In 2005 the leadership of the UMCHP took a courageous step in reaching out and ministering to the community of Hyde Park, they added onto the existing structure to create space for both the church and the wider community to share. In a single day we can have up to six or more community and church groups using this space. We sometimes even run out of space for groups to use. Most churches have maybe one or two community groups using their space in a month. While we feel very blessed that the greater Hyde Park community almost feel that UMCHP is a community center, such heavy usage requires a lot of planning and oversight.
Scheduling and directing building use is always fraught with complexity. Making sure that groups are given space that does not conflict with church activities, or use that needs to be rescheduled due to an emergency requires a lot of planning. The Winter season presents particular challenges as we seek not only to keep people safe, our staff costs under control, but also try to limit our liability with so many outside groups using the facility. It is with this lens that groups must view our policy on cancellation.
The easiest way to communicate with the many groups is to have broad policy: if school is closed for the day, consider your activity canceled, and access to the church limited to staff only. This seems to be consistent with the way many other institutions are going. It is easy to remember across the board of various groups that use the church, and also means that extra costs are not incurred by the church for maintaining access, notification of closures, and inconsistencies.
Standing church committees have an exception, but only such committees as are smaller in nature and comprised mainly of church members who must meet to address critical church issues are excluded from the policy. But each chairperson must notify their members of the change in order to counteract the understanding that all events are canceled.
With that as our introduction, here is our policy:
Frequently Asked Questions:
Question: I have a wedding or a funeral planned, will it be canceled if it snows?
The answer is not unless the governor declares a state of emergency in which nobody can use the roads, or there exists another serious threat to the safety of using the UMCHP campus. Weddings and funerals speak to the heart of the existence of these facilities in their use as centers of praise and worship. Our church's foundational documents give the pastor the sole authority of when and where worship will happen.
Question: I have an event that is happening on a Saturday and it snows. How do I know if I can use the building?
The Trustees of the church are working to clarify this issue. As it stands now contact the Church Office or the Pastor (firstname.lastname@example.org) who will consult with the Trustees and return your call.