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:
- Churches are to follow the directives of federal, state, local authorities.
- 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.
- Those who use the property are to respond how they will ensure safety and to communicate that they do not hold the church liable.
- 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.
- COVID-19 reporting – If any pastor has symptoms, contracted or associated with someone affected with the coronavirus, they are to contact their doctor or medical professional and their district superintendent immediately. Also, if any church member is affected, the pastor is to contact the district superintendent immediately. The district superintendent will share with the pastor the steps to be taken. All information will be kept confidential except to notify persons who may be vulnerable to the spread of the virus.
- Pastors affected by the COVID-19 – Presently we have no report of any pastor or church member who has the coronavirus, but we have two reports of pastors and family members who either have symptoms or where indirectly in contact with someone with the coronavirus. In both instances, the two pastors and family members are quarantined and as appropriate working with medical professionals.
- MRC (Mission Resource Center) hours of operation – Monday through Friday 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.