Note from Pastor Cody: While I am thankful for our beautiful church grounds and the outdoor space that we have available at Moran, I know that we all dearly miss being able to worship together in our beautiful Sanctuary. I am encouraged by the changes that we are beginning to see around us as vaccination rates increase, and I am anxiously awaiting the day that we are able to resume indoor worship services. With that being said, the Church Council recognizes the limitations on social distancing we face in the Sanctuary due to its size, and has made the decision that we will continue to hold worship services outdoors through at least Labor Day (early September). The Reimagining Team and the Church Council will continue to monitor guidance from the CDC and Washington State, and we will consider adjusting that date if conditions change.
-- Pastor Cody Natland -------------------------------------
Outdoor Worship: We are holding weekly outdoor worship services on Sundays mornings at 10:30am on the north lawn of Moran UMC, near the gazebo. We also continue to live-stream these services on Facebook and our church website. Masks and social distancing are required for all participants in outdoor worship services.
If the need to cancel the in-person service arises due to weather or air quality concerns, a cancellation will be announced via email as early as possible. We will cancel for weather warnings issued by the National Weather Service; air quality cancellations will be made based on AQI ratings. Holy Communion is offered on the first Sunday of each month during the worship service. For those worshipping in person, communion will be served with pre-packaged elements. Masks may be removed briefly for the purpose of receiving communion, so long as strict social distancing is followed by all participants. Pre-packaged communion elements will available at the tables where participants receive their bulletins on Communion Sundays.
Prayer and Meditation: We have both outdoor and indoor space available for individual or family use for prayer and meditation throughout the week. Outdoors, our beautiful Memorial Garden, located just east of the accessible parking spaces and west of the gazebo, is available at any time. Indoors, the Sanctuary is open during staffed office hours (Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 10:00am – 3:00pm).
Outdoor Gatherings: Small groups may meet outdoors at Moran UMC for worship, discipleship, and fellowship. Each small group needs to have a coordinator/contact person who will work with Pastor Cody for scheduling and to ensure that MUMC procedures are followed, including current guidelines on mask wearing and social distancing. Leaders of ongoing small groups are encouraged to discern with their group members if a return to in-person gatherings is right for their group. We also hope that new small groups will be formed as we return to in-person ministries; please contact Pastor Cody if you have an idea for a new group you would like to see, or if you would like to connect with a small group.
Indoor Gatherings: The Fellowship Hall will be open on a limited basis for essential Ministry Team and Committee Meetings, with Zoom or outdoor meetings continuing to be preferred. This includes only the decision-making teams connected to the Church Council. Masks must be worn at all times and social distancing of 6+ feet must be observed. Chairpersons and Team Leaders who would like to hold an in-person meeting need to contact Pastor Cody for scheduling and to ensure that procedures are followed.
Anybody who is on church property is asked to follow the guidelines posted at the building entrances regarding the use of masks, physical distancing, hygiene practices, screening procedures, and contact tracing.
Your Reimagining Team will continue to meet regularly to update these guidelines and plan for future stages of reopening as we anticipate a return to in-person gatherings and for a "new normal" to emerge.
How are these decisions made?
We have a "Reimagining Team" made up of congregation members and leaders that represent a diverse area of ministry throughout our church. This team has been meeting regularly since May to create policies and guidelines for an intentional, phased reopening process of our building to in-person gatherings. We are working to align our procedures with the guidelines provided by the State of Washington's "Safe Start Washington" plan, local guidelines provided by the Spokane Regional Health District, as well as the "Reimagining Life Together" guidelines published by our Episcopal leadership in the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference.
This "Reimagining Team" consists of Carol Bethel, Priscilla Bowen, Harry Burcalow, Jeanie Cook, Jeff Johnson, Dennis Kifer, Pastor Cody Natland, Kenny Orovic, Harriet Van Wyck, and Sandy Westrand. As we meet, we have been taking into consideration the gifts and limitations of our physical spaces, risk factors, protective procedures, and ways to mitigate risks as we reimagine what life together in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic will look like in the coming months.
If you have questions about this process, please contact Pastor Cody or our Church Council Chair, Sandy Westrand.
Moran United Methodist Church 3601 E 65th Ave, Spokane, WA 99223 | (509) 448-7102
Sunday Worship: Contemporary at 9:00am; Traditional at 10:30am