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Updated Sept. 10, 2020
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The COVID-19 Reentering, Reopening, Reimagining (RRR) Task Force called by Bishop Stokes has developed guidelines and advice as our church buildings move through the phases of re-opening. The Task Force issued its initial report on June 5. Here is everything your church needs to know right now to help move toward re-opening.
List of Churches Approved for Reopening
More than 80 churches have been approved by Bishop Stokes and the RRR Task Force to reopen for some form of in-person worship. See the list.
Reopening Training Video Now Available
In this video, the Rev. Canon Valerie Balling and Dr. Phil Lewis, co-chairs of the Task Force, present training to help your congregations plan for reopening your church buildings. This is the training required in the RRR Questionnaire for parish leaders involved in reopening church buildings. It will be helpful to have a printout of the Task Force’s Summary of Recommendations open while you watch the video.
Task Force Materials
- Report of Recommendations for Congregation Plans: Presentation by the Rev. Canon Valerie Balling, chair of the RRR Task Force. Canon Balling discusses the initial Task Force guidelines and the process congregations must follow to be approved by the bishop to reopen their buildings.
- RRR Task Force Report Updated (Revised Sept. 10, 2020) A phased re-entry plan to be followed by all congregations in the Diocese.
- Weekly Summary of Changes
- Summary of Recommendations: A five-page summary of recommendations from the Task Force
- Guidelines for Baptisms
- Guidelines for Confirmation, Reception, and Reaffirmation
- COVID-19 General Liability Issues for Churches: Memo from Paul Ambos, Chancellor of the Diocese of New Jersey
Coronavirus Safety Tips for Religious Organizations: From Church Insurance Companies
- Informe y recomendaciones del grupo de trabajo: un plan de reingreso por etapas que deben seguir todas las congregaciones de la diócesis
Guidance for Tenants and Outside Groups: Information for any non-congregational groups using your church buildings.
RRR Building Use Agreement Information: Guidelines and a sample building use agreement for tenants and other outside groups using church buildings.
- Procedures for the Eucharist: A video demonstration of safe and hygienic procedures for the sacrament of Communion.
- Form for building your Reentering, Reopening, Reimagining Plan: External link to the form shown below. Your congregation’s completed form must be approved by the RRR Task Force and Bishop Stokes before reopening your church building. Note that the form is designed to be completed in several sessions; click the “save and resume” button to save your progress. You’ll receive a unique web address (URL) for your form. Do not lose that URL. Without it, you will have to start your form over. If necessary, the form may be printed, completed offline, and then mailed in. Download the printable form here.
BioBlast is a special spray device and liquid disinfectant for sanitizing surfaces in your church. The Diocese has a bulk-purchase agreement with the company, which is headquartered in New Jersey. Email Canon Phyllis Jones for more information.
- Video demonstration of the use of a BioBlast system from St. Bartholomew’s, Cherry Hill
- BioBlasting Protocols and Procedures, prepared by the BioBlast company
- Learn more on the BioBlast web site
Building your Reentering, Reopening, Reimagining Plan
Your congregation’s completed form must be approved by the RRR Task Force and Bishop Stokes before reopening your church building. Note that the form is designed to be completed in several sessions; click the “save and resume” button to save your progress. You’ll receive a unique web address (URL) for your form. Do not lose that URL. Without it, you will have to start your form over.