We have received new guidance from the Desert Southwest Conference in light of new CDC rules for gatherings, masks, and Social Distancing.
Beginning with worship this Sunday, May 30th, those who are fully vaccinated (2 weeks since your single-shot J&J or your 2nd shot of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines) may worship without masks and are not required to maintain specific social distance. This is at the individual’s option and if you are more comfortable continuing to wear a mask, please do so. We will not ask for proof of your vaccination, but in the spirit of Do No Harm you would honor our protocol. We request that you seat yourself to the East side of the aisle in front of the permanent pulpit (towards the sound booth) and use the east and center doors from the patio or the direct entry in the Southwest corner of the Sanctuary opposite the Medical Building.
If you are not vaccinated as described above, you must wear your mask and maintain a social distance of 6″ from unrelated people. We would ask that you enter through the patio door at the west rear of the Sanctuary and seat yourself west-most section.
We will no longer be performing temperature checks. By attending you are asserting that you are not experiencing any symptoms of the disease; if you are you should join us in worship online.
We want you all to know that we are evolving the protocols for in-person worship. With our attendance seeing it’s typical seasonal decline, we will start reducing the ominous barriers that might affect peoples’ spirits. This Sunday we will remove the ribbons that divide pews but retain those that block whole pews, mostly every other pew. This will orient ourselves to practicing personal responsibility in maintaining the 6’social distance as you are seated. If all goes orderly, we plan to remove all of the ribbons for worship beginning on May 9th. Further, we will target June 6 to cease temperature checks, as outside temps will start being high enough to easily cause a person’s body temp to exceed 100° after walking from the parking lots. We emphasis that you should worship remotely if you don’t feel well. We will set up a sign in/check in procedure for recording attendance, and contact tracing if necessary.We will have to continue the mask requirement, as guidance suggests we need 25′ distancing for singing; we will address this protocol as CDC Guidelines evolve.As always, your support and cooperation are needed to get us through these times with our health and allow continued adjustments to the protocols.
WE HAVE ADDED A SECOND SERVICE FOR EASTER SUNDAYAT 7:30 AM!
Here’s the BUT.
With COVID guidelines our seating is limited at about 185 in the Sanctuary. For reference, 166 attended on Palm Sunday. Douglas Chapel & Moore Hall are set up for overflow with simultaneous video. We would appreciate a call or email to let us know your attendance plans.
In anticipation of this Sunday, realize we will need to sanitize the worship areas between services. If you attend at 7:30 please exit promptly so that process can begin. If you are going to attend at 9:30, there is no reason to arrive before 9 am, as we will be just completing the deep cleansing. Naturally, we would expect a larger crowd at 9:30, which means more likely winding up in one of the overflow venues. So if you can get out of bed there will be better seating at 7:30.
Also, with a 2nd service, we can use additional ushers, greeters, and if you have a Healthcare background, temperature & symptom screener. Please call or email us (psst – this will guarantee you a seat )
As you can see, we are pulling out all of the tricks to not have to turn away anyone or otherwise compromise our commitment to safety.
There are however, some take aways from Palm Sunday, that suggests we will need a little more cooperation to make this work. The Sanctuary is roped off to mark seating to maintain 6′ social distancing. IT IS NOT PERMISSIBLE to move or ignore the ropes – there were people who did that. The ushers are to seat everyone so we can maximize attendance. We had people refuse to sit where the ushers directed them. e.g. Because a single person relocated themselves to a pew that was marked for a family of 5 or 6, that family had to split up. Someone sat in “their pew” despite it already was occupied, eliminating the safe distancing requirement.
Masks must be worn covering the nose and mouth for the entire service. Again, there were some that felt it did not apply to them.
We will all have to make sacrifices for the luxury of in-person worship. Can we, in the Spirit of Christ, give of ourselves so ALL can be safe, comfortable, and most of all, accommodated for what is currently the privilege of in-person worship? If you feel unable to cooperate, our Live Stream is working perfectly, and return to normal not that too far away.
In Person Worship Protocols
As you know, we plan to resume In-Person Worship This Sundy, Palm Sunday March 28th at 9:30 am.
It is important that we inform you, the members of Velda Rose UMC, of the plans and processes that we have put in place for your safety. All parts of the plan were developed to create a worship experience that is “clean, safe, and mindful of health needs and issues with a non-touch experience”.
The purpose of this Protocol Sheet is convey information from the Reopening Committee is to let you know these things:
· Our style of worship will not be as you normally experience. We will continue to practice social distancing, wearing masks, and disinfecting our worship spaces as required by the guidelines of the United Methodist Church, the CDC, and state and local entities.
· It is your choice to return to in-person worship. If you have respiratory or immune system issues, we recommend that you delay returning until we have several services to shake out our processes. We will continue to record and livestream our services even as we return to worship in church. Our return to a semblance of normality will be a process.
Therefore, we will require:
1) Completing a temperature check and health screening. Entry to the Sanctuary is thru the Library or the door in the SW corner opposite the medical building where these screenings will take place.
2) Maintain a Social distance of 6 feet from those not in your immediate family
3) The wearing of masks during worship. If you are unable to wear one, we recommend you continue to worship remotely.
4) No Hugging, hand shaking or touching.
5) We will sing and have responsive and group liturgy. Masks need to remain in place.
Please note: neither the church buses nor the golf cart will be operating
Meanwhile, we thank each of you for your continued support of the ministry of Velda Rose. Your on-line presence, prayers, giving, and personal witness continue to sustain your faith community day by day.
May God bless you richly in the days ahead!
Pastor Larry R. Norris
Pastor Daniel Gomez
Re-Opening Committee of Velda Rose UMC
THANKS SO MUCH, PASTORS LARRY AND DANIEL !
The Staff Parish Relations Committee extends our thanks to Pastor Larry and Pastor Daniel for their innovative pastoral care during the shutdown of Velda Rose. Their dedication to serving the congregation in this difficult time of Covid 19 has been deeply appreciated. We encourage all of the congregation to send cards, texts, emails to Pastor Larry and Pastor Daniel at the church address. We will all be together again soon.
In preparing for the return to In-Person Worship, we need your feedback about how you view the responsibilities and risks of doing so. Please complete our survey!
In planning for the eventual resumption of in-person worship, we need to know the intentions of those who worship with us only in the winter.
We have emailed this to everyone. The data in our software does not reliably sort out to just those folks, so this went to our entire email list. In addition, we are posting here, in case we don’t have your email on file.
If you are not a winter visitor – Fear Not! we have a survey under construction for you coming soon!
So those of you who are not currently enjoying 116° outside, please take 4 minutes to reply to this survey at this link
Or copy and paste in your browser. Please reply only once.
Thanks for your Help!