The State of California / El Estado de California
Click below to read Guidelines issued by the State of California / Haga clic abajo para leer las Directrices emitidas por el Estado de California:
The County of Los Angeles / El Condado de Los Ángeles
Click below to read Guidelines issued by the L.A. County Department of Public Health / Haga clic abjajo para leer las Directrices emitidas por el Departamento de Salud Pública del Condado de Los Ángeles:
California-Pacific Annual Conference / La Conferencia Anual California-Pacífica
Click below to read the Guidelines issued by Bishop Grant Hagiya and the California-Pacific Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church / Haga clic abajo para leer las Directrices emitidas por el Obispo Grant Hagiya y la Conferencia California-Pacífico del La Iglesia Metodista Unida:
Guidelines for Church Re-Launch of In-Person Worship Services
May 27, 2020
As you are probably aware, many of our state, county and city officials have released their own set of guidelines for churches reopening their in-person worship services. They vary from area to area, but they provide us with some broad guidelines to consider in relaunching our public worships. However, no United Methodist Church in our California-Pacific Conference can re-open until our own set of guidelines are approved.
We have a strict set of guidelines that must be followed and as I mentioned earlier, here is the process:
- A detailed plan of opening in-person worship services must be created and approved by the annual conference.
- The church must approve these guidelines by the appointed pastor and Administrative Council.
- They must be submitted to your District Superintendent, or designated District Team, for final approval.
You will find the complete set of guidelines as a PDF via the button below. They have been created by a small team (Rev. Victor Cyrus-Franklin, Rev. Robb Fuesler, Rev. Erika Gara, Rev. Bob Rhodes, and Rev. Molly Vetter), vetted by the appointed Cabinet, Connectional Table leadership, and medical and legal teams of our California-Pacific Conference.
You will find all of these guidelines are in compliance with state, county and city officials. But, in order to ensure the safety of our laity, clergy and churches, we must follow them in every detail before re-launching your in-person worship service. Because the Book of Discipline designates your appointed pastor over all worship services, she or he must be comfortable with re-opening before it can happen. Your pastor has the right to override any decision to re-open if she or he determines it is just not safe. We also ask for those of you who having an appointment change to include your incoming pastor in this planning process. We have alerted our pastors who are taking on new appointments of this process and they are in agreement.
We still believe that none of our churches have closed – We have just continued worship and pastoral care in a new way. Re-opening your physical worship services is a risk no matter how many precautions are taken. With this in mind, each church is free to delay this re-opening until they determine it is truly safe.
Feel free to raise any specific questions with your District Superintendent, or myself.
Finally, I want to thank you for your patience and commitment to your own local church, district and annual conference leadership. Throughout this COVID-19 crisis, you have given your all to enable your church not only to survive, but thrive! I continue to pray for you daily, sometimes hourly, and will continue to do that for as long as possible. It is an honor to work side-by-side with you!
Continue to Be the Hope,
Resident Bishop Grant J. Hagiya
Los Angeles Episcopal Area
District Superintendent’s Message on Relaunching In-Person Worship – May 28, 2020
West District Pastors in Charge:
By now you have received the announcement from Bishop Grant J. Hagiya, with conference guidelines for re-launching and re-opening on-site church worship. In addition to the announcement, I want to add several points of follow-up:
A link will be provided next week to complete the online form. This will eliminate “double work” on your part: Using the sample form and then having to redo it online.
I will require the meeting minutes of your governing body that approves your ‘plan of opening.’
Final approval of your plan will be made by a district team of clergy and laity, and not just by me alone. I know that you and your congregations are anxious to return to the sanctuary, but I must stress that the team I’ve put together to vet your plans will be very discriminating when it comes to final approval. I have already heard from several pastors who plan to move slowly and cautiously in working with their congregation’s leaders rather than swiftly and haphazardly, and I appreciate this attention to detail very much.
I thank you in advance for taking these guidelines very deliberately and seriously, and look forward to a very successful re-launch of our worship services, incorporating many of the lessons we have learned throughout our time away from the sanctuary!
With Gratitude For All That You Do,
Rev. Mark Nakagawa
Superintendent of the West District
California-Pacific Annual Conference
The United Methodist Church