Covenant’s response to covid-19

Following are the guidelines adopted for Sunday Evening Outdoor Services at 7:00 pm.  The Reopening Task Force is meeting and planning for the time when the church can gather indoors.  This will be updated as the guidlines are updated. 

Covenant Reopening: Phase 2

Dear Friends:

      Heeding the urging, recommendations and mandates of our governor and in consideration of the wisdom and data provided by the CDC, EPC, Washoe County Health District and several others, your Covenant Reopening Task Force has formulated this plan for the immediate future of worship at Covenant. It is what we call our Phase 2 Plan, and has been approved by our Elders.

1. We will continue to provide livestream worship on Sunday mornings as we have been doing for the last 11 weeks.

2. In addition, beginning Sunday, June 14th, we will offer a new outdoor worship service in the patio and parking area at the front of our church building from 7:00 to 7:45 on Sunday evenings. This service will provide an opportunity for us to gather as God’s family, sing praise, read Scripture, hear a message (different from the Sunday morning sermon), and pray together in a setting that drastically reduces the risk of catching or spreading the Coronavirus.

3. Inside-the-building public worship will not be resumed yet. Our Reopening Task Force will continue working toward this return to greater normalcy as we prepare and propose a Phase 3 Plan for the near future.

Sunday Evening Worship Safety & Procedures

As we come together on Sunday evenings through the summer, we will practice appropriate safety protocols.

a. People of all ages will maintain the mandated social distancing (6 feet between family groups).

b. We will ask participants to wear masks and refrain from physical contact outside of their family groups. Masks will be provided for those who don’t have one with them.

c. Worship leaders—speakers and singers—will use masks or plexiglass shields for congregational protection.

d. Participants should bring outdoor chairs from home, but chairs will also be available as needed along with sanitizing wipes. Hand sanitizers will also be available.

e. Song sheets and other worship resources will be disposable after one-time use and distributed by gloved greeters.

f. Children will be welcome, but there will be no separate program or care options for them. Children will need to sit with their families during the 45-minute service. Our playground will be closed.

g. Bathrooms will be available for emergency use only.

h. Parking will be available in the lower parking area. Attendants and ushers will be present to direct vehicle and foot traffic.

i. Attendance at the Sunday evening service will be observed and recorded for future notification in the event that anyone there comes down with Covid-19.

j. A box for prayer requests and other offerings will be available near the front doors of the church. No plates will be passed for offerings or for communion.

Personal Hygiene & Care

As responsible and caring members of our Covenant community, we will ask each one of us to help us all stay safe by following these general guidelines.

a. Stay home if you are sick, have a fever or suspect you have been exposed to Covid-19.

b. If you believe yourself to be at special risk, part of a vulnerable population, please consider that the Sunday evening service may not be right for you, and simply continue to worship with us from your home on Sunday mornings.

c. Wash your hands thoroughly before coming to church.

d. Do your best to arrive on Sunday evening with an empty bladder (Bathrooms will be available for emergency use only).

e. Show honor and respect to other Covenant family members who are more cautious, or less cautious, than you in the face of the current pandemic.

Staff & Volunteer Team Training

a. Our staff will review together our Phase 2 Plan making sure each one understands the motivation behind all of our procedures, what is mandated and what is suggested, his/her role in communicating, modeling and implementing the Plan and where to go with questions, concerns or suggestions.

b. Volunteers (Attendants, Greeters, Ushers, Speakers, Singers, etc.) will meet with leaders to be trained in a manner similar to our staff (see above).

Additional Ongoing Resources & Support

      a. Our Director of Young Family Ministries, Kathy Ludwig, will continue to connect with families with her weekly At-Home Children’s Church Lessons and Activities.

      b. Our Youth Director, Justin Luevano, will encourage Youth participation in our Sunday Evening Services as he continues to connect with our young people through Zoom meetings and other special events (observing proper safety guidelines) through the summer.

      c. Livestream worship service broadcasts will continue each week for our entire Covenant Family.

      d. We will continue to publish home Bible study materials for adults, paralleling Sunday morning messages.

      e. Elders and Deacons will continue to reach out to congregation members with monthly phone calls.

      f. Weekly communications will continue to come from our pastor and staff on The Realm and through e-mail.

      g. Covenant Family Members who feel safer in smaller groups and/or desire fellowship with others in smaller numbers will be encouraged and helped to find others with whom they can worship, study and fellowship.

      We believe that this is the right thing for us to do right now. We have sensed God’s guidance as we, a group of people with a variety of perspectives and experiences, conflicting views and differing priorities, have come together around this Plan and commend it to you now with one voice.

      We look forward to seeing many of you again and worshipping with you again—Sunday, June 14th, 7:00-7:45 p.m.—as we fill the air with praise to our God who is worthy, worthy, worthy, and as that same air dissipates our Covid-19 risk.

      Your fellow servants for Christ,

      Pastor Jay & The Covenant Reopening Task Force (Dianne Billharz, Melissa Bullard, Bev Carne, Dan Carne, Cindy Duncan, Denell Hull & Jennifer Oliver)