The country, state, city and our own Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church are making progress toward resuming activities as we recover from the pandemic. Governor J. B. Pritzker has implemented a “phased” re-opening plan via executive order.
We are moving into “Phase 4” of the “Reopen Illinois” plan. This article from a downstate television station describes what that means. Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health still advises extreme caution, even as we are all allowed more freedoms. An interview of her thoughts on the move to phase 4 can be heard by way of this link.
The Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church has issued its own guidelines (which can be obtained from this link) which call for local congregations to create “Health Teams” to implement measures appropriate to each congregation. The conference reminded us that John Wesley’s “General Rules” are still helpful centuries later, in particular the general rule “Do No Harm.” That is our goal as Kelly Woodlawn Church works toward re-opening our physical church building.
Accordingly, we created a “Health Team.” That team met Friday, June 26th, to discuss the local response to all the cautions, guidelines and laws. We all desire to share the physical bonds of our Christian love, but are chastened by the “Do No Harm” directive of John Wesley. That implies many things: implementing social distancing, extensive sanitizing and procedural changes are among them. “Do No Harm” for us means to be thoughtful, deliberate and understanding. We made progress in our meeting and are actively taking measures toward re-opening the building, but we are not yet comfortable “setting a date.” The Health Team is slated to meet again on July 10th to assess progress and perhaps at that point we may set a date.
This topic affects us all in many ways. If you have comments, concerns or questions, you may use the comment form provided below (if you want to remain anonymous, use “anonymous” as your name and “email@example.com” as your e-mail address). Your comment will be seen and forwarded to the Health Team within a day or two.
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