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  • David Popham

Guidelines for Reopening Church Facilities

Now that the State of Hawai'i is at the point of a soft reopening, please be aware that most county ordinances include language about following state guidelines and recommendations of your "religious organizations," that is, of the Conference. Here are key points to keep in mind:

1. Call your County Mayor's Office to hear from them just what they are allowing in terms of in-person worship, type of worship (drive-in, outside, sanctuary), and the total number of people allowed. You may reach your county government offices at these numbers:

a. Hawai'i County Mayor's Office: East Hawai'i: 808.961.8211; West Hawai'i: 808.323.4444

b. Maui County Mayor's Office: 808.270.7855

c. Kaua'i County Mayor's Office: 808.241.4900

d. Honolulu City and County Mayor's Office: 808.768.4141

2. The Hawai'i Conference recommendations remain the same and can be found HERE:

a. Forgo public worship until after June 1, 2020.

b. Have a COVID-19 Facility Reopening Plan in place and communicate it to your congregation.

c. The ethical underpinning of reopening plans should be respect for the well-being of others.

d. Ensure you can sustain hygiene benchmarks for your facility.

e. Reopen facilities within the parameters of State and County ordinances.

f. Be prepared for a period of opening and closing facilities as might be needed to address continuing threats from the novel coronavirus.

g. Continue building your virtual presence.

We are striving toward the same goal – minimum risk when we return to fully open facilities. However, this return will not be a straight line for us. We are in a labyrinth in which we move forward and then find ourselves doubling back for a bit. Our journey to the new normal will take time, longer than we think we can endure. We will get there together because we are in the hands of God. And because we are in the hands of God, when we get there we will be changed.

David K. Popham, Conference Minister


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