Email Update from March 17, 2021
- We approved in our January Winter 2021 guidelines that pastoral group meetings in homes would follow the governor's decisions. With the loosing of restrictions this past Friday, we can follow his relaxation immediately. Given this principle, pastoral group meetings in homes may resume indoors for up to 15 individuals. Masking and 6’ distancing is still expected.
- District and OGCG gatherings may resume without a specific number limit on attendance but must meet 6” distancing requirements plus proper face masks. The only limits that will remain in place are venue limits to accommodate the 6" distancing requirements.
- For all CCR sanctioned events, which include pastoral groups, masks, and social distancing are still expected c/w the governor’s guidelines.
- Congregational singing is now allowed with no time limit or song limit as long as masks are worn and there is proper airflow. This includes worship at all CCR events and during the regular times of the liturgies. (Hymns/Songs at usual times, Gloria, mass parts, etc.) The encouragement for restraint still applies.
- It seems food is still restricted depending on the venue. We are going to stick with the option to serve prepacked food at events of up to 40 people if the venue allows for it. NET recently lifted this restriction, so we can now serve pre-packaged food at the NET Center.
- As more people in the general public and community get vaccinated, we anticipate further adjustments will become possible.
Email Update from February 19, 2021
Singing as part of praise and worship may resume at events with the following expectations:
- Voice restraint is practiced to minimize expelling more aerosol than necessary during participation;
- At least 6-foot social distancing of non-household members;
- Proper fitting masks covering the mouth and nose are utilized. Face shields may not be substituted.
- The total time of singing is limited to a cumulative time of approximately 15” or 3 songs.
- Proper masks should be available at the entry for those who need one along with hand sanitizer.
The YES retreat travel recommendations were supported with the following key points:
- Despite the attempts at maintaining infection safety, the YES Retreat should be viewed as a high-risk event when parents make their decisions. Social distancing and mask use will be unreliable.
- The car/van rides will be the highest risk periods. The length of travel time even with masks will make protection from infection unlikely if someone is asymptomatically infected. Therefore, we are not requiring mask use in cars/vans. They should of course be utilized at all stops and locations.
- An individual who has viral symptoms, or lives with someone who has covid-like symptoms, should stay home.
- We recommend the Youth Group leadership consider requiring covid testing of staff and participants shortly before the trip for all individuals. This will help prevent an asymptomatic individual from infecting multiple van companions and from spreading infection throughout the retreat. Given the size of CCR’s youth group, we believe this is also a prudent responsibility toward the other communities.
Email Update from January 19, 2021
HERE you will find the revised covid protocols, to help guide our community events and group meetings for the next period of time. We are grateful to the covid task force for their continued work in advising the community in this important area. We are grateful that we are able to once again meet in some limited ways. As we move forward and demonstrate our ability to follow these protocols, we would look forward to a continual loosening of restrictions by both civil and church authorities. Let’s all do our part to stick together in love.
We know this is a challenging time for many of our brothers and sisters. We know that there are a wide variety of opinions about the reality of the pandemic, the seriousness of the virus, the purpose and authority of government during a crisis, and the nature of personal liberty versus the common good. As leaders in the community, we know we can’t satisfy all our members’ concerns, nor answer all their questions. We hope that you know, as your brothers and sisters, we are trying our best.
The attached protocols are our best assessment of what should guide our interactions at this stage of the pandemic. Like everyone else, we are eager to see life return to a more normal pattern of in-person gatherings and group meetings. We all miss worshiping the Lord together in song and we ask for your continued patience in this vital area of our life as we return to in-person meetings.
As we review the protocols recommended by the task force, there are a few overarching principles that guide our thinking. They are listed in the document. Let us highlight two.
First, we have to take a concern for the overall community membership. While individual members may make their own personal decisions in regards to their personal life, we have to take a more cautious approach when it comes to the whole community. We are charged to care for the whole flock and not just individual people. What protocols will allow the largest number of members to safely gather/interact has to be a major factor in our decision-making. With the arrival of the vaccine, we are hoping that our more vulnerable members can receive the vaccination and more safely re-engage with our life together.
