Operating StatusReopening Cedar Ridge in light of COVID-19
On March 13, 2020, we closed our church building at Cedar Ridge due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to comply with county guidelines, and because we take the health issues very seriously, we have been gathering online for virtual Sunday services since that time. We all deeply miss gathering in person, and are longing for the day when it will be safe for us all to be physically together again.
Since moving into phase 2 of the Montgomery County reopening process last summer, we’ve been able to meet in small groups outside on our property. Events have included farm nights, youth gatherings, discipleship groups, yoga classes, prayer events, movie nights, property workdays, and more. While colder weather limited opportunities over the winter, many more outdoor events are planned for the spring onwards.
We have also made modifications to our facilities to make gathering indoors safer. For example, we have installed maximum MERV-rated air filters in our HVAC units, purchased air purifiers, and positioned non-touch hand sanitizing stations throughout our buildings. We have developed protocols for ventilation and sanitation to ensure the safe use of our facilities by staff, renters and visitors.
As a church leadership, we are constantly monitoring the changing situation as we seek to provide meaningful connection for our community, while keeping safety a priority. We are actively soliciting feedback from our community about comfort with meeting in-person under various scenarios, and invite you to complete a brief survey. We are also working with our volunteers to ensure they are able and willing to serve at this time.
In keeping with our vision and values, inclusivity is a high priority. So we want to make times available together that are safe and inclusive for families with younger children as well. This means supporting parents and guardians with the challenges they face in keeping their children safely physically distanced. We also know some of us will continue to feel anxious about gathering in person, and some really ought not to until fully vaccinated. So we will continue to provide various virtual connection opportunities (including Sunday service live-streaming and racial justice encounter groups) while keeping in-person gatherings as safe and accessible as possible.
Our property is always open, so please feel free to use it informally with friends, family and small groups, while keeping all the above precautions in mind. At formal, organized Cedar Ridge events, we will have a simple check-in station where we’ll take a roll call and ask a few health-related questions. This will help us keep track of numbers and maximize safety precautions.
We are confident that as vaccinations roll out, we will return to a situation where we can all gather as one community with no one excluded. Let’s look forward to that day with longing, patience and hope!