Our Covid-19 Response

At Christ UMC, we believe that loving our neighbor means pausing our in-person worship and small groups during this time; however, we continue to carry out our vision to encounter Christ, grow disciples, and serve others in other creative ways.

 

In order to protect our congregation and community and to follow the legal mandates:

  • Outdoor worship is now available. It will be held in the church parking lot on Sundays at 6 PM. Cancellations due to weather made by 4 PM.
  • All in person worship services and small groups have been cancelled through September. We will update this date as we have more information about the situation. 
  • We will continue to worship online via Facebook Live, streaming worship before worship at 10:45 and the worship service at 11 AM on Sundays. 
  • If you know someone who can't connect virtually but would like to attend worship, we can connect them to one of our phone partners who can call them prior to the service so they can listen in via their phone to the service.
  • If you need to be physically in the church for any reason, please call the church office to schedule a time to be there (even if you have a church key). We want to create a safe environment for all. When you are in the church, please wear a mask and use the sanitizer by the door or on the counter in the church office

The majority of our small groups continue to meet virtually. Connecting with other Christians is incredibly important during this time, and we would love for you to join us! If you have questions on how to get involved, please contact:

If you do not receive our weekly emails, email us to begin receiving the most up-to-date church information.

We also encourage you to please continue to pray for those affected by COVID-19, for our health care workers, and all essential employees during this time. We encourage you to reach out by phone to those who might be feeling particularly lonely during this time.

letter from our pastor

September 1, 2020

 

Greetings,

 

“For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another.” - Romans 12:4-5

 

In this time of social distancing, it may be difficult for many to feel connected to their church community as they have in the past. I want to encourage you to know that you are not alone. I, and many of our staff and other church family members are praying for you. If you have a have spiritual, emotional, or physical need, please reach out to us.

 

As things have been changing over these past few months, we have been doing all that we can in order to facilitate a better connection within the church body, and to foster a deeper spirituality and connection with God. Many resources are available online through our streaming worship and the majority of our small groups continuing to meet virtually. While being available virtually allows us to continue some of these ministries, it also provides opportunities that were not possible before. We can now reach a larger range of people from anywhere around the world, reconnect with previous members of our church that have moved away, and include some of our home-bound members, all of whom have not been able to previously participate in the physical life of the church.

 

On top of utilizing these online formats, we have created spaces for in-person gatherings. Our Sunday evening Outdoor Worship is allowing us to worship together in person, while still maintaining safe social distances. Some small groups who are unable to meet virtually have arranged to meet outside on church grounds, abiding by the policies and procedures the church has adopted and implemented. The re-opening task force is also working diligently to plan a safe return to indoor worship.

 

Even though our church building may be temporarily closed, we are still actively working in our community. Many of our ministries and missions are still taking place in the midst of the pandemic. There is a greater need now more than ever and Christ Church has been meeting that need head on as we have collected money, food, and other resources for the missions that we support. Please explore our website for ministry opportunities, ways to donate to the various monthly missions, and ways to support and fund the function of the church. Donations can be mailed directly to the church or given electronically through the website. We would also like to be able to keep you informed of all that our church is doing, so please consider signing up for our weekly emails.

 

We know and understand that everyone has a different level at which they feel comfortable in social settings or small gatherings during this time.  Therefore, we are doing what we can to create options where there is something for everyone. Please be reminded that the COVID-19 safety protocols and procedures are required during any church sponsored event. This is to help keep you, your loved ones, and our entire church family safe. We ask that you monitor your own health, and if you feel any of the symptoms associated with COVID-19, or are experiencing a fever over 100°, that you remain home and take care of your own physical well-being.

 

Our church is still here. We want to hear from you. We want to keep you involved and informed. We are doing all that we can to support one another and this community as we seek to create a safe and loving environment for ministry.

 

May God bless you.

Rev. Zachary Hopple

 

 

 

Current Plans For Re-opening

Re-opening Task-force:

            Beginning in March of 2020, a task-force of individuals from the Christ UMC leadership was created to help make decisions regarding the operation and re-opening of the church and it’s facilities. This group has met every other week since then, discussing the various changes and planning for the future of Christ UMC. This group is comprised of representatives from the major church committees, as well as individuals with expertise that give specific insight into the various obstacles that we are facing. This group takes their responsibility to keep the church family safe very seriously, and we have been purposeful in our discussion and implementation of our policies and procedures.

 

Building Use:

            The building is not open for normal operations or use by any church or community group at this time. The pastor, office staff, and sextant are regularly present to help maintain the functionality of the church. Occasionally, others are present to assist as needed. All individuals present at the church must wear a mask, make prior arrangements with office staff for the reason of their visit, and enter through the church office entrance. This process is to ensure that there is no conflict when various areas of the church are being utilized. It also allows us to trace points of contact in the event that one of our members contracts the COVID virus. As we begin to move into reopening the church building, communication with the office is more and more imperative.

 

Committees, Teams, and Task-forces:

            All groups that monitor and facilitate the operation of the church are currently meeting virtually. When needed, representatives from these groups may frequent the church building to ascertain the status of the building, maintain current projects, and plan for future use.

