When and how will we open our church campus due to COVID-19?
We are meeting for outdoor worship in April and praying and planning towards the possibility of safe in-person worship in the sanctuary beginning May 2.
Update from Administrative Board Chair, Leslie Hall, 12-30-20
Dear Chamblee family,
I hope that you and your family had a peaceful and joy-filled Christmas! I am writing to give you an update on plans for opening space at the church for use. On December 15, 2020 the Administrative Board made a decision to open the gym for use by specific groups beginning January 2, 2021. The specific groups that will given limited use to the gym include the following.
- CFUMC Sunday School classes
- Lunch groups
- Pickle Ball group
- UMW groups
- Two basketball teams (supervised by Chad Henderson)
It is important to note that these groups have requested use of the gym specifically. A maximum of 20 people will be allowed to meet in the gym at one time. All groups using the gym will be required to follow safe sanctuary rules and the protocols outlined in the Return to Campus plan for Phase II.
A sub-team chaired by Les Hammond has been formed to manage the use of the gym by these groups and in reviewing any new requests by additional groups wanting to use the gym. Please note that the use of the gym will initially be limited to the groups listed above. It is also important to note that any and all requests for use of space at the church is also at the discretion of the Pastors according the Book of Discipline.
I know that most of us cannot wait for 2021 to come because we want to put 2020 behind us – far behind us! As much as we want to forget 2020, we will not. Months and years from now we will all be saying, “Remember in 2020 when…!” We’ve learned a lot this year – how to balance our work and our children’s school work, how to care for others from a distance, how to use technology to get together, and how to make wearing a mask a fashion statement. We have been reminded of how we take things for granted like going to the store and finding toilet paper, of how important it is for our well-being that we remain connected to others, of how fragile life really is. My prayer for you is that 2021 will be a year full of good health, joy, and peace. My prayer for this congregation is that we will find new and creative ways to use what we have been given to connect with each other and to engage others as we serve God and our community. I thank God for each one of 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.