Per Bishop Easterling's request to all UMC churches in the Baltimore-Washington Conference, Mt. Carmel UMC has assembled a "Home Safe Team," to discern and recommend to Church Council the best ways we can gather, fellowship, & do mission as a church in light of this global pandemic. They take into account guidelines from the CDC, Bishop Easterling, and Governor Hogan so that Mt. Carmel UMC can do its best to minimize the impact of COVID-19.
Despite these precautions and limitations, we are still the church! We are thankful for the creative ways we have found to allow us to continue worship, discipleship, and mission. See below where we have been, where we are, and where we're headed. Interested in joining the Home Safe Team? Contact Pastor Laura.
Our last indoor worship was mid-March. Since then, we have worshipped together online every week
We've had virtual Sunday School, Bible Studies, & meetings. See our YouTube Channel for worship
From May 31-Oct 25, we worshipped outside
We safely provided food for the Religious Coalition, had outdoor Vacation Bible School, & our youth group met
What's Happening Now
Our last regular outdoor worship was Oct 25. Since then, we are continuing to worship together online every week
As of Oct 1, our Preschool re-opened under strict MSDE Guidelines
All groups, church-related & others, (except preschool & online worship recording) are meeting online or somewhere off campus
Children's, Youth, and Adult
Ministries continue to gather online
When we gather in person again, for special outdoor services, we ask all to following the guidelines listed below:
Mt. Carmel United Methodist Church
Safe Community Guidelines
Before coming to church, please take your temperature at home. If it is registering out of your normal range, please stay home. If you have fever, feel ill or feel you are at high risk for COVID-19, please stay home and worship with us online.
Please wear a mask from the moment you leave your car until you return to your car. This applies to everyone above age 3.
Please maintain 6 feet of physical distance from all those that do not live in your home.
Please refrain from all physical contact including handshakes, hugs, etc. Air hugs are great!
Please wash your hands with soap and water or utilize hand sanitizer every time you enter the building.
Please ensure that children 5th grade and younger are always accompanied by an adult who is mindful of their physical distancing and hand/face hygiene.
If you need to come inside, only one person (or family) in each bathroom or elevator at one time.
To facilitate social distancing, please park in the open parking spaces (every other space is closed).
We know that each family has developed their own guidelines for their family based on their needs. While on our property, we appreciate everyone’s cooperation following these precautions to keep our community safe. Please know these guidelines may be stricter than mandated. Our priority is your health. We love you and stay safe!
A snapshot of our journey through this pandemic
Frequently asked questions
What cleaning products are used to clean the church?
We use Clorox Green Works and 3M TB Quat disinfectant for all surfaces and Mr. Clean for the floors, except the gym floor, which has a special cleaner from Bona. We also use Clorox wipes on surfaces in the classrooms.
Has the church worshipped inside at all during this pandemic?
Yes, we did one socially-distanced service in September. We worshipped outdoors from June through October and have provided online weekly worship since mid-March. We hope to worship together again in person once the weather warms up.
Is the church doing contact-tracing?
Yes, when we gather together (outdoors), we have someone taking everyone's names and contact information.
What is at the heart of refraining from gathering at this time?
Writer Ed Stetzer prayerfully shares, "Sometimes love tells us that perhaps for a season we must forsake the gathering together of the saints because of our love for our neighbor. We know that meeting together could cause harm to people in our congregations, our communities and our world. We know for example, that if the coronavirus spreads, older adults and those with serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease are at greater risk." At this time, we are taking direction from the Baltimore-Washington Conference, our local government, and the nature of our indoor worship space.
Who currently uses the building and how?
As of December, the church staff telecommutes, with the exception of our administrator that only comes in twice weekly. The Preschool has been open since October 1 and is following strict guidelines set by MSDE. No parents are allowed inside the building, only teachers and students. Finally, worship is recorded weekly indoors. Other than a small music team masked and socially distanced, worship leaders are in the building alone with the person recording. Everyone wears masks and remains at least 6 feet apart.