COVID-19: UPDATED SERVICE GUIDELINE INFORMATION

Thank you to everyone who has attended our in-person services recently. We are constantly reevaluating and looking for ways to make our church services accessible to everyone as COVID-19 subsides, while also understanding there are a wide array of beliefs regarding how we should and should not reopen.


For the safety of everyone gathering for worship and other events, we are requesting everyone who enters the St. Stephen’s UMC campus wear a mask until further notice. 


In addition, we are continuing to follow the guidelines below:


  • We will follow social distancing guidelines. As a general rule, maintain distance between you and any other person who is not in your household. Respect the wishes of others by not touching, hugging, or invading the personal space of anyone else. 
  • We ask that you stay home if sick. If you or anyone in your household is sick, or if you have been in contact with another person who currently has (or very recently had) a fever or respiratory illness, please stay home. 
  • We will continue to clean and disinfect heavy use areas. Our cleaning procedures are in line with the state’s guidelines. 
  • We have in-person Children's Sunday School beginning September 13 for elementary school-aged children during the 9:30 am service for those who are comfortable attending. If you prefer not to have your children attend in-person yet, we will offer Zoom lessons during that time as well. We also plan to tape the lessons to accommodate those who prefer to watch later via YouTube.
  • We have in-person Youth Sunday School beginning September 13 at 9:30 am in Room 24. If you prefer not to have your youth attend in-person yet, we also offer Zoom classes at that time. Youth Group is offered on Sundays at 3:00 pm via Zoom.
  • Our tentative plan regarding Solid Grounds is to re-open for live shows beginning Saturday, October 3, 2020. We will re-open at 6:00 pm instead of the usual 6:30 pm, since we need to screen people as they enter. Everyone will be required to wear a mask; patrons will be supplied masks if they show up without one. Social distancing will be required. There will be directional signs outside and inside to help people comply. Since singing is a 'super spreader' activity, mics will be sterilized between shows, plexi-glasses will be installed, and tables will also be sterilized between shows. In addition, the audience will be a safe distance from the singer/stage. Touch-free sanitizer stations will be installed, temperatures will be taken via a thermometer as patrons arrive, servers will be required to wear gloves, and packaged snacks and bottled water will be served (we comply with NM COVID-safe guidelines for restaurants). Volunteers will meet to review logistics on Saturday, September 12, 2020. In addition, we will continue to offer e-Solid Grounds on our Solid Grounds YouTube channel.  
  • We will continue to have a live stream of our worship services. Join us in-person if you feel comfortable doing so, but if you would rather view services from your home, you can watch LIVE here on our website (ssumc.com), LIVE on our Facebook page and LIVE on our YouTube channel. If you would rather watch at your convenience, you can see services at any time after they streamed on Facebook or YouTube. The 9:30 am Contemporary and 11:00 am Traditional services are streamed each week.
  • Our Small Groups continue to provide the opportunities to stay in touch with one another as well as a time for spiritual growth, faith development, service, and prayers. Our Small Group leaders are staying in touch in a variety of ways, including meeting together, via Zoom, phone, and email. Most Small Groups are meeting at the church and meeting areas are cleaned regularly. Both day and evening groups are available and include Sunday morning adult Sunday School at 9:30 and 11:00 am, women’s groups, men’s groups, couples and mixed groups, and special interest groups. (Please email Martha Benn if you'd like to get connected to a small group, or simply stop by the Welcome Center on Sunday mornings.) Connections make a difference -- and small groups provide an opportunity to connect!

If you are concerned with how we are managing our re-opening, please call 293-9673 to speak with a pastor or staff member with your questions or concerns.

  

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. 

 

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