Running a church during a global pandemic definitely comes with major challenges. From keeping churchgoers safe, to adhering to legal restrictions and social distancing recommendations, hosting a church event can be particularly challenging. Nevertheless, that does not mean it can’t be done. With safe handling and packaging of shared religious tools and resources, smart planning for social distancing, and staying outside when possible, there are ways to facilitate safer church events during COVID-19. While no large social gathering is ever safe during a pandemic, if you’re interested in how to plan a less risky event, read on.
Most every church event comes with shared tools and resources to help promote faith and inspire ritual. Using sanitized, tight sealed packaging for these products can go a long way in keeping church events safer.
Maybe you’re holding a baptism and need to give out candles to protect the ritual. If this is the case, using proper packaging for baptism candles and a simple Google search for something like ‘Shrink Sleeve Labeling Machine‘ could go a long way in keeping people safe without sacrificing tradition when carrying out the sacrament. If your church is holding a funeral and the regular protocol is handing out Bibles and mass cards, this is another chance to use safe packaging during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Before packing that baptismal candle in safe packaging, you’ll want to think about sanitizing it too. Using aerosol sprays or wipes to prepare faith items ahead of time will go a long way in keeping your community safer.
When hosting a church event, consider, passing out hand sanitizers, wipes, and disposable masks as well. Whether these come with other religious tools or are given out separately, by making them available individually to parishioners or guests, you’ll have a better chance at a safe event.
For many churches, leaders are investing in large hand sanitizing dispensers. By placing these in the entrances and exits, they’re encouraging people who enter and exit to clean their hands. Even a regular service could benefit from this.
Social Distancing and Masks
When planning a church event during a pandemic, it’s important to plan in advance for social distancing and ways to keep the spreading of germs to a minimum. One way to do this is to minimize how many people are allowed at the event. In many places, there are laws around this. For others, crowd size can be determined at church leaders’ discretion. Likewise, consider asking all guests to wear masks and maintain a six-foot social distance where they can.
Where possible, any church event including weekly services, should be held outside. If that’s not possible due to bad weather, pick the most well ventilated or biggest area in your church that you can.
Other general considerations for keeping your church community safer include offering virtual services, staggering service times so there are fewer people in the building at the same time, and for there to be deep cleaning services between church events. Installing plexiglass and limiting choir or chorus participation or replacing them with other, recorded, music can be helpful, too. Lastly, educating your church community about the importance of keeping each other safe can help. As a church leader, you’re in the unique position of having a platform where people are more inclined to listen to you.
Whether holding a church event for a funeral, wedding, or baptism, there are ways to play it safer in a pandemic. By paying close attention to detail, minimizing social contact, and packaging candles and resources correctly, you’ll have your best chance at a safe event.