We are entering into the season of fall and winter festivities - most of which are traditionally celebrated with friends and family at church and at home. This year, things have been somewhat different given the presence of COVID-19 among us. But that doesn’t mean all celebration must come to an end.
The CDC Director Robert Redfield has stated that small gatherings could be a reason for the influx of new COVID-19 cases. Although steps are in place to increase vigilance in smaller group settings, the CDC listed various factors that contribute to increasing the risk of the virus (including size, location, and length of the event). As a church leader, you may want to host the traditional festivities of the season - and you can! The CDC has provided a few considerations and tips for holiday event organizers which can aid in controlling the panic and spread of the virus.
Host outdoor festivities rather than indoor activities as much as possible. If hosting outdoors is not possible, avoid crowded, poorly ventilated, or fully enclosed indoor spaces.
Invite your congregation to attend service and events without plus ones (encourage non-local members to join the fun remotely via online live streaming)
Limit numbers of attendees as much as possible.
Provide updated information to your congregation about any COVID-19 safety guidelines and steps in place to prevent the spread of the virus.
Provide or encourage your invitees to bring supplies to help you and others stay healthy. For example, extra masks, hand sanitizer, and tissues.
Of course, no one should be barred from entering your church solely based on rumors or panic. Ask members of your congregation to check for COVID-19 symptoms and offer them the option to watch and join the program online - after all, no one likes to be sick or get people sick during any kind of party.
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