NC SYNOD RE-GATHERING RECOMMENDATIONS
Approved by Synod Council, September 11, 2020
Grounded in our vision and core values, the North Carolina Synod Council makes the following recommendations for the congregations of the NC Synod:
- We recommend refraining from in-person gatherings of more than 25 people indoors and 50 outdoors until the NC governor moves us into Phase Three.
- We recommend children or youth events of no more than 25 people,outdoors, physically-distanced, and with face coverings.
- We recommend developing in-person gathering protocols and an implementation plan in writing prior to gathering, especially around distribution of communion.
- We recommend beginning to celebrate Holy Communion with appropriate protocols, following the physically-distanced 25 indoors and 50 outdoor recommendations of Phase 2.5.
- We continue to recommend no singing or chanting.
- We continue to recommend no fellowship meals, coffee hours, or other such events that make physical distancing difficult.
View the full 9/11/20 Re-Gathering Recommendations here.
Review the 5/30/20 Re-Gathering document here.
CHECKLISTS & BEST PRACTICES FOR CONSIDERATION
Stronger Church Action Against COVID-19: A Letter to ELCA Bishops from Dr. Erica Bjornstad, Chair of SE Synod’s Re-Gathering Task Force
Dear Bishops and leaders of the ELCA,
As a member of an ELCA congregation, I am heartened by the ELCA’s stand and willingness to forgo in person church services to prevent the spread of COVID-19. I am an epidemiologist and physician in Birmingham, AL and see every day the toll this disease is taking on our communities. Unfortunately discussion of COVID is declining and we are all tired. I want to urge all of you to redouble your efforts to protect our communities in these difficult times. We are on the verge of what could be a catastrophic fall/winter if we do not act. I have included additional details in the attached letter. Please do not hesitate to reach out if there are questions I can answer or you wish to discuss the data further.
Erica Bjornstad, MD, PhD, MPH
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Recommended Preventative Practices & FAQs for Faith-based and Community Leaders – US Dept. of Health & Human Services
11 Provocative Thoughts and Questions about What’s Next – by Bill Wilson
Interim Guidance for Places of Worship and Religious Services by the NC Dept. of Health and Human Services
Re-Gathering Checklist for Churches by the NC Dept. of Health and Human Services
Re-Gathering Checklist by Smart Church Solutions
Recommendations for a Safe Return to Worship PDF by Church Mutual
Safely Returning to Worship: Webinar by Church Mutual
Safely Returning to Worship: Article by Church Mutual + Sample COVID-19 Waiver
Best Practices for Safe Ministry Gatherings – video of conversation hosted by SW PA Synod
Ecumenical Protocols for In Person Worship – shared by ELCA Worship
WAYS TO SHARE YOUR RE-GATHERING PLAN
Effective Communication After a Crisis by Brotherhood Mutual
Six Elements of a Crisis Communication Plan by Cassling Community Healthcare
SAMPLE PROTOCOLS – CONGREGATIONS
Congregations have graciously shared their drafts as they plan to gather in person for worship. These might provide a starting point for your work in this area.
CONSIDERATION FOR CHILD DEVELOPMENT CENTERS
ELEA Re-Opening Guidance
NC Synod Webinar with Cory Newman, Executive Director of ELEA – 7/22/20
SAMPLE PROTOCOLS – CHILD DEVELOPMENT CENTERS
Child Development Centers have graciously shared their drafts as they plan to re-open. These might provide a starting point for your work in this area.