Turning the Corner Together: Reentry Updates

Beloved members and friends of Foundry,

God’s presence was visible and palpable in the proceedings this past Sunday, September 5 as we opened the doors of our Sanctuary and celebrated turning the corner into fully hybrid worship. We were buoyed by the way our Foundry family and friends responded to the worship offerings, both in-person and online, at the 9 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. services.

With more than 200 participants in person and over 1,000 worshipping online during a holiday weekend, we achieved a new measure of worship engagement in these incredibly unpredictable times.

Having achieved this milestone, weekly communications from the Reentry Implementation Task Force will cease, with future messages prompted by any shifts in Foundry policy or protocol related to the COVID pandemic. For now, we will continue our masking policy and encourage physical distancing in all church spaces, while monitoring all our safety protocols.

We achieved a great new beginning last Sunday and continue to look for places of improvement. Your feedback is vital to reaching the needs of all who worship with us.

We encourage you to reach out to our Reentry Implementation Task Force with any questions, concerns, or feedback. We can be contacted via email at reentry@foundryumc.org.

Listed below are some points to remember:

  • Childcare will continue to be offered every Sunday for children aged birth through pre-K.
  • A special space is reserved for families in our Sanctuary.
  • Prayer team members are available at in-person worship, and prayer requests continue to be collected online.
  • Clergy and staff maintain weekly in-person workdays at Foundry.
  • The Colonial Parking Garage is open on Sunday mornings for Foundry members and guests. Negotiations continue for our long-term parking needs.

Visit our website to catch up on past reentry communications and learn more about Covid-19 protocols and protections during Sunday worship at Foundry.

Once again, we look forward to seeing you tomorrow at 16th and P or online!

In the Spirit,

The Re-entry Implementation Task Force (Gwen Williamson, Nick Jessee, Matt Hansen, Sam Kilpatrick, Paula Blair, PJ Taylor, and Rev. Ginger Gaines-Cirelli)
Beloved members and friends of Foundry,

We have turned the corner together. We couldn't be more excited to reenter Foundry tomorrow morning with praise and thanksgiving as a community for the first time since the Covid-19 outbreak in March 2020.

We are so blessed to offer both in-person and live-streamed services at 9 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. as our community embraces new safety measures in the midst of increasing uncertainty.

We offer these points as you make the decision to join us for Sunday worship in whatever form makes the most sense for the health and safety of you and your loved ones.

  • We will continue to offer all streaming options (Church Online, YouTube, YouTube with ASLFacebook Live) for both services at 9 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.
  • Masks will be required at both services.
  • All clergy, staff, leaders and volunteers participating in worship are fully vaccinated.
  • Parking will be available at the Colonial Parking Garage from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. each Sunday. Please mention to the attendant that you are with Foundry Church. Donations for parking are encouraged but not required.
  • We will have no in-person Sunday School for the time being.
  • Communion will now be offered during both services, and no longer offered on the Plaza in the afternoon.
  • Our building contains enhanced air filtration systems; undergoes a deep-cleaning bi-weekly on Monday and Saturday; and will be cleaned between services, with special attention paid to the Family Zone.
  • Please enter through the Bell Tower Lobby on 16th Street NW. Doors will open 20 minutes prior to service, and there will be greeters and ushers to check you in and guide you along the way.

Visit our website for more details and Foundry's Covid-19 protocols. You can also watch this Facebook Live video to see more of what you can expect at in-person worship.

Whether you're joining us in person or online, we are so excited to worship with you from our Sanctuary at 16th and P. See you tomorrow morning!

In the Spirit,

The Re-entry Implementation Task Force (Gwen Williamson, Nick Jessee, Matt Hansen, Sam Kilpatrick, Paula Blair, PJ Taylor, and Rev. Ginger Gaines-Cirelli)

Important Reentry Update: August 28, 2021
Beloved members and friends of Foundry,

It is exciting to welcome you back to Sunday worship at 16th & P for the first time since March 2020! We have been singularly focused on ways to care for everyone’s safety and want all who enter our building to feel as comfortable as possible.

We recognize you may have reservations about returning, even with all our safety-focused preparations. Therefore, this Reentry Update offers additional information on the safety protocols we’ve implemented since announcing that masks will be required at all in-person services for the foreseeable future.

