Operating StatusReopening Cedar Ridge in light of COVID-19
Our church buildings at Cedar Ridge have been closed since Friday, March 13 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to comply with national, state and 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 to all gather together again.
As of 5PM this Friday, June 19, Montgomery County moves into phase 2 of its reopening process. This is positive news, and it’s encouraging that we are making progress. At the same time, we need to be cautious because the pandemic is still a very present reality. As a leadership at Cedar Ridge, we have been following the situation carefully and have developed our own phased reopening plan. We are responding in a way that keeps the health and safety of both our own congregation and our local community as the highest priority.
We will continue to gather together as a whole community online on Sundays. But the science-based lifting of restrictions for phase 2 does give us further opportunities. Although we will still not hold indoor gatherings, we have an expansive and beautiful property that means we can meet outdoors in numbers totaling less than 50 people. Therefore we can gather outdoors for farm nights, youth meetups, group meetings, and other coordinated events—and we’ll be holding various of these over the coming weeks. We may also hold further drive-in events. For most events we will make the bathrooms in the barn accessible, and will carefully sanitize them afterwards. Of course, we also still all need to follow the ongoing precautions like physical distancing, wearing masks, attention to hygiene, and staying home if feeling unwell. It’s vital that we all comply with this when on the property. Our property is always open, so please make the most of it with all the above cautions 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. Let’s all be patient and cooperative with this process.
If we continue to make progress, restrictions may be lifted further, and we will adapt accordingly. Our plan is to resume Sunday gatherings in our church building once it is safe to do so, and the number restrictions are such that we are allowed to all gather as one community with no one excluded. Let’s look forward to that day with longing, patience and hope!