Church Reopening Update

BFUMC LIFTS MOST COVID RESTRICTIONS, EFFECTIVE JUNE 23, 2021

During the COVID-19 pandemic, our main concern has been the physical, spiritual and emotional well-being of each individual and to create a safe worship experience. We have developed plans and protocols to show concern to our neighbors, especially the most vulnerable among us. Using trusted public health sources as our consistent guides, we have employed a response that is rooted in scripture, based on science and founded in the Wesleyan principle to do no harm.

Following the return of in-sanctuary worship earlier this month, the Baraboo First United Methodist Church’s (BFUMC) Church Building Reopening Plan has been reviewed and local coronavirus data considered, resulting in the following loosening of restrictions, effective immediately.

This plan will continue to be reviewed by the BFUMC COVID Team and revisions made as appropriate.

We thank you for your patience as we continue to ease back into a more normal church experience. While a few restrictions remain, they are minor:

1. Those who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 (14 days after the second dose of a two-dosage vaccine series or 14 days after a single-dose vaccine) do not need to wear a mask in the church building nor do they need to practice social distancing. Anyone who is fully vaccinated who wishes to wear a mask and practice social distancing is welcome to do so.

2. Those who have not been fully vaccinated are asked to wear masks and to practice social distancing. Masks are available in the Singer Fellowship Hall for those who wish to use one.

3. 100% seating capacity in the sanctuary is now permitted.

4. There are no further restrictions applied to singing (both congregational and for special music, including individuals and ensembles) or to the use of brass and wind instruments.

5. You may enter or exit the church through any unlocked door.

6. On Sundays, everyone will be asked to register their worship attendance on pads of paper at the sanctuary entrances. There will be no attendance pads in the pews at this time.

7. Hymnals, Bibles and offering envelopes will be returned to the pews. Paper Sunday bulletins are permitted.

8. Restrictions to the use of the church kitchen are lifted. Normal food safety practices remain in place.

9. Before and after-worship coffee/fellowship times in the Singer Fellowship Hall may resume. For now, however, outdoor after-worship fellowship times are encouraged.

10. Meetings of any size may take place in the church building. Such meetings, however, are restricted to the Singer Fellowship Hall for now. Meetings may also continue electronically (such as via Zoom) or as a hybrid, with some members attending in person and others electronically.

11. Only prepackaged communion elements will be used at this time.

12. Offering plates will continue to be located near the sanctuary entrances (rather than passed in the pews). You may also make your gift to the church via US Mail, PayPal or some other preferred method.

13. Nursery care will not be provided at this time.

14. Hand sanitizer will continue to be located throughout the church.

15. Self-cleaning protocols in the public restrooms are still encouraged, but not mandatory. As always, frequently used areas of the church will be cleaned between Sundays.

16. Indoor operational hours of the Neighborly Store resumed this month. Restrictions related to the number of people (patrons and volunteers), mandatory masking and social distancing are now lifted.

We thank the BFUMC Board of Trustees for the installation of an air handling system to the sanctuary’s three furnaces. The new system increases ventilation by exchanging the air in the sanctuary five times per hour.

COVID-19 vaccinations are encouraged. However, we understand that some people have not been or will not be vaccinated for a variety of reasons. If you are looking for vaccination information, we encourage you to contact the Sauk County Health Department at (608) 355-3290.

If you are not feeling well, please consider the well-being of others and stay home from church. BFUMC online worship is still available to you via the church’s Facebook page or on the church’s website (barabooumc.org) or you may experience worship through Sermon-by-Phone at (608) 402-4087.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Keri Olson, BFUMC Administrative Council chairperson, at (608) 393-7419. Thank you.