 

Small Groups:

            All small groups are encouraged to continue meeting virtually. In cases where this is not an option, we ask that arrangements be made to meet outside on church grounds only. Group members participate at their own risk, but must abide by the policies and procedures set in place by Christ UMC. These include, but are not limited to: all participants must maintain at least a 6 feet distance, masks must be worn at all times, the church building will not be open for use (including restrooms), and meeting arrangements must be made with the church office. In addition, a liability waiver must be completed prior to the group meeting. These waivers are obtained through the church office when arrangements are made.

 

Sunday School:

            As with other summers, we have been operating with a modified Sunday School schedule. All classes have been held virtually. Beginning in September, the new term of Sunday School classes will begin and all regular classes will be held virtually. Please check the church website for more details regarding the specifics for each class. We anticipate Sunday School remaining virtual for the near future.

 

Sunday Morning Worship (Current):

            Currently, Sunday morning worship is only available through live-streaming on the church website and Facebook page. There is also a call-in service, where individuals may call a provided number to hear the service in its entirety as it is being streamed. Please call the church office for these details. Each service is streamed lived on Sunday morning with five to ten people present as needed. Portions of the services may be pre-recorded to provide additional content to the service. All participants maintain a greater than 6 foot distance from one another, and are masked when not actively participating in the worship. Vocalists are located in various areas of the sanctuary, in order to help facilitate the appropriate social distancing. All church policies and procedures are strictly observed.

 

Sunday Morning Worship (Re-opening Plans):

            When it is decided that we can more safely return to in-person, in-building worship, the following guidelines will be put in place. We will maintain the group limit set by the CDC and Governor’s Office. The church max socially distant seating capacity is 65 people, which may vary depending on the number of individuals in a specific household. A reservation system will be created, to limit the number of people who will be able to attend worship, and to adjust seating as necessary within the sanctuary. All seating will be assigned to safely maximize the number of individuals who will be able to participate in the physical worship. More details regarding how to make reservations will follow as the system is put into place.

            All participants will need to wear a mask at all times while in the church building. If you are unable to wear a mask for medical reasons, please inform us when reservations are confirmed, but please know that not wearing a mask will increase your risk of transmission, and we ask that for your safety, you strongly consider your involvement in our in-person worship and other activities. Temperatures will be taken at the door of all who enter. If a person has a temperatures that reads over 100°F, they will be asked to refrain from entering the building. This is in keeping with recommendations from the CDC, as well as following the practices of many other institutions and communal areas. Use of the church building for worship will be limited to the sanctuary and the immediate restrooms on either side of the sanctuary. Participants will be asked to arrive shortly before the beginning of the service, remain in their seating areas, and leave promptly after the service to allow us to effectively clean the used areas. All used areas will be cleaned and disinfected immediately after worship, to prepare for streaming services and any other functions that may need to use the space in the week to come.

            The current plan is that the in-person service will take place at 8:30am. There will be no corporate (group) singing or responses in order to limit the amount of particles that may be expelled by any individual. Instrumental or pre-recorded music will be provided, but we ask that worshipers refrain from singing along. Services will follow a modified schedule that will reflect these changes. We will continue to offer the live-streaming worship service, but at a modified time (11am). This will allow us to incorporate a wider range of worship elements, and still provide a time of worship for those who cannot worship in the physical worship. The date of returning to in-person worship in tentatively scheduled for October 4th, 2020, unless a spike in cases occurs during the month of September.

            As seating will be limited, we ask that you be patient with us as we determine who will be able to worship with us each week. This is a difficult process and we ask for your grace and your understanding. We ask that you only reserve seating if you are completely sure of your desire for in-person worship.

 

Outdoor Worship:

            This worship opportunity was created to make a safer alternative to in-door worship. This service takes place Sunday evenings at 6pm, with set up beginning at 5pm. Households are seated in alternating parking spaces (worship spaces) which are utilized to provide for social distancing (minimum of 6 feet). Masks are required while moving to and from the worship spaces, and are strongly encouraged while in the worship space. Ushers are present at the entrance to the service area to escort attendees to an available worship space. Indoor restrooms are available, but are monitored by a volunteer at the door to limit the number of people in the building at the same time. Anyone who attends these worship services do so at their own risk, as in keeping with any outdoor public space and gathering.

 

Preschool:

            The Preschool has decided to follow the plans of North Penn School District. While the school district facilities remain closed while utilizing distanced learning, the Preschool will do the same. As the school district moves towards hybrid or fully in-person models, the Preschool will begin to reopen with modified class sizes and schedules. The Preschool has been diligent in preparing a detailed plan of reopening that is in keeping with recommendations from the CDC and the Governor’s Office. Please see the Preschool portion of the church’s website for further details.

 

Ministries:

            As each ministry of the church functions in different ways, the policies and procedures put in place also vary, but all follow the same basic guidelines set forth by the CDC and Governor’s Office. We are doing all that we can to keep our church family and those we serve safe. 

Christ United Methodist Church

1020 S. Valley Forge Rd

Lansdale, PA 19446

secretary@cumclansdale.org

(215)855-1643