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COVID-19 Update

June COVID 19 Operations Update for Pathways

from Pastor Eddie

 

TODAY (May 28) Montgomery County announced “Phase 1” reopening starting June 1.  Details are still being established, but recent weeks have seen enormous discussion about “reopening” our country and state following the Coronavirus pandemic.  Pathways is involved in ongoing conversation with churches around our state and nation, many of which are in various stages of reopening, though others have announced they will delay reopening while continuing online operations.  We are focused on “safer instead of sooner,” so while we will be ready when the right time comes, we are not rushing.  Perhaps the clearest thing to say at present is that Pathways will not be the first to reopen for “normal” operations, nor will we be the last.  We will watch and pray and learn and THEN act.

 

Plans at Pathways for the month of June are understood to be written “in pencil,” meaning we are able to adjust as the need appears.  Currently, we are limited to 10 people for the purpose of our online services and basic operations; Phase 1 will increase that number, but any Pathways reopening will be gradual and careful and we will publish safety guidelines for those attending.  Just a limited sample of expected guidelines would include:

 

  • Initially we will have only Sunday worship and limited office hours during the week
  • Attendance on any Sunday in June will be by online/phone reservation only
  • Anyone with symptoms or underlying health conditions should remain home and join us online
  • Attendance will be limited in number at first, with assigned seating keeping 12-15 feet of distancing between attendees; families/roommates may of course sit together
  • Foot traffic will flow one-way through most of the sanctuary maintaining physical distancing
  • Use of masks will be required; we will have some masks available on site
  • Hand sanitizer will be available
  • No bulletins; offering plates will be at the door upon exiting; no hymnals, pew Bibles, or cards to handle
  • No Children’s Ministry or Student Ministry gatherings for the time being; we will revaluate in a few weeks
  • Our mission partner congregations will defer for two weeks after PBC reopening to allow time to evaluate our procedures

 

Just a glance at that partial list begins to give insight into the complexity of reopening our church.  Thankfully, we have numerous organizational partners producing guidelines and steps for reopening.  We will take our time and be cautious.  As we have said before, we will not make our decisions based solely on the government, but we will keep the health and safety of our church family, particularly our seniors and our children, as a top priority.  We expect to produce weekly updates in June.

 

Many of you have completed the survey on reopening that was emailed to members (we still welcome responses); we thank you, because your input will help guide our decision-making.  We understand that those in vulnerable populations (age or health conditions) may not be comfortable returning to large gatherings until a vaccine exists or until testing and treatments are widely available.  Therefore, regardless of reopening progress, we will continue with our online virtual platforms:

 

  • Livestream of our Sunday worship
  • Video and telephone conferencing for Sunday School and small groups
  • Special online outreach through our Student and Children’s Ministries
  • Wednesday prayer gathering conference call
  • Committee and Ministry Team meetings

 

 

The Church Office remains closed for regular business, although Church Staff are increasing their presence in the facility. Their church email addresses are still the best way to connect.We warmly invite and strongly encourage our members and guests to make use of our Sunday livestream (at PathwaysBC.org).Previous services are also available On Demand.

 

  • Using safety guidelines, our Deacons continue to provide comfort and benevolence assistance during this crisis. We encourage mutual congregational care through phone check-ins with other members and friends.  Please notify Kath (kstauffer@PathwaysBC.org) or Pastor Eddie (ewilliams@PathwaysBC.org) if you have a need or request we can share with the Deacons.
  • We remain so grateful for the stewardship support from the church family through mail and online; members may also contact Kelly Durr (kdurr@PathwaysBC.org) for help with recurring giving.

 

May God bless and guide us all — Your Pathways Staff and Elders

 

**Keep watching your email, our website PathwaysBC.org, and our Facebook page for more updates**