Guidelines for Reopening Carolina Conference Churches and Schools
“God will not work a miracle to keep those from sickness who have no care for themselves but are continually violating the laws of health and make no efforts to prevent disease. When we do all we can on our part to have health, then may we expect that the blessed results will follow, and we can ask God in faith to bless our efforts for the preservation of health” (Counsels on Health, p. 59).
Revised on May 13, 2021
The Emergency Response Team has updated our conference guidelines for Carolina churches and schools. Up to this point we have mandated the wearing of masks and 6-foot physical distancing indoors. That mandate has been replaced with following:
Churches and schools of the Carolina Conference are to follow, at a minimum, their state and local ordinances (whichever are more stringent) regarding masks, distancing, gathering capacities, etc.
PLEASE NOTE: Decisions to reduce or remove your local church/school COVID-safety requirements should be made carefully and prayerfully, taking into consideration any health issues or anxieties of your members, as well as the possibility of visitors to your church bringing infection from other areas.
Thank you for carefully leading your churches and schools during this difficult time in which we are living. Soon this will all be over and we'll see Jesus, unmasked, face-to-face, coming in the clouds!
Revised on April 5, 2021
Please note these new guidelines for North Carolina.
Also, while our schools are still required to wear masks, the 6ft social distancing mandate has been reduced to 3ft according to the current CDC recommendations.
January 6, 2020 — no change to the revision below
Revised on June 25, 2020
Due to the new restrictions from the governor of North Carolina, the Carolina Conference has made the following update to its reopening requirements for all churches, companies and groups in both North and South Carolina.
We are now requiring that your church opening plans include:
Mandatory wearing of masks indoors on church property
Mandatory minimum 6 ft. physical distancing, except for families living together
Other than these two requirements, the Carolina Conference recommends that our churches apply federal state and local guidelines for reopening, giving preference to the strictest guidelines, and very carefully taking into consideration your local COVID-19 trending statistics, as well as the risks and ramifications of reopening. Before reopening, churches are asked to email the Carolina Conference their reopening plans. A form has been sent to the pastors for this purpose.
Please contact your pastor for further clarification, as they have been sent an email with the details of these new guidelines.
Revised on May 21, 2020
In light of recent counsel, the Carolina Conference recommends that our churches apply federal state and local guidelines for reopening, giving preference to the strictest guidelines, and very carefully taking into consideration your local COVID-19 trending statistics, as well as the risks and ramifications of reopening. Before reopening, churches are asked to email the Carolina Conference their reopening plans. A form will be sent to the pastors for this purpose.
A la luz de un consejo reciente, la Conferencia de las Carolinas recomienda que nuestras iglesias apliquen pautas federales, estatales y locales para la reapertura, dando preferencia a las pautas más estrictas y teniendo muy en cuenta sus estadísticas de tendencias locales COVID-19, así como los riesgos y ramificaciones de reapertura. Antes de reabrir, se les pide a las iglesias que envíen por correo electrónico a la Conferencia de las Carolinas sus planes de reapertura. Se enviará un formulario a los pastores para este propósito.
Instructions for notifying the Conference of intent to reopen:
Churches, email Gary Moyer, vice-president for administration: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Schools, email Gary Rouse, education superintendent: email@example.com.
Sanitation guidelines for reopening:
Individuals exhibiting ANY symptoms of respiratory illness must stay home.
At least 6 feet of social distancing must be enforced (and seating arranged accordingly if possible).
A person should be designated to sanitize commonly touched items and areas frequently.
Signs should be posted encouraging hand washing and other hygiene practices.
If your church should decide to hold communion services:
STRICT sanitation should be observed in preparing food and other items. Mask and gloves are a must.
Avoid handling and sharing implements, perhaps by placing communion bread and juice on a table and having each person approach, keeping an appropriate distance from each other. Cups can be dropped in a receptacle on the way out.
Foot washing should be suspended, or only observed between those in the same household.
Individuals should CONTINUE TO PRACTICE GOOD HYGIENE:
Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer, especially after touching frequently used items or surfaces.
Avoid touching your face.
Sneeze or cough into a tissue, or the inside of your elbow.
Disinfect frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible.
Strongly consider using face coverings.
Stay home if you are experiencing symptoms of illness.
Individuals age 65 and up.
Individuals with serious underlying health conditions, including high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma, and those whose immune system is compromised such as by chemotherapy for cancer and other conditions requiring such therapy.
ONLINE MINISTRY CONTENT
Roku: Search Carolina Conference
For Children: Kathy’s Kids Storytime, at www.kathyskidsstorytime.org. Available on all podcasting outlets.
For Women: Joy in the Weeds. Available on nearly all podcasting outlets.
For Men: Walking Free. Available on nearly all podcasting outlets.
Camp Meeting: Carolina Conference Camp Meeting. Available on nearly all podcasting outlets.
For Young Adults, we have tons of online spiritual content on Project ReFresh at www.theprojectrefresh.org.