The Hopkins UMC Ad-Board met on July 13 to discuss our worship plan for the rest of the summer. We considered the most recent updates on COVID-19 (numbers and safety recommendations) as well as our location options, capabilities of sanitation and distancing, the risk of our congregants, and the comfort level of those we had heard from. The decision is at follows (summary at the bottom):
Our default option will be to worship with South Monterey UMC outside at Common Ground at 10am. Worship at Common Ground has been going well so far, people have been willing and able to keep social distance and wear masks. We feel that it is safe to be in-person, in this way, as things stand right now with the virus. We will be revisiting this decision at our monthly Ad-Board meetings (or sooner if there is a drastic change with the virus). If we can continue outside safely, we hope to do so until the weather turns in the Fall.
As Common Ground does not offer enough coverage for everyone to be under the pavilion and to maintain social distance we need a bad weather location.
At present, we do not feel as if we have the resources and staff availability to keep the church buildings properly sanitized to worship inside, as well as we decided it is worth the higher risk of being inside together when we have another option in zoom. These decisions are particularly affected by the new rise in cases in our county and the big cities nearest to us being deemed Hot Spots. We have maintained our subscription to zoom and we have seen that that does work for a large majority of the congregation, especially with the call invitation features. So, Zoom will be our rain location.
In the case of bad weather, we will have worship on Zoom at 10am. We hope to make the call on whether or not we will be outside or on zoom by Wednesday the week before so that we can mail out bulletins to everyone. That means we will be making the best decision we can with the information at hand. This may also mean that we might have to make a more last minute call if the forecast suddenly changes. Rule of thumb: if it is raining Sunday morning, we will be online.
If we make the call for weather to be on Zoom, we will send the information out numerous ways: flocknote, email blast, the Facebook page, and for some by the phone tree. Let us know if you need to be added to the phone tree, as you do not receive the internet-based communications. You can always call Pastor Kelsey (248-613-0366) to double check where worship will be if you are unsure.
We were also concerned about those we may be leaving out by choosing to have morning worship in-person and outside. So, we also decided to try something new!
Every week that we are outside, we will also have an evening Zoom service starting at 7pm. Fellowship time will be before starting at 6:30pm. This service will share recorded video of the music and sermon, but will be a live service led by Pastor Kelsey besides that.
Plan A (Good weather)
10am – Worship at Common Ground
6:30pm – Online Fellowship (Zoom)
7pm – Zoom Worship
Plan B (Bad weather)
10am – Zoom Worship for everyone
After service – Fellowship time