Our St. James Phased Opening*
*Things are changing rapidly. Please see www.atlstrong.org & https://globalepidemics.org/key-metrics-for-covid-suppression/ for county by county details.
Message from St. James UMC-Atlanta Health and Welfare Committee
July 16, 2020
Following the latest meeting of the St. James Health and Welfare Committee, the following guidelines have been agreed upon. These will be reevaluated and updated regularly based on changes in current conditions.
Due to the current level of COVID-19 cases in our area, recommendations from the CDC and our NGUMC Bishop, St. James UMC-Atlanta will be returning to Phase 1 for future planning and reopening. After the shelter-in-place orders were received in March of this year, the H&W Committee was formed to assist the church staff in making decisions regarding planning for future programs and attendance at the church.
Phase 1 Guidelines for St. James state: Church buildings and property are closed for non-essential business. Staff work from home except when necessary to be on campus. Pastoral care and visits will be held via phone or video. Church sanctioned activities will be postponed or done via phone or video. In person church activities not allowed (inside or outside). Continue online worship, education, and fellowship opportunities. Exceptions include:
-Weddings and graveside services with 10 or less in attendance at discretion of presiding clergy -Emergency response work such as supply drives, creation of PPE, COVID testing, etc., with 10 or less in attendance with appropriate precautions -Recording and streaming of worship services or related messages for congregation -Other exceptions approved by the Health and Welfare Committee
Again, please note that this is an ever-evolving situation and the priority of St. James UMC is the health and comfort of all staff and laity. The expectations for our phases may change over time. Additionally, phases may move forward or backward at any time. All events should be prepared for potential rapid cancellation of plans.
Please know that this committee and the St. James UMC staff do not take your concerns lightly. We continue to pray, expect, and plan for a time when we will be able to offer opportunities for you to gather again with programs and worship experiences for our St. James community. Please be mindful, however, that even when we re-enter later phases, these gatherings will be very different from what we participated in early this year. We ask for your support, prayers and patience as we continue our work to represent the body of Christ for our community.