- Phone: (316) 788-1507
- Mailing Address: 431 S. Woodlawn Blvd. Derby KS 67037
Q: I’ve been vaccinated, so why do I need a mask in church?
A: Presently, fewer than one in ten people (10%) have received even one vaccine in Sedgwick County. We heed the advice of John Hopkins Medicine: “While the vaccine may prevent you from getting sick, it is unknown at this time if you can still carry and transmit the virus to others. That is why, until more is understood about how well the vaccine works, continuing with precautions such as mask-wearing and physical distancing will be very important.”
Q: I have physical/medical conditions that prevent me from wearing a mask.
A: It is difficult living with a medical condition. Woodlawn has committed to continuing our online service indefinitely for anyone who cannot safely come inside our building for worship. Presently, everyone entering Woodlawn’s building will be required to wear a mask so long as they are in it.
Q: We see friends socially, why must we distance from those friends at worship?
A: Public health guidelines still emphasize the importance of wearing a mask and maintaining a safe distance from anyone who does not live with you. Woodlawn seeks to keep not only you and your friends safe, but anyone with whom you are worshipping as well.
Q: Why do singers and pastors wear a mask? I can’t see their face, or read their lips.
A: None of our staff have been permitted to be vaccinated. More than 90 percent of Woodlawn’s congregation has not received even the first vaccination. Now is the time for all of us to remain vigilant.
Q: Schools, restaurants and other businesses opened much earlier than our church. Why?
A: Churches are similar to movie theaters, where people sit for extended periods of time in a room, breathing one another’s air. Unlike theaters, churches often have a much higher proportion of those who are 65 years of age or older, who have a higher risk of severe illness or death from the virus. Finally, church is a network of relationships, so it’s natural to want to visit, shake hands, even hug one another. We often move toward others outside of our household without even thinking about it. This makes it much more difficult to control the distance and interaction of individuals than other businesses or organizations.
Q: Why can’t we sing? Other churches do.
A: Music instructors have learned much about singing and the spreading of aerosols that can float 30 or more feet through the air, carrying infection. Until the virus is predominately under control, and there is very little risk of infection, Woodlawn will continue to mask and limit congregational singing to control the aerosols in our air.
Q: Another church I attended lets you take off your mask when seated. Why don’t we do that?
A: We don’t have control over what other churches do or don’t do. Woodlawn makes decisions based on two important sources. The first is the biblical imperative to love our neighbor and to act in the best interest of others. The second is the guidance of the Center for Disease Control and Public Health Offices. Nothing indicates that an infected person stops being contagious when they are seated. And our mandate as Christians to care for others calls us to not behave in ways that could harm to anyone else.
Q: Why don’t we have coffee, cookies or breakfast?
A: Data has shown that the wearing of masks in public significantly reduces the risk of transmission. Eliminating beverages and food service allows us to keep masks in place and reduces the additional risk of serving food that has been touched by others. For these reasons, Woodlawn does not have any food or beverages being served until we are in the green stage of our gating criteria. We are currently in yellow.
Q: When will we start worshiping in the sanctuary as well as the worship center? When will we move to two in person services?
A: We currently do not have sufficient volunteers for our Worship Center Service. While many feel comfortable returning to in person worship, many are not quite ready yet. This requires new volunteers to step into worship roles such as Greeters, Ushers, Tech crew etc. We will not able to open for two services until we can adequately support both services with the volunteers needed.
Q: Where are all the chairs and tables in the Narthex? Why have they been moved?
A: The tables, chairs and such have been moved out of the narthex for a few reasons. We moved these out in the very early stages to decrease the exposure of surfaces and limit the number of surfaces required to be cleaned. Even though we have now discovered that surfaces are not as much of a problem as the air, in regards to Covid, we continue to keep them removed. This is to discourage gathering and clumping up with other households. We have kept our worship to 45 mins to limit time of exposure and want to discourage continued socializing and gathering that stretches out that time frame.
Q: If my small group wants to meet in person at the church why might we need to change our meeting time or location from what we are used to?
