We recently joined Dr. Wes Wallace, a member of University UMC in Chapel Hill, NC, to discuss some considerations for churches discussing returning to in-person worship gatherings. Dr. Wallace is an emergency physician and adjunct faculty at the UNC School of Medicine. The NC Conference leadership has consulted with Dr. Wallace throughout these last few months, and we are grateful for his willingness to share this information with us.
The video below is designed to be used with your church’s leadership team and those who help make decisions about worship gatherings over the next few weeks and months. Dr. Wallace gives a brief overview of the science behind the coronavirus and why practices like wearing masks and physical distancing make a difference and then moves into a discussion of the risks and considerations associated with various types of worship gatherings your church may be thinking about.
We encourage you to watch the video and have some discussion with your teams as you prayerfully consider how you will gather as faith communities. As Methodists, we are reminded of John Wesley’s admonition to “do no harm.” As Dr. Wallace states at the beginning of the video, many of us long to return to our sanctuaries and comfortable ways of worship and gathering together. We hope that this video and other resources are helpful as we work to “do no harm” to the congregations and communities where we live, work, and worship together.
The links below will start the video at the specific time listed.
- 0:00 – Introduction
- 3:40 – Coronavirus Basics
- 6:30 – “Superspreader” Events
- 8:23 – Considerations for Regathering
These resources and others can be found on the Coronavirus Response Page.
- Risk Chart (British Medical Journal)
- Model for Renewing Face-to-Face Community & Worship
- My COVID Risk (Brown University)