UPDATED NOV. 17, 2020

Read Bishop Beard's letter to IGRC 

Pressing On Q & A Session - Nov. 2 at 1 p.m. from IGRC Communications on Vimeo.

Download Pressing On - Guidelines for Mitigation Phases

Church Guidance for Illinois Public Health Phases

Illinois Great Rivers Conference of the United Methodist Church

The Restore Illinois plan provides for the State of Illinois to be divided into four public health regions, which will be assessed for risk of COVID-19 deaths based on five phases. This is a summary of the detailed guidance available for Illinois Great Rivers United Methodist Churches on applicable safety guidance for each phase.


  • Churches should not gather for in person weekly worship
  • Funerals and Weddings should be less than 10 people
  • Church buildings closed, except for essential and minimum basic operations.


  • Same as Phase 1
  • Churches may gather for Drive In worship services


  • Churches may gather for any purpose in groups of less than 10
  • Churches may gather out of doors with proper distancing
  • Children’s ministry programs should not be held
  • Social distancing, face masks, and other precautions should be taken
  • Churches should not practice group singing
  • Church buildings may reopen to small groups, and all church staff and volunteers can return to using the building.
  • People at higher risk of dying from COVID-19 should not gather in groups of any size.


  • Churches may gather for any purpose in groups of less than 50
  • Churches, with larger rooms may gather indoor groups of up to 25% of the room capacity, but may not exceed 100 people in total. Beginning July 12, 2020, churches may exceed the 100 attendees limit at a limit of 25 percent of room capacity if they have a local church-approved comprehensive safety plan that outlines their procedures for appropriate social distancing, cleaning, contacct logging and education of the congregation
  • Check to ensure insurance coverage is adequate for the local church-approved safety plan
  • Children’s ministry programs may resume, cautiously.
  • Continue social distancing practices and other precautions


  • Churches may gather in unlimited size groups for any purpose
  • All public health safety guidance is lifted
  • It is now safer for people of higher risk of dying from COVID-19 to gather

To read the entire document, use the download link below or select the menu item to the right, "Coming Back to the Heart of Worship" and its secondary pages underneath it.

God Bless

Bishop Frank J. Beard

Download the Entire Plan Document (v.3.2, 9/5/20, 19 pp, PDF)

Download Guidelines for Drive-In Worship