Brookmeade has returned to in-person worship in our Sanctuary. Please see safety guidelines below.
At this time, Brookmeade Congregational Church is following a hybrid worship service with in-person services from 10:30am-11:30am Sunday morning and an online worship video posted to our YouTube channel the following Monday. Sign up for our weekly email to receive our online bulletin and link to our worship video.
Updated Mask Policy as of April 10th, 2022
- Masks are encouraged but optional at this time. If you have been fully vaccinated and boosted a mask will not be required. No proof will be required, and you will be free to continue to wear a mask if you feel the need to do so. Remember, masks are more effective in preventing you from infecting others than preventing you from being infected.
- If you have NOT been fully vaccinated a mask WILL be required as well as maintaining 6’ of personal distance.
- Ask before you touch. Not everyone is comfortable with hugs or even with handshakes. That is even more true now. Make it normal to ask before you touch people.
- Respect people’s medical privacy. “Are you vaccinated yet?” seems innocuous, and it has become a friendly check-in with close friends and family, but it may be that your church friend has a medical condition they don’t want you to know about that makes vaccination dangerous.
- Let people wear masks without answering questions. In the UCC, we’re used to letting people dress as they want at church. Do the same for masks. Trust people’s choices. They don’t need to tell you why they’re more comfortable in a mask, any more than they would need to tell you why they’re more comfortable in a dress.
If you plan on attending service in person, please read over these guidelines outlining the precautions we are taking as a congregation:
- We ask anyone who is feeling sick to please stay home and get tested. We also encourage all who are able to get vaccinated.
- Masks and hand sanitizer will be made readily available for everyone at the front table.
- We will use individually, pre-packaged communion elements.
- Coffee Fellowship will be held outdoors, weather permitting, and we will socially distance as much as possible.
- Regular deep cleaning and disinfecting of the building will continue as it has during the pandemic.
- We will continue having conversations with the congregation about safe practices moving forward.
Ongoing Measures to Prevent Spread of COVID-19 at Brookmeade
- Expansion of opportunities for digital worship through live streaming, continuing to use Zoom for some study (Learn & Grow) and social connection opportunities, as well as other online media.
- Provide pastoral and congregational care as appropriate and able for those in the congregation and wider Brookmeade community who need support during their own illness or the illness of a family member. Congregational care adopts a non-contact protocol (if requested) for support provided for anyone within the congregation.
- Request that financially stable people who support the church financially enroll in online giving to ensure that basic necessary bills can always be covered.
- Offer educational tools to the congregation to help ensure that people have good information.
- Request that those involved with the congregations of Brookmeade notify the pastoral team if they or their family members are diagnosed or quarantined through COVID19 exposure.
- Notify coordinators of outside meetings (like AA) at the church of these policies and procedures and make plans for follow-up should the situation change.
- Ensure that all groups meeting in the building at Brookmeade are adhering to these protocols and notifying Brookmeade if there are confirmed cases among their participants.
- Ensure that council members are in communication about COVID-19 related topics, including sharing news of confirmed cases in the congregation or the congregation’s extended community while maintaining individual’s privacy.
Ongoing Measures to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 in the local Community
- Advocate for just and equitable access to healthcare for all people, as well as environmental policies that protect the well-being of ecosystems.
- Participate in local grassroots organizing, denominational resources, and government information and initiatives around disease prevention and mitigation.
- Pray for the health and well-being of all who are sick, including but not limited to those in the active congregation. Pray for those whose livelihood and financial stability is or has been affected by illness or societal change. Pray for our healthcare workers who are being overworked and are struggling with burnout.
- Encourage those who are able to get vaccinated to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and continue wearing masks in pubic gatherings where social distancing is impossible.
Resources for Learning, Talking About, and Caring for Ourselves Through This Pandemic:
The COVID-19 pandemic is a quickly evolving situation and the best place to find current updates are on the World Health Organization’s website (https://www.who.int/), on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html). Locally, you can learn more about Tennessee’s response and find your local health department here: https://www.tn.gov/health/health-program-areas/localdepartments.html.
Here is what to do if you are part of the population at higher risk of developing complications from COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/high-risk-complications.html
Here are recommendations for faith-based organizations on how to respond to COVID-19. This includes developing a buddy system to check in with one another and assess needs: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/guidance-community-faith-organizations.html
Here is information on caring for our mental health and the mental health of our children and loved ones in light of the COVID-19 pandemic: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/coping.html
Here you can find helpful suggestions for how to talk with children about COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/talking-with-children.html
A prayer for depression, fear, and anxiety:
“O Christ Jesus,St. Ignatius of Loyola
when all is darkness
and we feel our weakness and helplessness,
give us the sense of Your presence,
Your love, and Your strength.
Help us to have perfect trust
in Your protecting love
and strengthening power,
so that nothing may frighten or worry us,
for, living close to You,
we shall see Your hand,
Your purpose, Your will through all things.”