First Third Ministry COVID Aware In-Person Guidance for Fall 2021

Dear Children, Youth and Young Adult Ministry Leaders,

Moving into the fall, the First Third Ministry Regional Council staff are sharing some suggestions and guidance for you as you enter into in-person ministry with children, youth, and families in your community of faith. Balancing mission, pastoral care and duty of care can often be difficult, especially with the fourth wave of COVID-19 now in full swing, and flu season on the horizon. We hope these resources can be helpful to your ministry.

NOTE: This comprehensive guide “First Third Ministry In-Person Guidance for Fall 2021” (click for PDF)Prepared by the Chinook Winds Pacific Mountain Regional Councils First Third Ministry Staff will help you prepare for the CYF ministry programs you may offer.

The Basics                                                                                    

  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Wear a mask
  • Wash your hands
  • Sanitize high use/high touch areas

These basic recommendations can greatly reduce the likelihood of transmission. It’s STRONGLY recommended that masks be worn in indoor/in-person ministry activities for children, youth, and young adults, as well as ministry leaders. Remember, that while being double vaccinated reduces the ricks of transmission and drastically reduces the likelihood of severe disease, masking can continue to prevent the spread. You can require masks be worn indoors for your ministry programs.

Mindful Use of Space

  • Consider having your CYF ministry programs outdoors as much as possible
  • If you have multiple entrances to your buildings, make use of them to help maintain distance between people
  • Cleaning protocols should remain in place, specifically the sanitation of shared spaces and high touch areas (washrooms, light-switches, etc.)

While it’s antithetical to our view of Family, Children, Youth and Young Adult Ministry, having separate worship spaces for the unvaccinated (many under 12) and the vulnerable (our community elders) will be necessary to prevent the spread of COVID in our communities.

Other Considerations
We recommend

  • No collective snacks
  • Continuing hybrid and virtual worship when possible, and find ways to include children and families in virtual worship services

We hope that you find this basic guide useful. The situation with COVID-19 remains dynamic, and I greatly admired how our Communities of Faith have adapted to this new reality. Thank you for your continued faithfulness and vigilance.

Kind regards,

Chris Mah Poy

First Third Ministry Coordinator

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