COVID-19 Guidelines

As Hope Ridge UMC returns to in-person church gatherings, we recognize that we are first and foremost children of God, and that as we claim that identity our priority is to love and care for one another.

“Our return to public worship is not, and never should be, based on our own comfort, desires or preferences. It is based on our fulfilling God’s mission and purpose for us, which is loving God and loving others. We believe that we are in a moment of the greatest opportunity for evangelism in recent memory. We have abundant opportunities to show those around us, even in the midst of this pandemic, that they are beloved children of God and that we love them. That love can be shown concretely through our following the practices that will best protect one another from this virus. To be faithful, we are called to be willing to do what is best for others, even when it means we must make sacrifices.” (West Ohio Conference- Return to Public Church Guidelines)

 

We ask that you be patient as we wait for phased-in plans from the governor and health officials.

We understand our deep longing for fellowship and to see one another in person, however, we also have a deep desire to keep you and our community safe.

In this plan, you will find our request for you as an individual, as well as instructions for us as a whole congregation and community.

Below you will see our current guidelines, but as the situation changes, we will continue to make adjustments.   Thank you for your prayers and your patience. 

~ Rev. Beth Wilterdink

Individual Guidelines

Hope Ridge UMC is asking you to follow these guidelines as a way to help everyone remain healthy, to care for the most vulnerable, and out of love for each other.: (*required)

  • *Please conduct a self-assessment of your health each morning (anyone with a 100.4 deg. or higher temperature, or other flu-like symptoms should not attend services).

  • *Out of great care for others, everyone (age 2 and older) is required to wear a facemask, face coverings, or face shield to protect others. [We will provide disposable or reusable fabric masks at the door.]

  • *Ensure a minimum of the six-foot distance between families and/or individuals.  

  • *We will promote handwashing and provide proper hygiene education/reminders.

  • At church gatherings, families should enter, sit, stand, and exit as a group.  No one should wander from their family group.  

  • Out of love for each other right now, we will keep physical distance and avoid all  physical contact (handshakes, hugs, etc.)

  • Hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout the building.

  • Individuals with chronic disease or age 65 or older are encouraged to not attend and join online services.

  • We encourage you to spread out as you park and avoid large gatherings to form in the lot.

  • The nursery, Ridge Kids, and children’s ministries will not be available, for the time being. 

  • Pre-register for worship, to help us prepare the seating and other worship elements.

Worship Guidelines

  • All interior doors that can be propped open, will be, to reduce touchpoints. 

  • Ushers will be responsible for ushering people to a pew/row to help facilitate social distancing for seating. We will enter the WFLC door and invite folks to leave through the Cafe WFLC door, to create a flow of traffic. 

  • Ushers will help with the dismissal at the end of worship, we will instruct exit row by row, to ensure no unnecessary crowding or congregating at the exits. 

  • Ensure a minimum of the six-foot distance between families and/or individuals.

  • Worship will be restricted to group size according to instructions from the governor and health department. 

  • Number of individuals to 50% of the maximum as determined by fire code.  [current  max for Chapel-30,  WFLC-100, Youth Room- 18]

  • We will not have "meet and greet" during the service. 

  • Live streaming of the service will continue, to allow those in the high-risk groups or others in the community to continue to worship from home.  We will also continue to have online studies.

  • The congregation will be invited to hum along with songs, rather than singing due to droplets being spread. 

  • The offering will come at the end of the service, with baskets at the doors as people leave. 

  • Communion- Individual pre-packaged cups and wafer, out on a table for people to take their own on the way into worship.

  • Baptism - Video recording prior to a live stream, outside, with masks, and sprinkling without physical contact.

  • E-bulletin for services and put hymns on screens- remove hymnals from space for now  [ 8:45 Service & 10:30 Service only use projection screens] 

  • On days it is possible, the doors and windows will be opened for airflow. 

  • We will collect reservations on the Connection Card for the following Sunday, to ensure we have adequate seating available.

Office Guidelines

  • Please conduct a self-assessment of your health each morning (anyone with a 100.4 deg. or higher temperature, or other flu-like symptoms should not attend services).

  • Out of great care for others, everyone is strongly encouraged to wear a facemask, face coverings, or face shield to protect others. When we are in the office by ourselves, we can remove masks.

  • Out of love for each other right now, we will keep physical distance and avoid all  physical contact (handshakes, hugs, etc.)

  • Ensure a minimum of the six-foot distance between families and/or individuals.  

  • We will promote handwashing and provide proper hygiene education/reminders.  

  • Hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout the building. 

  • All high touch surfaces to be wiped down with disinfectant before we leave the office.

  • Office hours will be staggered, when possible.

Group Guidelines for Sanitizing after Using the Building

  • Checklist of Sanitizing for Groups Using Hope Ridge UMC building: 

  • We ask each group to please read aloud our general guidelines for the group, at least the first 2 times you meet back in the building. 

  • We request that you keep the use of restrooms to those in the office hallway. 

  • Use disinfectant wipes or spray to sanitize the door handles of any bathroom stalls used. 

  • Sanitize door handles in the room used and the door to the parking lot. 

  • Brown folding chairs will be used in the youth room and back of the chapel. After use, they will be wiped down to sanitize.

  • Folding chairs will be spaced 6 feet apart for use, and limited to the max number of people per room.

  • No food or drinks are to be served.  

  • You need to take the trash that you bring with you because we do not have trash service in the building.  In the pavilion, the trash needs to be taken out as well. 

  • The pavilion and volleyball court area is able to be used, but individuals are encouraged to bring their own camp chair or beach chair for use, and social distancing guidelines still apply.

  • Please bring your own hand sanitizer, and sanitizing supplies for your group.

ABOUT US

Welcome to Hope Ridge United Methodist Church. 

Our church family is made up of people with diverse spiritual backgrounds, seeking to journey together, to love God more deeply, and grow in how we love others. We know that you have a story to tell, and we want to get to know it.

ADDRESS

Church Office: 440-352-2141

hopeoffice@hoperidge.com

9870 Johnnycake Ridge Rd. 

Mentor, OH 44060

Preschool Office: 440-639-8817

preschool@hoperidge.com

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