Short Term Protocol for COVID-19 for Clergy and Church Staff/Members

Protocol for reporting COVID-19 cases when pastor is sick

  • Pastor will alert the DS they are displaying symptoms, have been exposed too or tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Pastor will quarantine for 14 days and consult their doctor for further instructions.
  • Pastor will notify anyone with whom they may have been in contact.
  • If they are too sick to lead, they will use sick time and then medical leave as determined by the annual conference.
  • If the pastor is too sick to lead, the DS will inform the SPRC Chairperson, Lay Leader, and Admin. Council Chairperson, who will then notify the congregation.
  • The DS will help provide or seek coverage/support in the pastor’s absence.
  • The DS will provide spiritual and emotional support.
  • The DS will make the episcopal office aware of the pastor’s condition.

Protocol for reporting COVID-19 cases for church members and staff

  • Any member or church staff displaying symptoms, being exposed, or testing positive are to quarantine for 14 days and consult their doctor for further instructions.
  • The pastor is to notify those who may have been exposed without releasing the infected individuals name.
  • The DS is to be notified so that they can continue to give guidance and ensuring that any directives are followed.
  • The DS will make the episcopal office aware of the conditions and if any of the individuals are leaders in the church or annual conference.

Building Usage by Outside Groups

Many GNJ United Methodist churches encourage their properties to be used by other organizations: denominations, day-care centers, recovery groups (i.e., Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous) and community organizations (i.e., Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts).

In this time of Coronavirus, pastors may be unsure about the use of church property for programming. Following are directions that we have formulated on the advice of our Chancellor and insurer:

  1. Churches are to follow the directives of federal, state, local authorities.
  2. Churches are to send letters to those who use the property and state that all groups are to follow the recommendations of the federal, state and local authorities.
  3. Those who use the property are to respond how they will ensure safety and to communicate that they do not hold the church liable.
  4. Those who use the property are to give to each participant or parent a letter informing them of potential risks and to provide the church with a copy of such a letter.

MRC (Mission Resource Center) hours of operation

Monday through Thursday during regular business hours, a few essential staff will be in the office. Most staff will be working remotely. We continue to receive mail, answer phone calls and respond to emails. There will be no onsite conference meetings. All will be done electronically through video and phone until notified otherwise.