Guidelines Moving Forward

Dear Beloved of HPCUMC and The Warehouse:

Grace and peace to you through the risen Christ! As we reflect upon the journey we’ve made together over the past three months we are grateful for your faithfulness to the Great Commandment, and new commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength; the second is like it, love your neighbor as yourself.” . . .  “Love one another as I have loved you.” Dr. Daniel Chin writes, “During this pandemic, love for ourselves is expressed in the ways we protect ourselves from getting infected.  In the same way, love for our neighbor is expressed in the ways we protect them from getting infected.”  We are honored to be able to live in solidarity with your commitment to your health, and the health and wellbeing of the community at large. As we continue to navigate the waters of COVID-19, your resiliency and fortitude is inspiring.

As our nation continues to “re-open”, and Ohio, specifically, re-evaluates re-opening guidelines for public gatherings, the Task Force on COVID-19 has recommended “Guidelines for Moving Forward” to the Servant Leadership Board.  The guidelines are based on our values of hospitality, welcoming environment for all people, and safety. In addition, the guidelines are based on the knowledge gathered from the 370 surveys received, as well as state, local, and federal guidelines currently in place.  Consequently, The Servant Leadership Board, on June 29, approved the following  guidelines.


Guidelines Moving Forward: Keeping You Safe

General Protocols

  1. Facilities will be open as follows:

Step 1:  Beginning June 8, 9:00a.m. – 9:00p.m.

Step 2: Beginning July 30, 6:00a.m. – 10:00p.m.

  1. The Canopy Entrance off the parking lot will be the only entrance open.
  2. Kitchen facilities will not be available until further notice. We will re-evaluate late September.
  3. A mask or cloth face covering will be worn by all staff, group members and volunteers when gathered as a group.
  4. Our Facility Managers (EMCOR) and Custodial staff will clean and disinfect high traffic areas (e.g. doors, handles, water fountains, bathrooms, welcome center and class rooms). Classrooms will be cleaned after each use.
  5. If sick (fever, and/or respiratory disease symptoms), and/or have had close contact with a person with COVID-19 all staff and church attendees should stay home. Persons may return after a self-quarantine of 14 days.
  6. Staff, congregation, and group members are strongly encouraged to maintain good hand hygiene, washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  7. Social Distancing of at least 6 feet will be observed by all group members.


  1. We will re-evaluate in-person worship the week of August 3. On line worship will continue via live stream at 9:30 and 11:00.

When We Resume In-Person Worship

Step 1:

No more than 100 persons per service.

Masks are strongly encouraged, and will be provided to attendees.

Ushers will wear masks, and gloves, greet and assist in seating people, pass out masks, and exit persons safely.

Greeters will wear masks,  hold doors open and greet at exterior doors, no handshaking.

Free-standing hand sanitizing stations will be placed at each entrance.

No gathering before or after service.

Bulletins will be laid out for individuals to pick up if desired.

Hymnals, Bibles, and items in the Hymnal Racks will be removed from the pews (words to hymns will be projected on the screens).

Until further notice all pew cushions will be removed.

Screens will be used to assist/guide worship.

Worshipers are encouraged to mark attendance online.

Friendship pads will not be passed.

No “passing of the peace”.

Singing is encouraged when wearing a mask.

Offering plates will be placed at the entrances and base of the chancel (no passing plate).

The sanctuary will be disinfected between services. The tops of the Pews will be cleaned and disinfected by EMCOR/Ushers/Volunteers.

Communion will be offered with self-contained, individual cup/wafer.

Persons with a cold, flu-like symptoms and/or fever greater than 100 degrees should stay home and worship online.

  1. Feel free to bring your own coffee; there will be no food/drinks between services through September.
  2. All Clergy and Staff will be required to wear masks unless speaking from the chancel. All congregants are strongly encouraged to wear masks.
  3. Hymnals and/or pew Bibles will not be used (removed from the sanctuary). Congregants are encouraged to bring their personal hymnal and Bible.
  4. The Nursery will not re-open until Step 2.

Step 2:  No restrictions – To be evaluated late September.

Sunday School/Weekday Classes/Groups

  1. Facilities will be open on a limited basis for classes, groups, and meetings.

Step 1:  Groups <10 people, 9:00a.m. – 9:00 p.m. beginning June 8.  Masks required.

Step 2:  Groups <15 people, 9:00a.m. – 9:00p.m. beginning July 30,  Masks required.

Step 3: Groups >15 people, 6:00a.m. – 10:00 p.m., To be evaluated August 30.  Masks Optional.

  1. Rooms will be assigned by the Receptionist/Ministry Assistant on a rotating basis. No room will be booked back to back to allow for cleaning.  To allow for cleaning available meeting space will be divided in two; one set of rooms will be used one day and the second set of rooms will be used the next day.  As demand increases a specific room can be used once in the morning, and once in the afternoon/evening.
  2. Third Floor rooms will not be available until Step 3.
  3. Lower Level rooms (excluding the refectory) will not be available until Step 3.
  4. Group leaders will be responsible for encouraging participants to wear their masks.
  5. During step one and two chairs will be arranged to ensure social distancing of 6 feet.
  6. All Community Groups are required to wear masks during steps 1&2.
  7. Participants shall not attend any gathering if they are sick/feverish/experiencing respiratory issues.

Cleaning  (EMCOR Cleaning Protocol for Meeting Rooms)

Once a meeting adjourns and the space is vacant it will be cleaned in the following manner:

Clean all hard surfaces of furniture (tables and chairs), writing boards, and electronics with a general-purpose cleaner in order to. remove the necessary dirt. (The product will be Fastball general purpose cleaner.)

  1. Clean all hard surfaces of furniture (tables and chairs), writing boards, and electronics with a general-purpose cleaner in order to. remove the necessary dirt. (The product will be Fastball general purpose cleaner.)
  2. Spray all hard surfaces with disinfectant to the point it will remain wet for a minimum of 10 minutes. The surfaces will be allowed to air dry. If time restraints will not allow for air drying, the surfaces may be wiped dry, as long as the disinfectant has been allowed to sit wet for a minimum of 10 minutes. (The disinfectant will be Subtle 4, an EPA registered disinfectant.)
  3. The floors will be swept and mopped with Maintain Neutral Cleaner and allowed to air dry.
  4. A sign will be placed on the door identifying that the room has been disinfected and is ready for use. Once the meeting has begun a facility staff member will remove the sign from the outside of the door.
  5. EPA-registered disinfectants, particularly on high-touch surfaces such as faucets, toilets, doorknobs and light switches.

Church Staff

  1. Staff resumed officer hours on June 8. The staff is available to you by email and phone. If you need to speak in person appointments are preferred.

Thank you for your patience and perseverance as together we navigate our way through our current reality.  We will strive to keep you informed well in advance of changes to the guidelines as they come. Over the past 3 months you have proven, once again, what an amazing faith community we have. We look forward to the day we can give a hug, and/or shake hands. Until then the church is still open as we offer God’s light and love to the world through our mission and ministry!  Stay healthy, safe and blessed!


Through Christ,

Rev. Dr. Cathy Johns                          Rev. Doug Johns

Sr. Pastor                                            Sr. Pastor

The Servant Leadership Board of Hyde Park Community UMC