2.42 Church COVID-19 Updates

2.42 Church is adhering to all Texas State University guidelines concerning COVID-19, and to all relevant laws set by the State of Texas. Here is a summary of the most important info you need to know:

Texas State University Guidelines

  • Cloth face coverings are required indoors and outdoors at all times, except when alone.
  • Limit occupancy indoors to 50% maximum capacity.
  • Wash/sanitize your hands upon arrive at, and after attending, all in-person gatherings.
  • Stay home if you show any signs of COVID-19, or if you have had known close contact with a person who has tested positive for, and remains symptomatic with COVID-19.
  • Whenever possible, indoor meetings are encouraged to be conducted remotely.
  • Record attendance of all events. (This will allow for easier contact tracing, should that be necessary.)

Texas Department of Safety and Health Services Minimum Standard Protocols for Individuals

  • Masks are required whenever it is difficult to maintain six feet of separation from someone not in your own household.
  • No groups larger than 10 including household members.
  • Minimize in-person contact including maintaining six feet of separation from everyone not in your household.

As a clarification - during Sunday service, homegroups, or any 2.42 Church event masks are required at all times (except those on stage) even if more than 6 feet away so that we can be consistent with TX State's campus guidelines.  If you feel that you need a breather please feel free to step outside to remove your mask and rejoin the group when you feel ready to put your mask back on.


Our goal for Fall 2020 is to conduct as many church events in person as possible, so long as all above guidelines can be followed at all times. We're continually doing our best to balance our students' need for connection and community with their need for safety and health. Thanks for hanging in there with us.


Continue reading for a more detailed overview.

JULY 29, 2020


THINGS ARE CRAZY, Y'ALL.

We recognize that. Everything sucks. We recognize that too. So, before we get around to sharing all the details of what we're wanting to put into practice, we want y'all to know that we think it all sucks.


The truth is, we have no good options. No one has any good options. Regardless of what different decisions have been made at federal, state, or local levels regarding this virus, we want to acknowledge that "in these unprecedented and uncertain times..." there haven't been any good options--only variations of bad options. Some choices may have been worse than others, but all of the good options available to the world were gone the day the virus started spreading in humans.


In trying to choose which options we have that are the least bad, we have some very conflicting values that we all want to preserve. The good of the individual and the good of the group, safety and freedom, economy and health. We want all of these, but we're left having to decide how much of which ones we give up for the sake of the others. We are thankful that we're not having to make these decisions for a whole city, state, or nation. However, 2.42's leadership does have to make a decision regarding our organization's expectations.


WHAT WE'VE DECIDED

We're going to follow Texas State University's policies and procedures for classrooms, open spaces, use of masks, etc., and apply them to our settings in a way that we think is consistent to all our meetings.


Here are some reasons why we've decided this is a good idea.

  • The staff of 2.42 Church simply doesn't have the administrative or scientific resources to make decisions about these things like larger organizations do. So, it's a good idea to follow the guidelines made by other organizations. 
  • Why Texas State? We're intrinsically tied to Texas State because of our stated mission to the students of the university. Our ministry calendar, organizational budget, and even the location of our offices, have all been determined based on our chosen association with Texas State. Not to mention the fact that 2.42 Church is the off-campus sponsor of a registered student organization: 2.42 Church On-Campus. 
  • Since so many of our members are students at Texas State, by committing ourselves to the same standard, our members will have a more consistent experience through this whole ordeal. They won't have to adapt to multiple guidelines or potentially have conflicting guidelines at different times. 
  • We hope to be able to meet on-campus in the fall for our worship services and other events. In these spaces, we'll need to follow Texas State's guidelines anyway, and it will help us to respect their space and rules if we adopt them as our own.


GUIDELINES

The following is a summary of two sets of guidelines. The first is from the Texas Department of State Health Services which applies to everyone at all times. The second will be the guidelines from Texas State for their campus operations that we will also be applying to all of our official meetings.


Texas DSHS Minimum Standard Health Protocols for Individuals

  • Masks are required whenever it is difficult to maintain six feet of separation from someone not in your own household.
  • No groups larger than 10 including household members.
  • Minimize in-person contact including maintaining six feet of separation from everyone not in your household.

We expect all our leaders and encourage all our members to personally, both in and out of 2.42 Church events, to live by the guidelines of the state of Texas as stated above. There are more details to the actual guidelines, but what is written above are the parts that are most difficult, but most important, to follow. If you have a specific question about how to interpret one of the above items or how to apply it to your circumstances, then we encourage you to peruse the actual documentation, which is linked at the bottom of this page.


Texas State University Guidelines

  • Cloth face coverings are required indoors and outdoors at all times, except when alone.
  • Limit occupancy indoors to 50% maximum capacity.
  • Wash/sanitize your hands upon arrive at, and after attending, all in-person gatherings.
  • Stay home if you show any signs of COVID-19, or if you have had known close contact with a person who has tested positive for, and remains symptomatic with COVID-19.
  • Whenever possible, indoor meetings are encouraged to be conducted remotely.
  • Record attendance of all events. (This will allow for easier contact tracing, should that be necessary.)

If you test positive for, or become symptomatic with COVID-19, you should stay home until one of the following conditions are met:

  • You test negative for COVID-19.
  • You are symptom-free for 48 hours.
  • 14 days have passed since a positive test

In addition to the laws of Texas, we also expect all people attending or hosting any 2.42 Church event (including Sunday services, homegroups, kickoffs, special events, etc.) to adhere to the guidelines presented by Texas State University.


