adult small groups may meet in the building during the week, following the guidelines and procedures outlined in Phase 1.
- Adults may choose to meet in each other’s homes or local public spaces to worship online together, fellowship, or study. We celebrate this, but urge responsible guidelines be followed.
- When a group meets in person, every effort should be made to include group members or new persons not able to join due to health concerns with an online option.
- Outside groups should abide by the same procedures and guidelines as in Phase 1.
- Teams and Committees may resume in-person meetings. Online options of participation should be made available for those unable to or uncomfortable with attending in person. Childcare will only be available with advanced RSVP.
Phase 3 – 50% Capacity Limited Attendance
In collaboration with local data, we will continuously evaluate the health risks facing our congregation. As risks dissipate, we will move in a phased approach back towards normal, full-participation attendance keeping an eye on local data and congregational sentiment. Modifications and additions in Phase 3 and onward may be flexible depending on the current status of our community.
- Increase capacity to around 50% capacity, or around 250 persons by resetting complete rows and eliminating the open space between worshippers to the left and the right. An empty row space should be left in front of and behind each row. Room 110 can be reset into complete rows, with a gap in front of and behind each row for overflow seating if necessary.
- RSVP system will be updated to reflect the change in the allowable amount of persons.
- Pre-K child care will be offered during worship for those 5 and under, but Pre-K staff will use discernment as to which children should be in which room. Children in the same family will be in the same room regardless of age.
- It is likely we will only utilize two rooms per service so that children from the 11:00 are not entering into the room used by the 8:30 children.
- The rooms will be thoroughly cleaned after use.
- Small Groups and Ministry Area Modifications
- Explorer’s Sunday School and CSM may begin meeting in-person on Sunday mornings providing as much distance and ventilation as possible. Classes should be limited to 45 minutes so as to discourage big crowds during transitions.
- Every attempt should be made to provide an online option for those still not able to join in person. If this cannot be achieved than a secondary discipleship opportunity should be offered via Zoom or other outlets.
- Adult small groups may begin meeting in-person on Sunday mornings providing as much distancing and ventilation as possible.Classes should be limited to 45 minutes so as to discourage big crowds during transitions.
- Groups should provide an online option if possible to connect those new persons or existing group members who are unable or uncomfortable meeting in person.
- Groups that primarily attend Traditional Worship will be encouraged to exit out of specific doors at the close of their group time, with proper attention paid to those who are less physically mobile.
- Small groups may continue to meet during the week, following guidelines from Phase 1.
- Group mission opportunities may resume, as guided by our mission partners.
- Group mission opportunities may resume at the church campus, provided guidelines pertaining to masks and distancing are followed.
Phase 4 :: 75% Limited Attendance
Only necessary if we see a strain on available worship seating, local health data is maintaining or improving, and Covid-19 is still a concern. If a vaccination is found or cases drop significantly, we will not need this phase.
- Reset the Worship Center to seat 75% of capacity, or around 375 maintaining some amount of distance normal than “standard,” prioritizing distance in front of and behind worshippers.
- The RSVP system will not be needed unless we hit a traditionally high day OR worship attendance consistently challenges the 75% limit and Covid-19 is still a concern.
- Children’s Time will return to “upfront” on the stage.
- The choir may resume practice and participation at a 50% attendance rate.
- Child-care will return to a normal “open” and fully staffed status.
- Precaution will be maintained or loosened based upon available information.
Phase 5 :: Fully Open/No Limitations
- The choir may resume at 100% attendance and participation.
- Donuts and coffee will be offered again.
- Live-stream will continue in perpetuity.
- Offering, communion, and other worship practices may return to pre-COVID practices.
- Children’s Binders may return to pre-COVID practices.
Small Groups and Ministry Area Modifications
- Classes may return to a one-hour length of time.