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Methodist churches continue reopening

United Methodist churches in Arkansas will be able to move to a second stage of reopening with the appropriate approval and measures in place as soon as Sunday, according to new guidance issued by Bishop Gary Mueller.

Mueller announced in an email Monday a set of revised guidelines for its Stage 2 reopening of churches in the denomination; churches that have plans approved by their District Superintendents and the Board of Trustees for their congregation may move forward with that second stage, he said.

Churches will still livestream worship, Bible studies and formation groups. In-person worship services should be no longer than 30-35 minutes and include no congregational singing. Wearing of masks indoors at all times is mandatory, and no church may have more than 50 people may gather indoors or outdoors for any event.

Children’s activities and childcare will not be offered; youths ages 12-18 can hold socially distanced youth ministry activities using the guidelines found at bit. ly/31dUIZ1.

Weddings and funerals conducted within the denomination must also meet the conference’s Stage 2 guidelines, Mueller said.

A full list and updates on guidance are available at arumc.org/covid19.

— ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE

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