Church Reopening Update

BFUMC RESTRICTIONS IN LIGHT OF THE ONGOING PANDEMIC

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 year, the Baraboo First United Methodist Church’s (BFUMC) Church Building Reopening Plan has been reviewed and local coronavirus data considered, resulting in the following restrictions.

Regarding COVID protocols, the Administrative Council determined that we would continue doing what we have been doing for right now by:

1. Holding both in-person and online worship services. To reduce time spent together indoors, we will continue to keep our in-person worship services shorter than normal.

2. Asking everyone to wear a mask in the church building. To that end, we will make masks available throughout the building (west entrance, fellowship hall and sanctuary), and a notice will be inserted in the worship bulletin to encourage wearing masks and will offer our rationale for asking people to do so (“Love one another. Do no harm.”).

3. Holding post-worship fellowship time outdoors rather than in the fellowship hall.

4. Creatively offer music during worship without our singing or playing brass/wind instruments.

5. Providing flexibility to church boards, committees and groups to meet in safe settings, whether that is inside the building with masks and social distancing, outdoors on the patio or virtually over Zoom.

6. Asking everyone to sign in on the sheets in the fellowship hall each Sunday in the event that contact tracing is needed due to a COVID outbreak.

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

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

9. 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.

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

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

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.