Please be assured that your safety is our priority as we return to in-person worship on September 5. Here are some safety protocols that will be effective next Sunday.

Timing for Entrance

The time allowed to gather and connect indoors will be reduced in order to adequately care for sanitization and air quality control in common spaces. Access to the building will start at 8:40 a.m. for those attending the 9 a.m. service, and 10:55 a.m. for those attending the 11:15 a.m. service. At the end of services, worshipers will be encouraged to exit through the main doors to the plaza for ongoing interaction in the fresh air with pastors and laity. No food will be served.

Entrance Protocols

Entrance will be through the Bell Tower Lobby (center of building off the plaza area) which is accessible via ramp or stairs. Greeters will be positioned outside the building and at the Bell Tower entrance to offer assistance with electronic sign-in, masking, and social distancing. Masks will be offered to anyone who needs one. Masking is required in all areas, including restrooms, hallways, the Community Commons and the Sanctuary. Scarves, bandanas, etc. may not be worn in place of a mask. There will be a welcome and check-in station in the Community Commons for visitors/guests and for families who require childcare. All other worshipers will be invited to move directly into the Sanctuary.

Worship Protocols

Worship guides will be available for access via a QR code on your personal device. For those who require a printed worship guide, a limited number will be available. Ushers will be happy to assist with proper spacing in the Sanctuary pews. Tithes and offerings will be received either online or in collection plates available as you exit worship. All servant leaders participating in worship leadership and Sunday hospitality ministries, as well as child care workers and volunteers, will be fully vaccinated. Only those speaking at a microphone will remove their masks during worship.

Sunday School

No Sunday School will be offered for children or adults until we can safely manage hybrid learning (simultaneous in-person and virtual learning options) and care for the safety of our younger children who still don’t have the protection of a vaccine. These offerings will be made available when it is feasible to safely execute for each constituency.

We will identify alternative days/times (other than Sunday) for in-person and hybrid adult learning at Foundry, and will build child care requests into the registration process so that is not a barrier to participation. We will also continue offering a variety of virtual options for group study.

Physical Distancing

You will be asked to sit or stand with adequate spacing between individuals, family pods or friend bubbles, accounting for six feet of distance wherever you are. A special ‘Family Zone’ will be reserved on the right side of the Sanctuary for family pods with children who wish to avail themselves of that resource. Worship engagement bags will be available for small children. Pastors will deliver the children’s sermon adjacent to the family section.

Cleaning & Air Purification

Our Sanctuary and shared spaces will be deep cleaned weekly on Mondays and Saturdays. We will also be cleaning in-between services, with a special emphasis on the Family Zone. Four new air filters have been purchased that are capable of scrubbing the air in the Sanctuary every 20 minutes. These will be run continuously throughout services.


After much effort by our staff, we are grateful to be making progress with Colonial Parking Garage on P Street. On September 5, the Colonial Parking Garage will be open to Foundry members from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. We do not have any parking passes available; please just let the guard know that you are attending worship at Foundry. At this time, there is no cost to park, but contributions are accepted.

Vaccination Cards

If you are or plan to participate as an usher, greeter, childcare volunteer, reader, Communion steward, choir, or other Sunday ministry, please support our safety efforts by submitting a copy of your vaccination card to vaccinate@foundryumc.org. All cards will be received and stored securely.

Looking Forward

The Re-entry Implementation Task Force will work throughout the month of September to evaluate our effectiveness in providing safe, accessible worship experiences, while factoring in any new information on COVID variants and related developments. We will also continue to provide updates on parking. Finally, if you’re unable to join us in person, we will stream both the 9:00 and 11:15 services live. We look forward to worshiping with you as we turn this corner!

In the Spirit,

The Re-entry Implementation Task Force (Gwen Williamson, Nick Jessee, Matt Hansen, Sam Kilpatrick, Paula Blair, PJ Taylor, and Rev. Ginger Gaines-Cirelli)
Important Reentry Update: August 22, 2021
Beloved members and friends of Foundry,

A few weeks ago, things were looking good for a safe, responsible return to in-person worship and Sunday School for our entire Foundry family. We still plan to gather in person for worship on September 5, but unfortunately, the Delta variant of Covid-19 has caused us to modify our plans.

