Phase 1 (complete)
We have crafted a health and safety protocol for our STAFF to return to work. Our facilities team and custodial team have secured the supplies and equipment we need to make sure the proper sanitation can occur for participants and for the spaces we use.
Phase 2 (Complete)
The Greenbay campus is allowing small groups to begin meeting in person.
Protocols for Phase 2 are listed here.
Phase 3 (POSTPONED)
(Letter from John on Thursday, June 25)
The 12 members of our Chapelwood Regathering Task Force met to prayerfully evaluate the latest information we are being given by The Texas Medical Center and Dr. Marc Boom, the President and CEO of Houston Methodist. Our Task Force decided, based on the information and recommendations we have received, to postpone in-person worship that was to begin this Sunday, June 28. The situation we are confronted with now in Houston is of great concern to our local medical leaders. As Marc Boom said to me, while hospitalizations and ICU levels are not as alarming as the papers say, the virus is spreading far and wide at an alarming pace. We have to significantly change behaviors now, or in the next 2-3 weeks we could find ourselves in an unsustainable place.
At Chapelwood, we want to do our part to help our community and all our members, especially the most vulnerable among us. I am disappointed, and I know many of you are as well. This is not a decision made lightly or without a great deal of discernment, prayer, and information from the experts in our community. We are keenly aware of the increased desire for in-person worship, and I want you to know that we will monitor the situation closely. As soon as we can gather safely together in a way that will not only keep our members safe, but also will help the surge in our Houston community, we will be back. We do not have a date set for Sunday regathering at this time, but as soon as we do, we will let you know and we will be ready.
In the meantime, please continue to worship with us online and pray for the people who are discerning this complicated decision. You can be certain that we remain a church family held together by God wherever we are, that we will count on amazing technology to come together in worship and throughout the week, that we will keep making an incredible impact in the lives of our neighbors, and that we will regather together on Sundays when the time is right.
Small groups will still be able to meet following the protocol that everyone will wear a mask while on campus. There may also be small memorial services which we will carry out as long as the anticipated attendance numbers do not exceed any limit that might be imposed by state or local authorities.
Thank you for your understanding in these unprecedented days. If you have any questions or concerns, just reach out to me. If you’d like to email me or call, I will call you back to discuss in more detail if that is helpful to you.
Below is information on how we will handle worship regathering when we are able to
Here is what we are asking of you before coming to campus:
- Let us know you're coming (link available at a later date).
- Perform a "self-check" (steps listed below).
- Read through the details below, clicking on the green questions for more information.
- Wear your mask.
- Park in Lot A.
Worship in the Sanctuary will resume on Sunday, June 28. For the first couple of weeks, our service will be more limited and we will ask more from you in attending. As we all learn how to operate in this new normal and as Texas Medical Center guidance changes, we’ll change some of the restrictions on being together down the road.
Absolutely! We know that most people will still choose to worship from wherever they are with the amazing online experience we’ve been enhancing this spring and summer. We're committed to continuing and even expanding on our online community going forward. Click here to watch live.
Yes. The church is always open to you. We do ask that you use caution in making your decision to return. We will make Chapelwood as safe as we can, but we recognize that older adults are at most risk to COVID-19.
As a covenant community of faith, our faith is lived out in our love of God and our love of neighbor. We want to operate in ways that are safe for others, especially the most vulnerable among us, so we ask that you wear a mask before you enter the doorway, keep it on throughout the service, and as you exit the Sanctuary until you enter the parking lot. This is for the protection of others. If you just feel that you cannot wear a mask in these transition spaces, we ask that you worship with us online until we are able to move to future phases of regathering.
We’ve made a lot of changes to signage, equipment, and supplies to make the first phase of regathering as safe as possible. All the touchpoint spaces are cleaned throughout the day. The Sanctuary will be wiped clean and fogged before Sunday worship. We’ve trained staff to model safe practices and added clear signage to guide your path and remind you of protocols. We also have disposable masks and hand sanitizer available at our entrances.
Engage in a “self-check.” Take your temperature to make sure you don’t have a fever and examine the list of symptoms associated with COVID-19 to make sure you’re not exhibiting any of them (fever over 100.4 degrees, chills, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea). If you have any symptoms, we ask you to stay home and worship online.
Every Friday, the weekly Sanctuary e-mail will include a simple online form for you to fill out to let us know you’re coming. That will give us an approximate head count
for the Sanctuary. You can also fill out that form here.
Signs outside entrances will remind you about distancing, masking, and hand sanitation. As you enter and see friends, remember an elbow tap or fist bump is safer than a handshake or a hug. They may not see your smile under your mask, but your warm words will be welcome! Water fountains are closed and we no longer have coffee or water service, so if you need your own coffee or water, please bring it. The Parlor will not be open during the first regathering phase. We want to make sure we have the Sanctuary worship process down first and let you learn how to move in and out safely before opening to social gathering.
Parking lot greeters will welcome you as you arrive on campus and direct you to Lot A, the lot in front of the Sanctuary, where we're asking everyone to park for the first few weeks of regathering. (see map here)
Greeters will direct you to enter through one of three specific doors to the Sanctuary to minimize crossover. Other campus entrances (Youth Building, Williams Building, Children's Building, and by
the Chapel) will be closed. Entrance 7 is the only entrance open during the week, but will not be open on Sundays.
We've added more handicap parking spaces directly in front of Entrance 1, the main entrance to the Sanctuary, and also to the Pastoral Care Suite parking lot right on Greenbay. Passenger drop off will be directed under the porte cochere.
At the Sanctuary, a greeter will meet you at the door with hand sanitizer and direct you to an open seat. Please be prepared to be seated as you are directed – it will not be possible for you to sit where you “usually” sit. Every other pew will be roped off to maintain distancing. An usher in the aisle will guide you/your household and individuals to seating at appropriate distances. Similarly at the end of service, ushers will dismiss people by pew to minimize crossover.
We're so excited to gather together again, but there will be changes to the in-person worship service experience to allow us to do so safely. There will be lots of music in worship, but we will not be singing as a congregation. There will not be a nursery or Sunday School for children, teens, or adults. Plan to worship together as a family in the Sanctuary.
Printed materials have been removed from racks around campus and from the pews, as have Bibles and hymnals. Bring your own Bible to worship or access it using the Chapelwood Discipleship app. You can find a digital bulletin there in the app as well or by visiting chapelwood.org/bulletin
on your smartphone during service.
Children's Ministry can't provide the clipboards, printed materials, and colors as they’ve done for children in the past, but they've made it easy for you to include your kids in worship by assembling all of the weekly materials for you to print ahead of time here and bring. Click here to access those materials.
We won’t be passing the offering plates during service, but there will be offering plates on stands at the three entrances to the Sanctuary. There will be instructions on the screens for "text to give." You may also give online at chapelwood.org/give.
Yes – by text. At a point during worship, you will be asked to text “pew” to 555-888. You’ll receive back simple instructions for letting us know who’s with us. Sharing that information with us helps us know real numbers for managing capacity in the Sanctuary from week-to-week and will also be necessary should we need to follow up with attendees after the service.
Know we’re excited to see you and preparing a safe, sacred space for you. We know the changes may seem like a lot, but once we get the hang of things together and everyone starts to distance naturally and take care on campus, we’ll be able to make other adjustments going forward.
If you have any questions, please contact us!