It’s been over 100 days, and the world is still uncertain. Some states and counties are open, free and easy, others have mask requirements to be in public, still others recommend staying home. Everyone is in a different place of leaving quarantine, and there are even more things to consider as we do.
When we headed into quarantine, we all had to completely rethink how we are the Church and what it means to be in community. From the technology we use for worship to that way we stay in touch, we all have had to pivot. Now, as we emerge from isolation, we must think about what in-person ministry will look like in this new moment.
Worship Times shared a blog a few weeks ago about What to Bring Out of Quarantine and held a webinar of the same title. And yet, there is still more to learn. Here are 5 More Things to Bring Out of Quarantine that came from our webinar conversation.
5 More Things to Bring Out of Quarantine
Support High Risk Community Members
Not all of our members will be able to return right away. Many in the high risk groups will be required to stay isolated long after others are allowed to gather in groups once more. How do we avoid a sense of division among members who can and cannot return? How do we maintain the sense of unity as one community of faith. Longing to come back together could cause certain individuals to set aside their health and wholeness and make a decision to come back too soon.
There are things you can do to support your high risk community members. Continue to live-stream your worship service. You may consider recording and sharing your services to be watched at another time. It will also be important to continue wellness checks for those in isolation.
Restructure Building Use
In order to stay healthy, at first you might need to continue digital worship as the norm. Only use the church building for small gatherings, allowing enough time in between to properly clean the spaces. Secure all of the cleaning supplies necessary and follow the CDC guidelines to properly disinfect all exposed spaces.
Communion Safety Measures
Communion is a practice that many denominations have missed greatly throughout quarantine. As you come back together, require safety measures around this sacrament. Use tongs to hand out bread or have toothpicks already placed in the bread for easy access. Do not use the intinction method, but allow for individual cups to be used. These things will decrease the possibility of the potential spread of the virus.
Sustainable Workloads for Volunteers and Staff
During this time of social distancing most of our church staff and volunteers have taken on new responsibilities that take more time. Create a sustainable plan that pays attention to people’s time, health, and wholeness. There will be a temptation as we return to in-person ministry, to continue most of what was offered digitally during isolation. You risk burning out your staff and volunteers if you take on too much.
Opportunities to Process Grief
Over 100,000 people have died due to Covid-19 (1). Grief has been compounded by extending the mourning process and families are still waiting. Encourage space for mourning. Offer grief counseling. Be vocal about the ways your ministry can support those who are grieving.
There is another form of grief that we must also recognize. The life we knew before the pandemic has changed irrevocably. Many jobs have disappeared. The financial strain on families has increased. Children have been separated from their friends and educators and may not return in the fall. Our lives will not return to what was once “normal.” This change, too, needs the opportunity for mourning.
Whether you are starting from scratch or just need a refresh, Worship Times is here to help you come back from quarantine stronger than ever. We are a full-service digital marketing team that specializes in helping ministries of all sizes and denominations communicate. Wherever you are, we want you to reach your people and continue your ministry.
We are committed to the success of your ministry. Whether you need support or reassurance that you are heading in the right direction, we are here. Start with a free website review today and let’s get started.