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Healthy at Church

An approach to returning to in-person fellowship and gatherings.

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

John 13:35

Healthy at Church Intro: from the document approved by session 5/20/20

This document outlines Lakeside Presbyterian Church’s (LPC) plan to navigate the progression of worshiping, learning and serving from the current “Healthy at Home” environment to what will hopefully resemble the conditions that we enjoyed prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. The conditions and guidelines specified by the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the CDC, and local health authorities are used as guideposts for development of this plan. Although our actions will not violate requirements stipulated by any government agency, we do not feel compelled to tether our progress to any government strategy. We are also guided by our PC(USA) Office of General Assembly and mid-councils.

This plan balances our need for in-person fellowship and our duty to provide a safe environment. The plan contemplates several levels. Ideally, we will progress sequentially through those levels in order. However, we must be prepared to revert to “lower” levels in the event that conditions dictate.

Once approved by Session, our committee recommends that the following communications are shared with the congregation:

  1. A summary version of this plan in the form of a letter
  2. A summary version in the form of an announcement during our next online worship service
  3. Regular updates as to the progress through the weekly email from church and during the online worship service announcements

Additionally, our committee recommends that we regularly take the pulse of the congregation in the form of online surveys.

Where is Kentucky?

Kentucky has established a phased approach to reopening its economy. On May 9, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services released a statement on an order amending prohibition of mass gatherings (the “Mass Gatherings Order”) to no longer apply to in-person services of faith-based organizations. This order clarifies that “Any gatherings, regardless of whether it is a mass gathering prohibited under this Order, shall to the fullest extent practicable implement Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance.”

The Commonwealth of Kentucky released two sets of guidelines pertinent to LPC:

  • Places of worship are expected to meet the Healthy at Work Requirements, attached as Appendix A and available here.
  • Places of worship are expected to meet the additional guidelines from “Guidelines for Places of Worship”, attached as Appendix B and available here.
Lakeside is Currently: Healthy at Home

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, LPC implemented the Healthy at Home guidelines that we follow today.

During the current Healthy at Home level, LPC’s practices include:

  • Online worship services only
  • All small groups, classes, and committees meet online
  • Minimal, drop-in staffing for essential operations only (mail processing, minimal building maintenance, weekly filming sessions with only two people)