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A Word About These Guidelines

Bishop Holston affirms these Best Practices for in-person worship and other gatherings, compiled by a team of South Carolina United Methodist pastors and laity.

This resource continues to reflect the latest guidance from public health officials, but has been updated to take into consideration that many people have now been vaccinated and will be vaccinated in the coming weeks and months.

Churches and congregations are strongly encouraged to remain vigilant in keeping themselves and each other safe and healthy until our communities are fully vaccinated.

A Word About
These Guidelines

Bishop Holston affirms these Best Practices for in-person worship and other gatherings, compiled by a team of South Carolina United Methodist pastors and laity.

This resource continues to reflect the latest guidance from public health officials, but has been updated to take into consideration that many people have now been vaccinated and will be vaccinated in the coming weeks and months.

Churches and congregations are strongly encouraged to remain vigilant in keeping themselves and each other safe and healthy until our communities are fully vaccinated.

Continue Doing This

Ongoing practices we should continue

Wearing Face Masks

Continue to require, and consider eye coverings

Social Distancing

Continue spacing individuals or households 6 feet apart

Congregational Singing

Not yet

Small Numbers

Safer than large numbers of people

Short Gatherings

Safer than long gatherings

Air

• Outside is safer than inside
• If indoors, use best filtering possible

Hand Sanitizer

Provided at all gatherings

Hand Washing

Continually encouraged

Restrooms

• Use only for emergencies
• Confined space + poor ventilation = unsafe

Indoor Fellowship Meals

Not yet

COVID-19 Vaccinations

Strongly encouraged

Flu Shots

Strongly encouraged

New Guidance

Updated practices that are recommended

Choirs

Yes, if:
• Small ensemble
• Everyone in ensemble has been fully vaccinated
• Ensemble is safely distanced from congregation

Communion

Yes, if:
• Using single-serve elements
• Maintaining 6-foot social distancing

Pew Bibles & Hymnals

Yes

Printed Bulletins

Yes

Offering

Yes:
• Ushers can take up offering
• Members can pass offering plate

Home Visits

Yes, if:
• Fully vaccinated clergy or volunteers
visit fully vaccinated parishioners
• Communion may be delivered during visits

Bible Study | Sunday School

Yes, if:
• Small groups
• Everyone in group/class has been fully vaccinated
• All should still wear masks, covering nose & mouth

Vacation Bible School

Yes, if:
• Ideally held outdoors, with activities safely spaced out
• When indoors, require masks and
observe 6-foot social distancing

After Exposure During Worship

• Those fully vaccinated may continue to attend worship
• Those not fully vaccinated should not attend following week

Continue
Doing This

Ongoing practices
we should continue

(Scroll down for
New Guidance)

Wearing
Face Masks

Continue to require,
and consider eye coverings

Social Distancing

Continue spacing individuals or households 6 feet apart

Congregational Singing

Not yet

Small Numbers

Safer than large
numbers of people

Short Gatherings

Safer than long gatherings

Air

• Outside is safer than inside
• If indoors, use best
filtering possible

Hand Sanitizer

Provided at all gatherings

Hand Washing

Continually encouraged

Restrooms

• Use only for emergencies
• Confined space + poor ventilation = unsafe

Indoor
Fellowship Meals

Not yet

COVID-19
Vaccinations

Strongly encouraged

Flu Shots

Strongly encouraged

New Guidance

Updated practices
that are recommended

Choirs

Yes, if:
• Small ensemble
• Everyone in ensemble
has been fully vaccinated
• Ensemble is safely
distanced from congregation

Communion

Yes, if:
• Using single-serve elements
• Maintaining 6-foot
social distancing

Pew Bibles & Hymnals

Yes

Printed Bulletins

Yes

Offering

Yes:
• Ushers can take up offering
• Members can pass offering plate

Home Visits

Yes, if:
• Fully vaccinated clergy
or volunteers visit fully
vaccinated parishioners
• Communion may be
delivered during visits

Bible Study | Sunday School

Yes, if:
• Small groups
• Everyone in group/class
has been fully vaccinated
• All should still wear masks,
covering nose & mouth

Vacation Bible School

Yes, if:
• Ideally held outdoors, with
activities safely spaced out
• When indoors, require masks
and observe 6-foot
social distancing

After Exposure During Worship

• Those fully vaccinated may
continue to attend worship
• Those not fully vaccinated
should not attend following week

What if someone tests
positive for COVID-19?

CDC Guidelines
for Churches

DHEC: County-Level
COVID-19 Data

DHEC: COVID-19
Vaccination Appointments

What if someone tests
positive for COVID-19?

CDC Guidelines
for Churches

DHEC: County-Level
COVID-19 Data

DHEC: COVID-19
Vaccination Appointments