A: Our implementation teams have assigned a max capacity to each room the groups meet in. That is the first criteria that might limit where your small group can meet. Additionally, scheduling is very important. We schedule groups to allow sufficient time for our custodial staff to clean between uses. These two factors might require an adjustment to your room or normal meeting time if you wish to meet in person.
Q: When will outside groups be able to begin meeting?
A: We are currently in Yellow stage so outside groups are permitted to meet in the building. Outside groups have the same protocols to follow as Woodlawn groups: Masks required while in the building, distancing and washing hands. Additionally we ask that outside groups do a preliminary cleaning/sanitizing of the spaces they use once they are done. Outside groups also have to coordinate through the office so that we can safely space out the usage of different rooms.
Q: Why is my small group/committee/Sunday School continuing to meet on Zoom and not in person?
A: Since we are in the Yellow stage, each small group has been given the option to come back in person. Each group gets to determine for themselves when they are ready to do so. Several groups are waiting until all members are comfortable returning. You can speak with your group leader or voice your desire to meet in person at your next meeting and decide as a group how to move forward.
Q: Why are we only meeting for 45 minutes?
A: The Center for Disease Control states, “the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the potential risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 and COVID-19 spreading.” To minimize the risk potential we have shortened all of our programming to 45 minutes.
Q: The schools have been meeting safely for longer time periods. What is different about Woodlawn?
A: School classrooms are designed around children and youth sitting at a desk. Woodlawn’s children’s and youth ministry are designed to have fun activities and games where children and youth are up and moving around. Because of space constraints, this movement spreads anything that we are exhaling to a greater degree than in a classroom. Additionally, teachers are currently beginning the vaccination process. Our staff and volunteers are not yet able to begin being vaccinated.
Q: When can we start meeting for a longer period of time?
A: Woodlawn has committed to following guidelines from the Center for Disease control and state health agencies. As they loosen restrictions, Woodlawn will be able to resume longer gatherings. For special events that are outdoors and less risky, we will have opportunities to gather for longer periods of time.
Q: Why don’t we have snacks?
A: Data has shown that the wearing of masks in public significantly reduces the risk of transmission. Eliminating snacks allows us to keep masks in place and reduces the additional risk of serving food that has been touched by others. For these reasons, Woodlawn does not have any food or beverages being served until we are in the green stage of our gating criteria. We are currently in yellow.
Q: Why are we entering/exiting through the children’s and youth ministry wings?
A: Entering the building through the spaces that we will be using helps to reduce the traffic flow through the building and the number of people that we come into contact with.
Q: Why is my child unable to attend “Wiggles and Worship” (formerly “Way We Worship”)?
A: At this time, we do not have volunteers who are comfortable assisting with “Wiggles and Worship”. The Safe Gatherings guidelines that Woodlawn follows for children and youth to help protect our children and youth and keep them safe, require that we have multiple people helping lead these ministries. Once we have volunteers in place to make this ministry possible, we will be able to offer “Wiggles and Worship”.
Q: Why are only Club 45 and 3rd grade the only children’s ministry groups currently meeting?
A: Much like with “Wiggles and Worship”, we are needing volunteers to meet our Safe Gatherings guidelines. Once we have more volunteers in place, we will be able to offer gatherings for younger children. We chose to begin with these older groups because their age and maturity help them be better equipped for mask and social distancing guidelines.
Q: Why is our high school group split into two groups on alternating weeks?
A: We are blessed with a large number of high school students, but are not equipped with the space needs to meet our Covid social distancing guidelines for such a large group. Alternating the two groups allows us to meet these guidelines, as well as creating the time and space to disinfect our youth center between gatherings.
Q: When will our high school group return to meeting as a single group?
A: Assuming that our Covid trends continue to improve, we will have the opportunity to bring the two groups together as soon as we are able to regularly schedule activities to take place outside. This typically happens around spring break, which also happens to be when our time changes to give us adequate light for the High School youth activities to occur outside.
WOW for Educators prayer booklet HERE.