We are updating our Healthy Church Policy, and our Sunday worship schedule.
Healthy Church Policy Updates
Great news! We are finally seeing a decline in COVID cases and deaths, for which we praise God. As more and more of our members get vaccinated, we are moving forward toward the resumption of pre-COVID activities and events. Our Bishop Sharma Lewis and the VA Conference Healthy Church Team (now known as the PRG for Post COVID Re-entry Group) have helped us to navigate uncharted territory with respect to this pandemic such that not a single UMC member, attender, or guest has contracted COVID-19 through our ministries!
Bishop Lewis has given permission to local churches, as of May 29, to make our own decisions consistent with the CDC guidelines, the Virginia Department of Health, and the Loudoun Health Department.
Here’s the latest from Loudoun County (https://www.loudoun.gov/5356/COVID-19-Reopening-Loudoun-County), VA Department of Health (https://www.governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/all-releases/2021/may/headline-895235-en.html) , and the CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html) :
- Fully vaccinated persons are no longer required to wear face-coverings in most indoor settings (including worship).
- Un-vaccinated and partially vaccinated persons ages 5 and older should continue to wear face coverings.
- Maximum # of people indoors increases to 100; outdoors 250.
- Fully vaccinated persons do not need to physically distance in any setting except where required by laws or regulations.
With these guidelines in mind, and at this time, Leesburg United Methodist Church is amending our previous requirements for in-person worship and ministry activities, pending CLT approval/revision at their monthly meeting 5/27. Our current policies remain in place through Sunday, May 30; watch for an update next week.
For the past 14 months, many of our members, our families and friends, and even strangers, have been worshiping with us online at 10 am each Sunday. Since mid-September, we have also had in-person worship each Sunday, first at 11:30 am, and now at 11:00 am. For the past four months, our online worship has been made possible by pre-recording the entire worship experience.
We are extremely grateful for our dedicated, yet small, group of church members who have faithfully served to bring us online (live and prerecorded) worship since March, 2020. More recently, while our Tech Team has focused on preparing us to livestream, Angela Becek has been devoting a significant amount of time to edit and prepare all the pre-recorded elements into a cohesive and meaningful worship experience. She is shifting her focus in June to our signature children’s event – Vacation Bible School, and then in July to our youth missions - Summer Project Youth.
Our ultimate aim has been to livestream our worship so, based on guidance from our Worship Team and our Tech Team, at this time, as of June 6, we will begin livestreaming our 11 am worship service instead of having a pre-recorded service at 10 am. We will have just the one worship service time through the summer – 11 am on Sunday – that will be an in-person experience AND a livestream experience. As we emerge from the COVID pandemic, and as our in-person worship attendance grows, we anticipate adding to our Sunday worship schedule by the Fall.
This Sunday, May 30, will be our final regularly pre-recorded Sunday worship service.
Again, we give our thanks to God for all who have worked hard to make this service possible and meaningful for many!