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COVID-19 Guidelines

While we appreciate and respect all that our government agencies have to do and consider relating to COVID-19, we do believe the church has the right and freedom to determine its own course of action in response to this virus.  That said, we will hold in person gathering on Sunday morning, all the while adhering to certain CDC guidelines.  We desire to maintain an atmosphere of worship and safety for all those who choose to attend. The following information will provide and understanding of what we are doing to maintain a safe environment.

* The 'numbered' content is taken from the CDC website, and the bullet points describe how Refuge City is responding to those guidelines.

Promotion of Healthy Hygiene Practices

According to the CDC, the following are recommendations to promote and maintain healthy hygiene amidst COVID-19:
1. Encourage staff and congregants to maintain good hand hygiene, washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
2. Ensure you have accessible sinks and enough supplies for people to clean their hands and cover their coughs and sneezes. Supplies include soap, water, a way to dry hands (e.g., paper towels, hand dryer), tissues, hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol (for those who can safely use hand sanitizer), and no-touch/foot pedal trash cans (preferably covered).  
3. Encourage staff and congregants to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or use the inside of their elbow. Used tissues should be thrown in the trash and hands washed.
  • The Links at Summerly has proper restrooms with sinks, soap, and paper towels.
  • RCC provides hand sanitizer at our ministry table with 80% alcohol.

Masks

1. Encourage use of masks among staff and congregants. Masks are most essential when social distancing is difficult. Note: Masks should not be placed on children younger than 2 years old, anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, and anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • RCC encourages our congregants to wear masks as they enter, exit, and while they are in close fellowship with others. 
  • Once an individual or family unit is seated, they may elect to remove their masks during service.

Cleaning and Ventilation

1. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at least daily and shared objects in between uses.
2. Develop a schedule of increased, routine cleaning and disinfection.
  • RCC takes steps to ensure that the chairs and tables we borrow from the facility are disinfected prior to use each week.
  • The facility we are using is an event tent, with proper ventilation and A/C units.  If needed, we can prop open the doors on either side of the tent for ventilation.

Social Distancing

1. Take steps to limit the size of gatherings in accordance with the guidance and directives of state and local authorities and subject to the protections of the First Amendment and any other applicable federal law.
2. Promote social distancing at services and other gatherings, ensuring that clergy, staff, choir, volunteers and attendees at the services follow social distancing, as circumstances and faith traditions allow, to lessen their risk.
3. Consider holding services and gatherings in a large, well-ventilated area or outdoors, as circumstances and faith traditions allow.
  • Due to the current size of our church, along with the maximum occupancy allowed in the facility, we can adhere to social distancing protocols.
  • We section our seating in groups of 6 that are separated 6 feet in all directions. This encourages families to sit together, but to maintain distance from families of different households.
  • We do have the ability and availability to hold our services at the same location, but outdoors if need be or we choose to do so.
  • We will adhere to the 25% capacity protocols if and when our occupancy calls for doing so.

Sharing of Worship Materials

1. Consistent with the community’s faith tradition, consider temporarily limiting the sharing of frequently touched objects, such as worship aids, prayer rugs, prayer books, hymnals, religious texts and other bulletins, books, or other items passed or shared among congregants, and encouraging congregants to bring their own such items, if possible, or photocopying or projecting prayers, songs, and texts using electronic means.
2. Modify the methods used to receive financial contributions.
3. Consider whether physical contact (e.g., shaking hands, hugging, or kissing) can be limited among members of the faith community.
  • Communion materials are prepared beforehand (with masks and gloves), and separated on a table for self-service communion.  We do not pass the elements amongst the congregation.
  • We currently do not provide physical bulletins. Note pages, children's curriculum, and other announcement materials are placed at the Ministry Table for congregants to take at will.
  • We do not pass the plate for offering. We provide an offering box for congregants to drop off their offering, along with safe and secure online giving through our website and church app.
  • We currently do not promote a time of in-service fellowship (ie. shaking hands, hugging, etc.).  If anything, we encourage fist or elbow bumps.

Nursery and Children's Ministry

  • We currently do not offer Nursery care or Children's classes. We encourage families to sit together during the service. 
  • We provide age appropriate content (coloring pages, puzzles, crafts, etc.) for young children to utilize during service, that still provides them biblical content and learning.

Post Cold, Flu, or COVID Guidelines

In our effort to provide a safe environment for all, we are adopting the following guidelines pertaining to re-engaging in community following exposure to or infection of the cold, flu, and/or COVID.  Please click on the link below and follow said guidelines to ensure a safe and healthy environment at Refuge City Church.  Should you have further questions or need clarity based on your possible exposure and/or infection, please call us.  Thank you.