Keeping Your Congregation Safe from COVID
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on society as a whole, but especially on communities of faith. Attending church often comes with the potential for spreading or contracting the virus, something that has been demonstrated by many of the organizations that have refused to observe lockdown protocols. Fortunately, as someone who operates a church, you have the power to protect your congregation and make sure that they’re able to avoid these risks. But how do you accomplish this? To help you get started, here are some helpful tips on keeping your congregation safe from COVID-19.
Purchase goods that your congregation can use virtually.
Virtual sermons may not be the most personal way to connect with your congregation, but they may be the safest. With COVID-19 cases back on the rise, this may be something to take into consideration when figuring out how to move forward and offering the same spiritual services to your community. However, virtual sermons can present another problem besides a lack of physical connectivity and interaction. While you can engage in practices like taking communion in person, the sacrament becomes difficult when speaking with your congregation virtually.
The solution? For items that would be normally used in a physical environment, consider sending out prepackaged communion kits to your church members. This way, they have access to communion cups and plates for their unleavened wafer when it comes time to take communion with the rest of the group. This can offer everyone the safest and best experience when it comes to celebrating their faith.
Make sure to adhere to safety guidelines.
If you do intend to host an in-person service, it is important that you adhere to COVID-19 safety guidelines. This means hosting small groups that are able to comfortably maintain distance between each other, washing your hands whenever you come into contact with a foreign object (and asking others to do the same), making sure that your church is well-ventilated, not sharing any items with church members (communion cups or holy water, for example), staying home if you feel sick, wearing a face mask around others, and cleaning all areas that are frequently touched by others. Although there is always the risk of sickness, this risk can be mitigated by taking the proper safety precautions and hosting your congregation responsibly.
Consider making church an outside event.
Many churches have sought to reduce the potential of spreading COVID-19 by skipping indoor gatherings and opting for outdoor ones instead. By choosing an outdoor setting, you’re better able to provide your congregation with the proper space that they need to further avoid contracting the virus. You’ll also make it easier to distance yourself and any other speakers from the congregation, something that may not be possible within your church as there’s limited space to move things around. While being able to host an outside sermon will depend on certain factors like the weather, it may simply be the best option for now until you are better able to protect your congregation.
Most churches value the health and safety of those who attend, and the COVID-19 pandemic poses a direct threat to individuals who come together in large groups to perform the sacrament of communion and celebrate community and faith. Fortunately, plenty of responsible preachers have found ways to work around these issues so that they can successfully deliver their messages to devout church members. If you’re looking for ideas to help keep your congregation safe as the Coronavirus rages on, use some of the suggestions above to make the church experience safe for all.