Masks will be required for both the 9:00 and 11:15 services. We will encourage physical distancing within the sanctuary, making the best use of spacing as individuals and family/friend groupings arrive and are seated. Ushers will be available to assist with this placement.

Child care

Child care will be available for children under the age of 5 during worship. All child care staff and volunteers will be vaccinated and trained in safety protocols.

A “Family Zone” will be created in the sanctuary, with items to support families and their children who are aged five years and older. These children will be required to remain with their family cluster for the entire length of the service. A children’s message will be included in the regular order of service with one of our pastors moving from the chancel to the Family Zone to safely share time with our children.

Sunday School

No Sunday School will be offered for children or adults until we can safely manage hybrid learning (simultaneous in-person and virtual learning options) and care for the safety of our younger children who still don’t have the protection of a vaccine. These offerings will be made available when it is feasible to safely execute for each constituency.

We will identify alternative days/times (other than Sunday) for in-person and hybrid adult learning at Foundry, and will build child care requests into the registration process so that is not a barrier to participation. We will also continue offering a variety of virtual options for group study.


Negotiations continue with Colonial Parking as we seek to reestablish parking privileges that are reasonable to afford during the critical hours that Foundry participants occupy our building. We continue to monitor these negotiations and will advise of new parking rates as soon as possible.


Members of our music ministry have been supporting Foundry’s Wednesday Evensong services over the past 7 weeks. The full choirs will resume rehearsals next week (August 21) in preparation for September when we will be blessed with the ministry of our Music Director and choirs in the sanctuary.

Please know that our primary concern is for the health and safety of all who enter our building and gather to worship at Foundry, as well as the wellbeing of our neighbors and the communities where we live. We will get through this and turn the corner together with God’s grace and guidance.

In the Spirit,

The Re-entry Implementation Task Force (Gwen Williamson, Nick Jessee, Matt Hansen, Sam Kilpatrick, Paula Blair, PJ Taylor, and Rev. Ginger Gaines-Cirelli)
Important Reentry Update: August 14, 2021
Beloved members and friends of Foundry,

The Re-entry Ministry Team continues to closely monitor new mandates distributed from the Mayor’s office as well as the CDC. While there is cause for concern across the nation with the impact of coronavirus variants, we know that our population is largely vaccinated and understands the requirement for all in-door meetings to require masking.

We remain committed to testing new systems and protocols that will allow us to safely achieve on-site worship experiences in early September. Should this change, we will issue a special alert to that effect. In the meantime, please continue to enjoy our mid-week Evensong services that offer all the best of Foundry in a 45-minute experience.

Many members of the Re-entry team are enjoying summer-related activities away this week. We will resume more detailed updates by the end of August on the latest re-entry discussions and questions.

Here’s wishing everyone a very safe and refreshing summer as many return to on-site work and school activities.

In the Spirit,

The Reeentry Implementation Task Force (Gwen Williamson, Nick Jessee, Matt Hansen, Sam Kilpatrick, Paula Blair, PJ Taylor, and Rev. Ginger Gaines-Cirelli)
Important Reentry Update: August 7, 2021
Beloved members and friends of Foundry,

Caring for our children and other vulnerable members of the Foundry family is of utmost importance to us in every season. Responses to our Covid-19 survey earlier this summer affirmed this commitment. The survey revealed broad and clear concern that our children be protected, accommodated, and included in worship and other activities at Foundry.

As we continue to turn the corner and prepare for our return to in-person engagement, we wanted to provide an update on our Family Ministries’ approach to reentry, including child care and youth activities.

Here’s what parents can expect when we return to in-person gatherings at Foundry:

  • Masks will be required for all indoor activities, including all worship services, until future notice per DC government. All who can are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated — vaccination is a primary way we love our neighbors.
  • All Foundry employees and volunteers working with children and youth will be required to provide proof of vaccination.
  • Starting on September 5, families will have the option of entering a clean building for the 9 a.m. service. Our building will undergo a deep cleaning and sanitization weekly on Saturday and Monday.
  • During both the 9 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. services, childcare will be available for infants through pre-K in the Childcare Center. Until it is safe to resume Kid’s Worship, those older than five years old will be invited to attend the full service with their parents, where we’ll have the traditional children’s message. We are developing a strategy to make the children’s message both inclusive and safe.
  • We continue to finalize plans for Sunday School and will provide more details as we approach our first Sunday back at 16th and P.

