Update to COVID-19 Guidelines: Rapid Spread of Delta Variant
posted on July 28
Below please find some important information related to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant. We are concerned about your congregation’s well-being, and we hope that this information will be helpful as you continue to plan week-to-week ministries, especially for the month of August and the autumn season. From my years in the local church, I know what a busy time that is. As always, we are only a phone call away if you need us.
Blessings of Peace and Health,
July 28, 2021 - Bishop and Cabinet Update:
With the Delta Variant becoming the most dominant Coronavirus strain in the United States, The CDC and Governor Cooper have issued new guidance regarding masks, particularly for children under 12 and others who are unvaccinated.
Our vital churches are blessed with the presence of multiple generations, and regard for the vulnerable is crucial. Please bring your children’s ministry team into your decision-making processes and protocols, in addition to your Trustees.
- The Bishop and Cabinet remain committed to our biblical mandate to “love our neighbors as ourselves” and our Wesleyan call to “do no harm.” Ministry encompasses not only worship but also fellowship events, mission activities, study groups, and age-level gatherings. The well-being of our children, youth, and vulnerable populations still needs to be considered with love and care in all areas of congregational life. Please take into consideration those who cannot be vaccinated because of age and/or pre-existing conditions when establishing safety guidelines for your local church.
- We encourage persons to be vaccinated and respect the fact that some cannot be vaccinated because they are immunocompromised.
- We encourage the wearing of masks at all indoor ministry activities, including worship, because of the current rise in positive test results and hospitalizations, the reports of fully vaccinated persons contracting the Delta variant, and the possibility of Covid transmission by persons who have been vaccinated.
- To protect our children, we strongly recommend you consider the following in your ministries with children:
- Requiring all students, volunteers, staff, and visitors to wear a mask over their nose and mouth while on church property or engaged in off-site children’s ministry activities.
- Strongly recommend that volunteers be fully vaccinated, and that churches implement symptom screening for each volunteer before the gathering.
- Try to use outdoor spaces a much as possible.
- Limit the consumption of snacks during an event and use individually packed items.
- One size does not fit all. Decisions appropriate for your church setting should be made by a team of shared leadership. We encourage your Transition Teams to collaborate and communicate well.
- Please continue to use the NC County Alert System and County Vaccination Percentage as a part of your decision-making data regarding masks, social distancing, and gathering limits for indoor worship and all ministries for adults and youth.