Cancelling a Church Event Due to Weather Concerns....
In the event of inclement weather (winter advisories, wind chill warnings, etc.) or other causes (power outages, etc.) for the delaying or closing of church activities, the Pastor will determine an appropriate and safe course of action. Generally, that decision will be made in consultation with several persons (council chairpersons of both churches, Sunday school team leaders, church organist, choir director, etc. and/or anyone else who can offer insights into the relevance of cancelling an event). When the decision is made for Sunday morning events, it will be announced* between 7:00 A.M. and 8:00 A.M. (that would be the most optimum time).
Our goal is to ensure the safety of our congregation, and in order to give advance notice of a change in schedule, it sometimes means making a decision based on the best information we have available in time to provide notice. If weather conditions exist, are predicted, or have the potential to impact scheduled church events, conditions are closely monitored and information is gathered from multiple sources to include the MN State Emergency Management Service, local law enforcement, the National Weather Service, as well as other resources such as the actions of other churches, etc. The Pastor may also consult the Trustees of the church who are responsible for providing clearing and treating church sidewalks to check on conditions at the site. During the week, if the Worthington School District cancels school, all church events will also be cancelled for that day.
There are various reasons for weather related cancellations:
Road Safety: Safety is prime when deciding whether to cancel or delay. Closing church events may help prevent accidents and other problems caused by inclement weather.
Pass ability: Some inclement weather makes road passage impossible or difficult. In Minnesota and Iowa, cities and counties make every attempt to clear snow-covered roads as soon as they are able - but this is not always possible, and often many cannot travel. The wind conditions also hamper these efforts. In deeper snowfalls, personal vehicles may become trapped, and their removal may take several days. This influences our decision on closures beyond the end of snowfall. The ability of people to reach the church is a factor.
Health Risks: Because of our winter weather in the Northern tier, dangerous wind chills are usually a huge factor. When the National Weather Service issues a Wind Chill Advisory, it usually means that the wind chill temperatures are potentially hazardous. A Wind Chill Warning is issued when wind chill temperatures are life threatening. Both of these may come into account when considering cancelling church events - meaning, when NWS recommends no travel and people should stay at home, we need to heed that advice.
Please note that although every attempt is made to determine the status of the church events as early as possible, the Pastor reserves the right to make that decision at any time based on the conditions of the moment.
*In the case of delays or closings, the following methods of communication will be used for notification.
Our Friday Update Constant Contact email
Church Member Link: The church will develop an automated text system which will instantly deliver the same text message across the church membership (requires cell phone messaging)
If possible, our church Web Site: www.firstumcworthington.com
Wherever possible, the following communications will also be used for those who do not use their computer or do not have one:
Radio: local stations
The Pastor (or office manager) will send an email of the announcement to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org which will cover all four local radio stations weather related announcements (KWOA, KITN, KZTP and KUSQ).
Television: Keloland Sioux Falls Closeline
The Pastor (or office manager) will communicate any closings to Keloland Television, where the announcement will be located in the Closeline announcements. (Mediacom Public Access Channel 3 does not have anyone staffing their offices on the weekend, so no announcements can be made on that channel).
If possible, phone tree calling (people calling each other via phone to inform them of the developments).
These protocols are designed to keep everyone safe and secure in what possibly may be dangerous conditions. The actions we take in cancelling an event when severe weather is present is something we take seriously. Please contact the Church office (507-372-2939) if you have any further questions or need clarification.