Secondly, we believe we have some moral responsibility as a Christian body to do what we can to slow the spread of the virus in the broader social community to which we all belong. By our cooperation with the civil authorities and Church leadership, we are acknowledging that we have a social responsibility to help all people get through this crisis, even if it involves some cost to ourselves. Helping to stop the spread of the virus is one important way we express our prolife values.
We are grateful for your support, patience, and perseverance during these difficult times.
The Executive Committee on behalf of the Council of Coordinators
Click to view CCR Youth Night Covid Protocols - 2020/21
Email Update from November 17, 2020
Brothers & Sisters,
I'm sure that you are aware of Governor Walz’s recent press conference detailing new restrictions to slow down the spread of COVID. We have seen a dramatic spike in COVID positive cases statewide as well as within CCR.
Governor Walz's new orders went into effect this past Friday, Nov. 13. Our COVID Task Force has looked over the orders and proposed an updated set of guidelines to the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee has reviewed and approved the proposal. We have sent it on to the Council of Coordinators and the Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) for their input. We have asked for them to review and respond to the proposal by this coming Friday. From there, we will get out a set of updated guidelines.
In the meantime, due to recent spikes in COVID positive cases as well as the high number of people self-isolating due to exposure, we want to address a couple of changes that will take effect as of today:
For the time being, all pastoral groups should plan on meeting via Zoom.
Following our Chaplain’s recommendations, we are canceling our Thanksgiving & Christmas Mass. CCR members should plan on attending their local parish Mass.
For the time being, we are temporarily suspending all CCR in-person youth activities and programs while our youth team meets to develop a plan that allows our youth to safely meet.
Upcoming District Events should be virtual.
We do have a plan in place to hold the Women's Advent Gathering in person, please keep this event on your calendar. (update: it is now virtual.)
Once we hear back from the Coordinators and the WLC, we will address more of our upcoming events.
We understand that these moves will create some pastoral challenges and encourage all of us to use the pastoral system to help navigate questions and concerns. Make good use of your group leaders, your group supervisors, and your district teams.
Please continue to keep CCR in your prayers and we work to navigate this season.
CCR Executive Committee
Past Update from September 2020
Our doctor led task force has provided the following perspective on covid realities:
“As we move into fall and winter and more indoor activities in our life together, the spread of COVID infections and complications will become a higher risk for our members. Recent evidence is showing:
Children are more likely to spread COVID than previously thought even though their risk of severe infection is low.
The greatest spreaders are now those in their 20’s-40’s.
Those at highest risk for severe disease continue to be those > 65 years old and those with significant underlying medical problems including diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and significant lung problems.
Proper masks are highly beneficial in preventing transmission, especially when worn by both individuals who are relating. Of greatest benefit is the prevention of spread by an infected individual who is not showing symptoms (and who would thus still consider attending in person events and may unwittingly expose others to the virus).
Proper masks should be mandatory when any of the following conditions are met:
Anticipated close sustained interactions with less than 6 feet of physical distance;
Gathering in closed spaces such as meeting rooms and bathrooms without high ceilings or windows that can allow strong air exchange;
Gathering in crowded places with bottlenecking such as hallways, entryways and serving lines; or
Gatherings that involve more than 15 people. “
In consultation with our medical professionals, community leadership is promoting the following guidelines:
Following the governor's mandate, masks will be required for indoor CCR events including District Gatherings, General Community Gatherings, Masses, and all youth events. Those that have health exceptions for wearing masks are encouraged to use a face shield at events.
Community singing indoors remains not an option. We will continue to monitor this area closely so we can return to singing at the earliest time possible. Singing without a mask outside is possible if a physical distance of at least 10 feet can be maintained and there is some breeze. Absent either one of these two factors the meeting leader can ask everyone to please put their mask on.
Families or households should not attend events for at least 10 days if one of their members has one of the more common potential COVID symptoms (fever, significant cough, loss of taste or smell, difficulty breathing), or a positive test result.
Virtual options should be available for those at high risk who should not be present in person, and those that do not desire to wear a mask for other reasons.
Youth event guidelines will follow the Archdiocesan Static-Plus or Dynamic rules depending on the planned interactions of the participants. Please refer to the youth guidelines for further detail.
We strongly encourage pastoral groups to wear masks when meeting inside, but will leave the decision to the individual pastoral leaders asking them to do everything possible to bring unity to the group.