Back on Track

COVID 19 Update

Thank you for your faithfulness and patience as we navigate these uncertain times. On this page, you will find information regarding how and when in-person worship can reconvene at Santa Claus UMC. Please note, the timelines are in accordance with Gov. Holcomb’s “Back on Track” plan as well as Bishop Trimble’s recommendations for the Indiana Conference. Timelines below are subject to change based on current conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Worship

On-site Timeline

We are currently projecting that in-person worship will resume no earlier than June 14th, 2020. At that time, we plan to begin our new worship format that came from our Worship Discernment process:
·       9:00 AM CT: Grounded (blended worship)
·       10:15 AM CT: Rooted (contemporary worship)
 
Even though the church doors will be open, we will encourage our most at-risk members to continue to worship with us online. Our services will continue to be streamed live online even after in-person worship resumes. You can find the live stream on our website.

Worship

Safety / Sanitation

The Trustees will coordinate the sanitizing of our facility by a professional contractor which will include disinfecting touch-points of risk (i.e. doors, handrails, etc.) and will also establish a checklist for ongoing disinfecting.
 
Seating and touchpoints will be cleaned and sanitized by volunteers on Sundays before and after services under the direction of the Trustees. We will also install disinfection dispensers and wipes in each room.

Worship

Contact & Fellowship

As we transition back to in-person worship, we will continue to practice “social distancing” in accordance with the Governor’s recommendations. Families will be seated in staggered seating at least 6 feet from other families.
 
Unfortunately, our capacity will be greatly reduced for several weeks as we phase in safe worship practices. Because of this, we will be asking people to let us know what worship time they will be attending - either on our website or by calling the church office.
 
In addition to staggered seating in the sanctuary, the fellowship hall area will be utilized as overflow with the video screens to view the service.
 
A sanitizing station will be located at the entry to the worship center and everyone will be asked to sanitize their hands before entering. Face masks will be recommended for all who attend and we will have a limited number of masks on-site for those who need them.
 
Some aspects of our “normal” Sunday morning will have to be put on hold for the time being. For example, there will be no coffee bar this summer, and no meet and greet times before or after worship services.

Worship

Offering

While we understand that the giving of our offerings is a special and significant time in worship, this part of our service will look a bit different moving forward. We encourage everyone to utilize online giving at santaclausumc.org/donate, both before in-person worship reconvenes as well as after.
 
Once in-person worship resumes, the collection plates will not be passed through the rows. The offering will be collected with plates/baskets placed at the front of the sanctuary. For those that wish to bring their offering and give in person, we will ask that it be placed in the baskets before or after the service. We will also have a time during the service when offerings can be brought forward.

Worship

Communion

Communion is a vital part of our worship experience at Santa Claus UMC. We will continue to practice communion together but we will be using pre-packaged bread/juice for several months.

Worship

Children's Worship

Children are an important part of our church family and our ministries at Santa Claus UMC. We do not want to discourage families with children from attending if they wish to do so, but it will not be possible to immediately resume children’s ministries once in-person worship resumes
 
Parents are encouraged to bring their children to services with them until children's ministries can be safely resumed.  There will be no nursery care provided through at least the month of June.

Worship

Volunteers in At-Risk Status

We love and appreciate all who volunteer on a weekly basis in various aspects of worship. For a time, however, we will ask that older and at-risk individuals please step back from volunteer service for their own safety. This is especially true for volunteers that are typically in contact with large and diverse groups during the day.
 
This is a great opportunity for others in our congregation to fill needs as they arise. Our church staff will assess and address needs and ask for help from the congregation as needed. Please be open and receptive to help in areas of need if you are asked!

Worship

Sunday School

Small group gatherings, such as Sunday School, will not immediately resume as we transition back into on-site worship. For groups that wish to meet, we encourage utilizing Zoom or other online meeting platforms. Please contact the church office if you would like to participate.

VBS

Vacation Bible School

Vacation Bible School has been postponed until at least August. Organizers will be evaluating all the activities to make sure they can be done in a safe manner and in accordance with any guidelines in place at the time. We hope to hold VBS just before the start of the school year.