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Expectations, Discernment and Guidelines from the PMRC Executive Minister, in reopening United Church communities of faith buildings and ministries

Friends,

COVID-19 is far from over. While our physical distancing has flattened the curve, there are still infections and even deaths occurring. Those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19 are in the majority in our congregations, and as such, we need to approach our return to in-person worship with caution. Dr Henry, our chief medical officer, has given us the opportunity for small gatherings, but has reminded us that we have a significant duty of care, and advocates that we do not take unnecessary risks. We are a people of faith, and like the disciples, we are called to trust that God is leading us as we make decisions about how to gather as the Body of Christ.

In this document: PMRC Reopening Churches During COVID-19 Discernment and Guidelines (PDF), you will find both concrete steps for safety and health, as well as critical questions to help you consider what ministry in the next phase of COVID-19 will look like. Thanks to Kathy Davies and Tressa Brotsky for their work on this project. We will continue to update this document as new information becomes available. Presently, I am seeking further clarification on the topic of singing safely.

In the words of Bishop Karen P. Oliveto of the United Methodist Church: “I do not want one single case of COVID-19 traced to one of our churches because we did not care for those whom Jesus loves.”

As always, your Regional Council staff are available for consultation and support.

Blessings,

Treena Duncan, Executive Minister