We are very grateful that Pastor K.C. and our Childcare Coordinator Lead, Rachel Jamieson, shared their expertise and developed safety protocols in dialogue with parents. The protocols are designed to protect our kids who cannot yet be vaccinated and who make up the largest group of vulnerable persons in the Foundry family. We’ll share more details about the protocols as we get closer to our first in-person Sunday worship on September 5.

Also of interest to Foundry families and many others in our community is our annual Family Camp tradition at West River UMC campground over Labor Day weekend. To protect the safety of our unvaccinated children and youth, we have reached the unfortunate decision to defer Family Camp again this year. The Family Ministries team is working on alternate programming that will offer a safer opportunity for fellowship closer to home.

As always, please feel free to submit comments and/or questions to reentry@foundryumc.org. To read previous reentry updates, visit foundryumc.org/covid19.

Thank you for your patience and for continuing to be alert, nimble, and flexible as, together, we continue to navigate these challenges. We cannot wait to worship with you all at 16th and P.


Pastor Ginger and the Reeentry Implementation Task Force (Gwen Williamson, Nick Jessee, Matt Hansen, Sam Kilpatrick, Paula Blair, and PJ Taylor.)
Important Reentry Update: July 31, 2021
Beloved members and friends of Foundry,

Throughout many months of managing the Covid-19 pandemic, Foundry has kept core values at the forefront of our decision making: honoring our minds as gifts from God through trusting the science and public health experts; loving our neighbors as ourselves through prioritizing health and safety; and providing safe and responsible ways to serve and engage that are equitable for all members of our community, including the most vulnerable among us.

These values continue to guide us as we labor to turn the corner together. In recent weeks, there have been a number of pandemic-related developments and things are shifting day to day. Please know that we are aware of and are tracking the most up-to-date information and guidance from the CDC, the AAP, DC government, and others.

Following both Mayor Bower’s recent guidance on indoor masking and our existing protocol, at this time all who enter Foundry’s building, whether vaccinated or not, must wear a mask. We are working to remain alert, nimble, and flexible with decision making on our mask mandates and other important topics as we near our return to in-person Sunday worship. We ask you to be alert, nimble, and flexible with us.

The Reentry Implementation Task Force (RITF), working with the full staff team and Board, continues to make progress on key aspects of our return to in-person worship.

Foundry choirs and music ministries, led by Stanley Thurston, are a profound part of offering transcendent worship; singing is central to our worship life and tradition. When we return to the sanctuary, our goal is that our talented choirs and musicians will be present in full force and that we will sing together as a congregation. Current Evensong Worship services have provided opportunities to test and solidify the approach for Sunday worship.

Given the growing concerns with emerging Covid-19 variants and “breakthrough cases” among the vaccinated, the RITF has weighed in on the side of caution and Foundry will require proof of vaccination to sing in its choirs. While there was initial concern about unnecessarily excluding folks from the choir, the RITF believes that requiring vaccination will offer greater assurance of risk mitigation to the choir, other worship participants, and the congregation (since release of droplets into air through singing is a concern for many).

Care will certainly be given to the collection and protection of vaccination information. Foundry clergy and staff have led by example and are fully vaccinated. We encourage all who have not been vaccinated and don’t have a health condition that prevents vaccination, to become vaccinated for their own safety and also, selflessly, that of others. Vaccination is a primary way we love our neighbors.

Plans are underway to provide air filtration in the choir room so that rehearsals may be held ahead of September. In addition, choir members will be asked to enter into a Covenant of Consent that names agreements around vaccination, masking, distancing when practicable, and maintaining hygienic workspaces. We look forward to being together in a sanctuary filled with music!

When you come to Evensong, a meeting, or other ministry at 16th and P, please remember to bring your mask as our common spaces require them. We will have masks available for those who need them.

May God bless and keep you as we remain alert, nimble, and flexible and turn the corner together.


