Phase IV and Restoring MCS (Reprinted)
Dear Partners in Ministry,
As the pandemic continues here in Illinois, yesterday, the governor released Phase 4 Guidelines for Reopening as a part of “Restore Illinois.” These guidelines do not give specific guidance to churches, and in our conversations with the Illinois Department of Public Health, we learned that it is uncertain if the church-specific guidelines will be updated in the days ahead. However, the Illinois Phase 4 guidelines note that “organizations that operate across multiple workplace environments should refer to applicable Phase 4 guidelines for guidance on those workplaces.”
UPDATED MCS GUIDELINES
Therefore, the new Illinois Phase 4 guidelines were reviewed and integrated into Restoring Metropolitan Chicago Synod: Guidelines for Physically Returning to Buildings. All changes are highlighted. The bottom of the first page indicates the date for each update which is highlighted in a different color. A PDF and Google Doc version of the guidelines are available here on the synod website.
Some congregations are choosing to be particularly cautious regarding the health of congregational members, delaying in-person events for a period of time, or choosing not to hold in-person events during Phase 4. Whatever your congregation decides, we trust that your decisions, for your specific contexts, are made faithfully and lovingly.
$1,000 SAFETY MATERIALS GRANT
As you discern how and if your congregation will open during Phase 4, please remember that we are offering Safety Materials Grants up to $1,000 from the Congregational Support Fund. These grants are specifically for safety materials related to re-opening your building to in-person activities. Click here to apply and learn more.
Please remember that as you use Restoring MCS contextually, you will need to integrate additional local guidance from entities such as your county or municipality and confirm the current local, statewide, and national legal requirements. Restoring MCS takes into consideration only the state-wide context that applies to all our congregations. As always, we encourage you to contact the Associate to the Bishop for your conference for any additional support.
Blessings in your discernment,
The Rev. Jason S. Glombicki, co-leader of Restoring MCS; Metropolitan Chicago Synod Council
The Rev. Kyle R. Severson, co-leader of Restoring MCS; Metropolitan Chicago Synod Pastoral Staff