Due to the significant increases in cases in our area recently, we remain in Phase 1 of the following plan.
Update from Administrative Board Chair, Leslie Hall
As you know, the buildings on campus have been closed since the end of March due to the COVID pandemic. The Chamblee Methodist Kindergarten (CMK) program did start back up this fall in the education building with only 50% enrollment and 13 staff on campus. Necessary protocols and cleaning procedures are in place for the Kindergarten. Beyond CMK, there has been no use of indoor space in any of the buildings.
Multiple outdoor spaces on campus have been used by different church groups (e.g., Sunday School classes, a men’s breakfast group, etc.) for gatherings. As we move toward winter, requests have been made for the use of indoor space, including use of the gym for the youth basketball program.
In the October Administrative Board meeting, a sub-team was named to look at the feasibility of opening up the gym for small groups and the basketball program. The reason the gym was considered is because it is a self-contained building that is more easily controlled and cleaned. The sub-team developed a plan with appropriate protocols and cleaning procedures for both the small groups and the basketball program.
On Sunday, November 15, 2020, the Administrative Board held a called meeting to review proposals around the following.
• The use of the gym for (1) small groups and (2) the basketball program.
• The use of the Fellowship Hall by the Missions team to prepare the Thanksgiving Food baskets.
After much discussion at the meeting, it was decided to hold off opening the gym, mainly because of the recent increase in COVID cases and concern over the spread of the virus. The proposal on the use of the gym will be revisited at the December Administrative Board meeting.
The request for one-time use of the Fellowship Hall by the Missions team was accepted. The Missions team has laid out a detailed plan on how this would be accomplished following strict protocols and cleaning procedures.
I ask that you pray for the safety and well-being of the CMK children and staff as they come to the end of this semester. I ask that you pray for the safety of those who will be preparing and delivering the Thanksgiving Food baskets. I ask that you pray for the leadership of the church as we navigate this together. Thank you.
Lay Leader and Administrative Board Chair
Update on Campus Use Plan during Covid Pandemic from Pastor Eric
Our Simplified Board Exploratory Team, which is comprised primarily of the Administrative and Ministry Committee chairs along with a few other thoughtful church leaders, has reviewed and revised the Phased Campus Reopening Plan and then the Administrative Board of our church discussed it at their October 20 virtual meeting. The latest version of the plan, along with links to the boards of health websites that are our data sources, are linked here:
Finding new ways to continue to be in ministry with our buildings closed has been both challenging and incredibly fruitful. This experience has caused us all to reconsider what it means to be the church when we can’t gather together at one time in one place. Our decision-making work is made more difficult in a religious and political climate where your level of caution is thought to be indicative of your political party affiliation or even a barometer of your faith in God. These perspectives are not helpful in the effort to stop the spread of this virus or to continue to be in ministry in the midst of it. Further complicating the matter are the differences in community spread levels and the varied responses by other civic and church leaders. Thankfully, through it all, our leadership has remained faithful to doing what is best for Chamblee.
Lastly, I wanted to share with you a few action items that have come from our staff and leadership’s most recent review of our plan. First, the leadership teams named above will continue to revisit and revise our plan, including things like the metrics for moving between phases and the levels of safety necessary in each phase. Second, the board authorized a small team to consider and create a plan to safely reopen the gym for use. The gym gives us a well-contained space to clean and control and can serve as a test model for the larger church building. Third, staff and worship leadership are preparing to have evening services of music and prayer in the sanctuary during Advent, with all the proper safety protocols in place.
Please continue to keep our church, our leaders, and our community in your prayers as we navigate this (and the election) together. In the name of God the Father, the Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.