We are so excited to announce our plan to resume in-person worship services in March 2021!
On February 25, 2021, the Healthy at Church Advisory Team met with Brian Gerard, Senior Minister, to review the criteria for resuming in-person worship previously set forth by the team and the Board in 2020. Upon review, the Healthy at Church team proposed new criteria based on new recommendations and guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Kentucky Department for Health. On February 28, 2021, the Middletown Christian Church Board voted to dissolve the previous criteria used in 2020 and to adopt the new criteria proposed by the Healthy at Church Advisory Team. The MCC staff also reviewed the new criteria and is using them to guide worship and small group gathering logistics.
The Healthy at Church Advisory Team is composed of:
Pam Hagan, Chairperson, RN, registered nurse, Elder, Trustee, Board Secretary, recently retired from the Kentucky Board of Nursing, a licensure/regulatory agency of the Commonwealth of KY. Volunteer with LouVax.
Lynn Harrelson, Pharm BS, pharmacist, Seekers Class member, advises seniors on medication management and safety through her company Senior Pharmacy Solutions.
Richard Ivey, Elder Chair, former MCC Board Chair, member of Norton Healthcare Board.
Kelli Miller, MD, obstetrics-gynecology physician, owner/partner of Women First, affiliated with Baptist Health, Louisville. Member, parent of children in Children’s Ministry program.
Steve Richards, MD, internal medicine/hospitalist, Louisville Hospitalist Associates, affiliated with Baptist Health, Louisville. Member, parent of children in in Children’s Ministry program.
Brian Gerard, MDiv, Senior Minister, Middletown Christian Church.
You can find the new criteria for resuming in-person worship below. This plan is flexible, and recommendations may change as the CDC releases more information. Thank you for your patience. Thank you to the Healthy at Church Advisory Team for their work, which makes resuming in-person worship possible!
We will continue to livestream our worship services on Sundays at 11 AM on YouTube Live and Facebook Live. Watch here.
CRITERIA FOR RESUMING IN-PERSON WORSHIP
Middletown Christian Church is scheduled to resume in-person worship on the following dates/times:
- Sunday, March 28, 2021 at 11 AM
- Sunday, April 4, 2021 at 9 AM and 11 AM (If registration for these services fills up prior to the registration deadline, we will offer an additional service at 1 PM)
Registration for these services will open online the Sunday prior each week.
Future service times will be announced after these initial times and dates.
Updated Criteria for Resuming In-Person Worship:
If any of the following three criteria are met in Jefferson County, the Healthy at Church Advisory Team will meet to determine if in-person worship services should be suspended:
- Average daily incidence of cases per population rate of over 25 cases per 100,000 (Week of Feb. 28 dropped below 25, now at 23.6. This is a different calculation than we were using previously. The county is now in the “orange” zone instead of “red.”)
- Seven-day upward trend of cases in the county
- Other significant trends that merit consideration (evaluation of outliers, e.g., increase in incidence of variant virus cases)
The Advisory Team recommends the following as parameters for our initial return:
- Worship services need to be limited to 40 minutes.
- No in-person singing, including solos, currently.
- In-person small group meetings (no more than 10 people at present) should also be limited to 40 minutes. Guidelines on gathering size/length will be monitored, and size may be increased in the coming weeks. (Staff is currently working on allowing small groups to meet at the church.)
- The safety precautions instituted previously of wearing masks, temperature checks and assessment on entrance, hand sanitizing, distancing, reservations, seating placement, and no-touch communion for worship attendees should be maintained.
- Potential attendees should quarantine 10 days if they have traveled and not attend church until after quarantine.
APRIL 7, 2021: FAQs about CDC Vaccination Guidelines
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
We are providing answers to some questions that have arisen as we prepared the guidelines for resuming in-person worship services. The restrictions will be reviewed on an ongoing basis as conditions change, so keep an eye on our web page for updates.
Frequently Asked Questions
While many people are getting vaccinated, neither the country, the state, nor Jefferson Co. has sufficiently reached a level of immunity for us to let down our guard. Plan on utilizing these activities for the foreseeable future. Know that the staff, Board, and Healthy at Church Team are concerned about everyone’s safety and confidence in the measures being taken to protect everyone who enters our sanctuary and building.
Evidence exists that prolonged indoor exposure will increase one’s risk significantly the longer persons are present. Ventilation, masking and other mitigation efforts are not perfect and therefore will not decrease the risk to 0. The longer the service, the higher the risk. The ministerial staff will be presiding on the podium primarily mask-less, so we are protecting them as well the congregation. While you may go to the grocery and other places, these are places where a group of people have congregated and are staying stationary for long periods of time.
Singing during services creates a higher risk of spreading infectious particles. Choirs will resume when there is a level of safety for all involved. Singing and instrumental music produced by woodwind or brass instruments are thought to be higher-risk activities for COVID-19 spread due to the aggressive expelling of respiratory droplets. This can result in aerosols that can hang in the air for hours. Much attention has been given to the risks of singing because of “super-spreading” events documented during this pandemic. It is important to take extra precautions when participating in musical activities, especially if they involve vocalists and wind instrument musicians. The staff have paid particular attention to the air exchange and ventilation as we resume in-person worship. The restriction on individual singing will be reviewed as the weeks progress looking for creative options to be employed for soloists and small groups.
This link provides an example of the droplet dispersion with just minimal projection of the musical scale notes.
The staff is working with the Healthy at Church Advisory Team to begin to allow some small groups with no more than 10 people at present to meet, but they will also be limited to 40 -minute sessions. This will be monitored, and size may be increased in the coming weeks.
The CDC is preparing guidelines to be released very soon to provide guidance on what activities can be resumed by fully vaccinated. However, even though one is vaccinated, scientists still don’t know if vaccinated people can spread the virus to the unvaccinated. While the vaccines work well in preventing severe illness and death, data is still missing on how well they stop the virus from taking root in an immunized person’s nose, where it could be spread to others.
A new virus variant has one or more mutations that differentiate it from the wild-type or predominant virus variants already circulating among the general population. As expected, multiple variants of SARS-CoV-2 have been documented in the United States and globally throughout this pandemic.
To reduce the risk of further spread of variant strains in the United States, people who have been vaccinated should still follow CDC’s travel recommendations and requirements before, during, and after travel. This includes all travel-related testing and quarantine recommendations and requirements, such as pre-travel and post-travel testing recommendations.
All travelers, regardless of vaccination status, should get tested 3–5 days after travel and stay home and self-quarantine for 7 days after travel, even if their test is negative. Travelers who don’t get tested should stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
Resuming children’s activities will continue to be evaluated. You should hear more about this in upcoming weeks.
You are encouraged to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as your opportunity arises. Many options are available in the county as well as the state.
COVID- 19 VACCINE ACCESS and COVID TESTING in the Jefferson Co. area
COVID-19 VACCINE SITES