Regathering and Church Operations
Employees are directed to work from home. If an employee must go into the office, the visit should be brief; the employee must use hygiene best-practices and avoid close contact with others. The recommended distance to keep between individuals is at least six feet.
- Area Bishops' March 31 Statement on Civic Leaders' Stay-at-Home Orders
- Bishop Mariann’s March 25 Worship Guidelines
REGATHERING guidelines, check-list, and Covenant
- Bishop Mariann's July 8 Letter regarding Communion Practices / en español
- May 18 EDOW COVID-19 Response Guidelines and Parameters / en español
- May 18 Check-List for Regathering / en español
- May 18 Covenant for Regathering in Worship / en español
REGATHERING Plan examples
- St. Anne's, Damascus
- St. Monica and St. James, DC
- St. Bartholomew's, Laytonsville
- St. Paul's, Waldorf
Regathering parish survey examples
registration and Attendance Tracking
As congregations plan on regathering, there may be questions on seeking to implement a registration and/or check-in system, at least for an interim period, to comply with capacity restrictions set by local jurisdictions and a check in system for contract tracing purposes. The following solutions may be helpful in assisting this process:
- Church Membership System: using the parish membership system to track attendance will have the benefit of keeping participation data connected to parishioner records, and also allow parishioners to become more familiar with using the church membership system for signing up for services along with the other features. Membership systems can also have the benefit of enabling the office to assign volunteers to particular roles as greeters, ushers, eucharistic ministers, etc.
- ACS Realm: a congregation using the Realm system for membership may want to use it to implement registration and/or check in at services. A service can be set up in the Event Registration section, and opened for registration with a capacity limit. Those attending can register and include guests, and those attending can self check in or can be checked in by a greeter.
- Servant Keeper: a congregation using Servant Keeper cloud edition can utilize the event registration and a volunteer can use the Greet and Attend App on a mobile device at the door to check people in if needed.
- Cognito Forms: an online forms manager with a free plan that includes quantity limits to ensure that you don't have more people attending than you have capacity for.
- Eventbrite: a free system that provides registration, ticketing, and event check in features.
- ReOpen.church: a free basic church registration online app that allows parishioners to register before attending worship
- SignUpGenius: a free/premium online forms and event registration system that includes event registration features. Forms limiting capacity are only available in a low cost premium plan.
- Brushfire: a premium church attendance system including, socially distanced seating maps, capacity management system
- RSVPify: a free/premium invite and RSVP system with communications features for inviting a group to services or events and tracking responses.
ESSENTIAL PARISH OPERATIONS
- Maintaining Essential Parish Functions
- Families First Coronavirus Response Act Required Notification to All Parish Staff
- Essential Employees/Volunteers editable letter for parishes
USE OF CHURCH FACILITIES POLICY
Our highest priority remains the health, safety, and well-being of our people. Until such time as our civic leaders develop a plan for the safe resumption of normal business activities, the Diocese of Washington will continue to observe social distancing requirements and keep our church facilities closed except as noted below.
- All in-person parish activities, meetings, and gatherings should be postponed, held virtually, or cancelled until we have new information about the status of the pandemic.
- Outside groups who use our buildings should cancel or postpone events or hold them virtually. Consultation may be needed for any contractual implications of limiting access.
- Regarding funerals and memorial services, we are bound by the guidelines given to us by civic authorities. In the current stay-at-home/closure state, clergy may, if they choose, preside at a graveside for a gathering of fewer than ten people, provided appropriate masking and physical distancing. While current civic guidelines allow for services in our sanctuaries for fewer than 10 people, Bishop Mariann asks clergy to wait until the stay-at-home orders have been lifted. As restrictions ease, we will adjust accordingly. These same guidelines apply to presiding at marriage ceremonies.
Exception for Service Live Streaming / Recording
Under guidance from Governor Hogan and Mayor Bowser, parish leaders may access church facilities to live stream or record services provided that:
- No more than 10 persons are present in-person for any service
- Those participating are not at high-risk for contracting the coronavirus, especially elder clergy and laity, and those with underlying health issues
- Physical distance of six feet or more is maintained at all times, with hands washed and surfaces cleaned
PARISH ONLINE MEETINGS
CLEANING OF CHURCH BUILDINGS
Guidance and product recommendations for cleaning and disinfection of church buildings.