Large Group Guidelines, Revised July 7, 2021

The Board is considering allowing larger groups to meet in the sanctuary now (or after a specific date).
We will revise this document before we have our first Reopening service this fall.

  • Events are currently limited to 50 people attending at a time. We propose that the limit be removed. Default is the current fire department limit.
  • We require that masks be worn over the nose and mouth, inside the building.
  • When you enter, please use the main church door. When you exit the building, please do so in a way that does not cause crowding in the hallway. Please use the exit closest to you.
  • There are three exits, one in front to the audience right and two in the rear of the sanctuary.
  • Drinks can be brought in from the outside for individual use. Masks may be briefly lifted to sip.
  • Upstairs and downstairs restrooms may be used during events.

Groups that can meet these criteria can meet now and arrange meetings in the Sanctuary with Jamie. If you have concerns about meeting these guidelines, please contact the Board. The next review is planned to be completed before our first In-Person service.

Northwoods UU Reopening Plan, Phases One and Two, Revised January 2021


Based on:

UU Church Reopening Guidelines: A Model for Returning to the Building—Eventually

Written May 11, 2020, shared by Northlake’s minister, Rev. Reverend Nancy Reid-

McKee, Modified by Northwoods Reopening Policy Group, June 11, 2020.


We have expanded the PHASE 2 guidelines in January 2021, in response to requests by a few groups to open building use, and at the same time responding to the increase in cases at the start of 2021.  We expect that these guidelines will be revisited once vaccines are more widely available and they have had the effect of reducing the spread of COVID-19.



Continue to Stay Home (Situation from April 2020 to Mid-June 2020)

We recommend the following baseline practices:

  • Northwoods holds online worship services only with participants recording from home.
  • Meetings, small groups, etc. should continue to be held online.
  • Minimal on-site staffing sufficient for essential operations (deposits, mail processing, etc.), and option for all staff to work from home.
  • Decisions on returning to the church facility/building will be based on state and Public Health Dept. (PHD) recommendations.



Start of reopening (Mid-June 2020 until the sanctuary is first opened for services)


General Guidelines

  • Continue holding online worship services only.
  • Meetings and small groups will continue to meet online.
  • High risk individuals (people over 60 and those with underlying conditions), whether staff or volunteers, should continue to shelter in place as much as possible.


Meetings Offsite

  • Groups that want to meet offsite should follow all guidelines for safe social distancing, including always staying at least six feet apart, wearing masks, and either use hand sanitizer, wipes or wash hands with soap and warm water at the start of each meeting.
  • Groups who use church media outlets to advertise meetings (Beacon Bits, Church Facebook pages, Slack) must register with the Church Administrator (, 281-298-2780) and must provide the organizer and contact name and acknowledge and agree to follow the guidelines listed above.


Meetings in Parking Lot

  • Groups that want to meet in the Church Parking lot will be limited to parking lot use, must also register with the Church Administrator, must agree to the guidelines listed above
  • The total number of cars must be less than half the available spaces on our parking lot. 
  • Parking lot users with masks on can be admitted to use restrooms inside the church buildings.


Building Availability

  • Individuals must register with the Church Administrator, RE Coordinator, or Minister to enter the building.  For the protection of both staff and members, The Church Administrator Office, RE Office and Ministers Offices are off limits.
  • All persons inside the church building must always be masked.  
  • The Sanctuary is reserved for worship service preparation.
  • We have investigated issues of spacing and size of church rooms. We have drawn up the following guidelines for room use by church members or renters:
    • Room 10, upstairs, can be open to groups of up to 15 individuals including the group leader, if chairs and tables are arranged so that attendees are always spaced at least 6 feet apart.  Please use the outside door and bathroom upstairs.
    • The Garden room, downstairs, can be open for use by groups of up to 10 individuals including the group leader, with chairs and tables are arranged so that attendees are always spaced at least 6 feet apart.  The outside door should be used for access as much as possible.  Downstairs bathrooms would be available to users of the Garden room.
    • Smaller rooms are not open to general use.
  • The inside use of the church will be limited to Church Staff, Sanctuary family and team volunteers, Musicians or others recording for a service, church building repair, or groups sanctioned by the Minister or Board of Trustees.
  • Office functions will be limited to ensure essential operations. Those in the office will be wearing masks if more than one person is in the office. Surfaces, including the phone, will be regularly sanitized.


Rentals and Weddings

  • Room 10 and the Garden Room will be available to renters if the guidelines for group size access and mask use given above are followed. 
  • Life rituals (weddings, funerals) will be approved by the Minister or Board on a case-by-case basis, using the room use guidelines above.

Scheduling Events and Meetings

Please use this link to schedule events or meetings, and refer to the guidelines above. If you would like to make an appointment to get into the building for any reason, contact a staff person:

Rev. Sarah:

Gay Lynn: