While recognizing that our churches are key sources of fellowship, support, and spiritual nourishment, we are preparing to keep them safe places by protecting our members and community from the growing threat of coronavirus (COVID-19).
The following is GMM’s Operational Guidelines for church meetings in relation to the number of COVID-19 cases that may become confirmed on your island. Please understand that these guidelines are the minimal steps you should take and you are encouraged to make precautions that apply to your specific church in order to err on the side of caution.
If there are zero confirmed cases on your island, we recommend that:
- each church board determines the need to continue with their own meetings (Prayer meetings, Vespers, Pathfinders, Board meetings, any departmental meetings, etc.)
- if potlucks are held, that an announcement is made prior to each potluck to wash or sanitize hands
- soap and sanitizer be made available
- frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks) are routinely cleaned with household cleaners
- establish a communication tree (WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, text, phone, etc.) to share information with vulnerable members (elderly, language barriers, no digital access)
- people who have symptoms of sickness, like fever, cough, sneezing, or runny nose, etc. stay home
- church members who have traveled to countries with confirmed cases not attend church or church-related events for 14 days after their return
If there is one confirmed case on your island, we recommend that:
- all physical greetings, including handshakes, hugs, kisses, be suspended
- greeting times be suspended
- potlucks be suspended
- vigilance is taken while preparing and serving communion
- churches determine which of their gatherings are essential, and suspend all non-essential meetings
- if a church member has a fever with cough or shortness of breath, in addition to seeking immediate medical attention, the pastor should be notified of the member’s condition
If there are multiple confirmed cases on your island, we recommend that:
- church leadership complies with local governmental restrictions on public gatherings
- encourage elderly church members to stay home and avoid all public gatherings
To avoid misinformation during this time, please remember that all church-related announcements, communications, and information should be verified with the pastor. GMM-wide announcements will be sent through the official channel of the GMM Communications Department.