South Main family,
The COVID-19 Advisory Task Force continues our work, and we are happy to announce that on Sunday, September 20, SMBC will move to Phase 3 of our reopening plan.
This decision is based on the continued improvement of Houston's COVID-19 situation, best expressed in the Texas Medical Center's daily updates located here.
You may recall we began small gatherings, both indoors and outdoors, in Phase 2. Several Sunday School communities and South Main at Home groups have already gathered, and more are on the calendar. In addition, our youth have met in small numbers to engage in missions-related activities. Also, a number of members have taken part in the ?Worship Space Thursdays? where we open the Sanctuary at designated times for individuals to worship privately.
All of these activities successfully achieved their purposes, and importantly, gave the task force and staff the opportunity to evaluate our protocols to ensure that as we expand our activities, we do so safely.
What does a move to Phase 3 mean?
Phase 3 expands the maximum attendee numbers for gatherings. For adult groups and Tribe/Youth, this means gatherings of 50 or fewer outdoors, and 25 or fewer indoors, with all participants wearing masks and socially distanced.
Additionally, Phase 3 permits in-person MainKids activities (less than 25 people outdoors and less than 10 indoors), wearing masks (over age 2) and socially distanced. The MainKids activities will be family-oriented, including events such as outdoor movie nights or picnic time on the playground. Dolores is finalizing plans for these events, so be on the look out for information as part of her weekly email communications.
As we've stated before, we plan to move through the phases as it is safe to do so; however, if conditions in the Houston area deteriorate, a step back in the process may be required. We continue to balance the safety of the congregation, with the longing to be together.
For those in our congregation who may be in vulnerable populations, or are simply uncomfortable with returning to church activities, we continue to fully encourage and support your decision to stay home and stay connected online for now.
The Task Force expresses our appreciation for your continued prayerful support as we, and the entire South Main family, navigate these unprecedented days.