Meet the Crossroads Re-opening Team. Watch this short video.
We are pleased to share that we have begun preparing for our return to in-person ministry at Crossroads. We recently established a Healthy Church Team, in accordance with the VA United Methodist Bishop’s guidance, that is working to define the timeline and protocols for re-instating in-person activities for all areas of Crossroads ministry. Our team includes medical and legal experts, as well as representatives from our pre-school and congregational members at large.
We will be working towards the restoration of in-person worship on September 6th , the date set for our Grand Reopening by the TREK to Recalibrate Vision and Mission Team. Between now and then, we will likely allow small group activities following specific health and safety protocols in the church facility, as conditions allow. These protocols will incorporate guidance from the Bishop and various government agencies, as well as lessons learned from our own experiences and other churches in our area.
As we learn and grow over the coming weeks, it is important to recognize that things may not return exactly as they were before. Many changes will be good ones. For example, we are learning how to improve our virtual worship services and those enhancements are likely to continue in some fashion as an on-line worship offering to those who cannot join us on Sunday morning for whatever reason. Similarly, the health protocols we establish will make our facility a safer place for everyone.
Answers To Your Frequently Asked Questions:
When will Crossroads reopen? The Reopening Team is developing a comprehensive plan to restore in-person ministries for all groups that use our facility, including worship. The TREK to Recalibrate Vision and Mission Team has set September 6th as our goal date for returning to in-person worship. This decision was based on current guidelines and took into account the plans for other local United Methodist Churches. Other ministries (e.g., small groups) may be allowed to use the facility prior to then as conditions allow, using the plans and protocols currently under development.
What guidelines are being used to determine Crossroads' reopening protocols? We are using guidelines from state and local authorities (which incorporate national public health guidelines), as well as the UMC Virginia Conference and Loudoun county public schools. Guidance changes frequently in this dynamic situation so we are constantly monitoring and implementing changes into our reopening plans and protocols. Links to these guidelines are provided below.
· Commonwealth of Virginia: https://www.virginia.gov/coronavirus/
· Northern Virginia area: https://www.loudoun.gov/5307/Coronavirus
· UMC Virginia Conference: https://vaumc.org/return/
· Loudoun County public schools: https://www.lcps.org/COVID19
How will we know if/when small groups or other ministries can use the Crossroads facility again? The Reopening Team will be sharing our progress towards reopening as frequently as possible with the congregation through newsletter updates, our website, the GotGo app, and other media. When they are available, we will post plans and protocols to allow groups to understand how to safely use the facility and restore in-person activities.
Will there be any additional costs required to reopen Crossroads? While we are still developing reopening plans and protocols, we anticipate additional resources will be required for things like facility cleaning, facility monitoring during reopening use, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to enable hands-free interactions and information gathering, as well as potential technology improvements to enhance our live streaming worship capability. Our finance and stewardship team is closely working with the Reopening team, as our initial 2020 budget did not account for these new costs. With that in mind, your continued financial support is needed to help us return to healthy and safe in-person gatherings as quickly as possible.
Will Crossroads have multiple worship services when reopened? We anticipate a variety of changes and enhancements to Crossroads worship. Current social distancing requirements limit the number of people that can gather in person and we are evaluating options for multiple worship services as well as the continuation of an enhanced live streaming worship service. In addition to considering the number of in-person worshippers we can accommodate, we are considering the needs of at-risk members of the congregation.
Will children and youth ministries be allowed to resume in person? Our reopening objective is to enable as many ministries as possible to resume in some fashion, including our children and youth ministries. In addition to that programming, we are also considering the child care offerings we have historically provided to various small groups using Crossroads, as well as the needs of HOPE Preschool. Current guidelines already stipulate a phased approach to allowing in-person children and youth activities based upon age and the reasonable expectation to maintain social distancing and other healthy practices. We will be incorporating those guidelines into our plans for all our children and youth activities.