A WIDE GREY AREA

One last thing that we want to acknowledge is that these rules (again, not our rules) as stated are pretty inflexible, as rules tend to be. For all official 2.42 Church events, including worship services and homegroups, we will 100% adhere to the guidelines and laws above.


We also recognize that people have lives outside of official church events and there could be extreme circumstances that would give us reason to disregard these guidelines. We expect the most common reason to not personally follow them will probably be related to the mental health risks of being alone. We think it's easy for all of us to say that on one end of the spectrum we would say that if one our friends or family members called us and said, "I'm having a bad mental health day and I don't think it's safe for me to be alone", we should immediately care for them in-person. The other end of the spectrum might be, "I'm bored and uncomfortable wearing a mask and don't want to follow the rules." Boredom and slight discomfort are not good reasons to contribute to the spread of the worst pandemic in a century.


However, between these two endpoints is a wide grey area where it's difficult to know what to do. Should we make a person with mental health issues wait to address their loneliness until they reach a point where they are considering taking their own life? Of course not. How much boredom can a person go through before boredom becomes depression? We don't know. We're mindful that we are a church that thrives by being in close proximity with one another. We ask that groups who gather on their own (outside of Sunday Services and homegroup meetings) please use discretion and are respectful of the thoughts and feelings of one another.


Some things to keep in mind concerning this wide grey area:

  • Could you meet this need with a virtual hangout or a phone call? No, it's not the same, but remember, we're out of good options.
  • Try keeping your circle of physical connections small. Visiting with a small number of people is better than visiting with a large number of people.
  • Consider which people you physically connect with. Do they keep their circle small (as in the above point), or are they visiting a large number of people? It's better to personally visit people who have been more careful to keep their circles small.
  • Try to stretch out your in-person visits to once every two weeks. This will help to reduce the risk of passing infection along by giving yourself time to develop symptoms, get tested, and quarantine if needed, in case you do get infected. 

Finally, remember that the more we follow the guidelines put out by the state and various health departments, the quicker we'll be able to get this whole situation under control and life can go back to mostly normal. We know it's hard. Life has been stressful, and nothing feels normal. We're all in this together, so let's support each other and make sure no one gets left behind.


For more, please visit the following resources:

Roadmap to Return : Texas State University

Residence Halls and Bobcat Village : Texas State University

Social Distancing Measures : Texas State University

Health & Safety Measures : Texas State University


Opening the State of Texas | COVID-19

Texas Department of State Health Services Minimum Standard Health Protocols for Individuals





JULY 13, 2020


We continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on San Marcos, Hays County, and Texas State University. Sunday Services for the summer are being held over Zoom until further notice. Additionally, our student homegroup is meeting on Wednesday evenings over Zoom through July.


We encourage you to follow state guidelines during this season and to exercise caution when in public settings. Updates concerning our plan for the fall semester will be announced in due time. 


MARCH 28, 2020


We strongly encourage all members to follow the directives laid out by their local jurisdiction during this season. For those in Hays County, the current stipulations can be found here. At this time, we ask all members to not gather in social settings beyond those whom they live with.


Our homegroup meetings can be joined on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights via Zoom Meeting, while our Sunday services will be streamed live on YouTube beginning March 29th.


We continue to encourage you to reach out to the staff for prayer, needs you encounter, etc.



MARCH 20, 2020


First and foremost, we hope everyone is managing as best one can in this season of uncertainty. While our world has been turned upside down in a short span of time, we can remain confident that God is on his throne, that these events are not a surprise to him, and that he remains the only source of hope and peace that will not falter.

With yesterday's news that classes will remain online for the remainder of the semester, we can tell you that our Sunday service, and all homegroup meetings will take place in an online setting until it is safe to meet in person once again.

There will not be a service this coming Sunday, March 22nd. This was a pre-planned week off to align with Spring Break. Our homegroups will begin meeting online next week with Flavor on March 24th, the J-Walkers on March 25th, and the Skyriders on March 26th. These groups will meet at their normal times. Our first Sunday service (also online) will be Sunday, March 29th.

All Sunday service and homegroup meetings will take place by using Zoom meeting (zoom.us). Please download this to your computer/phone if you haven't done so yet. For Sundays, a link to join will be posted in both our official news GroupMe (reach out to a staff if you're not in there and would like to be added) and our church Facebook page. Homegroup d-teams will be posting a link to join homegroup meetings in homegroup GroupMes. (GroupMe can be accessed on a computer, if you're not wanting to stare at your phone for a long time).

We will continue to carry out discipleship meetings, homegroup coaching, etc. as best we can.
We will provide discipleship for all who are returning home during this season either online or over the phone.

Additionally, the men's retreat scheduled for April 3rd-5th is canceled.

For further news and updates, we will be primarily communicating via the church's Facebook page (facebook.com/242SanMarcos) and the church official news GroupMe.

While some individuals may want to interact in person during this time, we want to clearly state that no one person should feel any pressure to participate in any physical gathering for hanging out or discipleship during this time. We strongly encourage you to wash your hands regularly, do not gather in any groups of more than 10 (again, do not feel any pressure to do this!), and avoid others if you are feeling symptomatic.

We encourage you to utilize technology to remain connected as best one can during this season.

Please don't hesitate to reach out to any of the church staff during this time if you have further questions, need someone to process with, pray with you, etc. We are here for you!