Pastor Ginger and the Reeentry Implementation Task Force (Gwen Williamson, Nick Jessee, Matt Hansen, Sam Kilpatrick, Paula Blair, and PJ Taylor.)

PS - Please feel free to submit comments and/or questions to reentry@foundryumc.org. To read previous reentry updates, please visit foundryumc.org/covid19.
Important Reentry Update: July 25, 2021

Beloved members and friends of Foundry,

As we continue to turn the corner toward a full in-person worship and ministry schedule, I wanted to share an update on how things are going.

Evensong Worship

Our first two Evensong services were a great success. Both services were well-attended, logistics went according to plan, and there was a spirit of joy and fellowship in our Community Commons as we gathered together in our building for the first time in over a year.

For our first service, newly graduated seminarian Cassandra Lawrence provided worship leadership, and I shared a reflection on stamina and resilience and how faith, love, community, and God’s saving grace enabled us over the past 15 months to face challenges, learn from them, and grow spiritually. The second service included worship leadership from Patty Elder and a message from Pastor Will that reminded us to pause and take rest, and that we can always find God amidst the mess.

Music programming included hymns sung by the congregation while masked, along with powerful solos provided by Kathleen Borgueta and Jackie Wright, with Stanley Thurston on piano. Hymnals were provided and lyrics were shared on a projection screen.

For our clergy, staff and lay leadership, many systems were tested, including greeter and usher sign-up, a digital check-in system, the integration of projection screens, and the sale of new Foundry t-shirts, water bottles, and stickers. These processes will be refined as we approach our full in-person schedule in the sanctuary.


We continue to look forward to Communion on the Plaza, with the next services being held the afternoon of Sunday, August 1. Just as we did on July 4, we will hold four services at 4 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 5 p.m., and 5:30 p.m. These later time slots allowed for a cooler climate and more flexibility for those in attendance.

One improvement made since our first summer Communion on the Plaza on June 6 was the switch from pre-bagged juice and bread to the use of our silver cup tray with compostable communion cups and bread distributed by clergy and servant leaders.


We continue to stay in conversation with Colonial Parking Garage and work to secure parking as has been available in the past for Foundry events. The economy continues to move forward positively, and dialogue continues with the management of Colonial. Our staff appears more optimistic that this issue can be resolved in our favor by the beginning of September.

Reentry Implementation Task Force

As always, I am grateful for the leadership and guidance of my fellow members of Foundry’s Covid Reentry Implementation Task Force: Gwen Williamson, Nick Jessee, Matt Hansen, Sam Kilpatrick, Paula Blair, and PJ Taylor.

Please feel free to submit comments and/or questions to reentry@foundryumc.org. To read previous reentry updates, please visit foundryumc.org/covid19.

In peace,

Rev. Ginger E. Gaines-Cirelli
Senior Pastor
Foundry United Methodist Church
Important Reentry Update: July 3, 2021
Beloved members and friends of Foundry,

We continue to communicate our progress with plans for the return to indoor in-person gatherings and worship at Foundry. Our clergy and staff remain keenly focused on reentry issues, working closely with the Reentry Implementation Task Force.

Last week, we heard much interest from congregants regarding details of the upcoming Evensong worship services. These in-person services begin July 14 in the Foundry Community Commons, and will be held weekly on Wednesdays from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. through the end of August. We ask that attendees wear masks to the Evensong services.

More about Evensong worship services:

Location and Social Distancing

We will be joining together in our Community Commons, as our main sanctuary space undergoes necessary AV work and safety protocols are finalized. Chairs will be arranged three feet apart, with rows four feet apart.

General Order of Service

This service will be modeled as a UMC evening praise and prayer service, to include congregational singing and musical leadership from members of our Foundry Choir, scripture, prayer, and an evening reflection delivered by a member of the clergy team. Pastor Ginger will provide the opening meditation on July 14.

Our Foundry Prayer Team, part of our Hospitality and Care Ministries, will also be present to pray one-on-one with people following worship.


  • Childcare for children under four years old will be provided. For questions regarding childcare, please contact Rev. K.C. Van Atta-Casebier at kcvc@foundryumc.org.
  • