Updated 12 May 2020
On May 13, I’m convening a conversation at Grace to begin thinking about worship, programming, fellowship, and other ministries when we are able to re-open the church. It’s likely that all aspects of our common life and ministry will be affected by COVID-19 for many months, requiring us to make significant changes. I think it’s important that we begin this conversation now because it will take some time for us to understand how radically our worship, fellowship, and programming will change for the foreseeable future.
We know that Governor Evers has extended the “Safer at Home” order until May 26. The state has also published a plan for staged re-opening called Badger Bounce Back: Badger_Bounceback_detailed. With the Governor’s order challenged by Republican legislators, it may be that the order will be deemed unconstitutional. We will need to plan for that as well. At the same time, our decisions will ultimately be guided by the instructions given us by Bishop Miller and the Diocese of Milwaukee.
Fortunately, there are already many resources available to help us have this conversation and to think about the implications for our buildings and programs. I’ve collected some of those here.
New as of May 12:
- “The Risks: Know them, avoid them” A very helpful article by a biologist and epidemiologist (Dr. Erin Brumage) lays out how the virus spreads and the risks of infection.
- An article on the spread of the virus at a church in Calgary, Alberta
The Wisconsin Council of Churches has been widely shared: WCC Guide to Returning to Church – Ministry During COVID19
The Wisconsin Council of Churches has also prepared a document discussing music in particular: Returning to Church – Church Music final
One of the most useful pieces I’ve read is this: 24 Questions your church should answer before people return.
There’s a helpful article from the Episcopal News Service that surveys dioceses and parishes across the country: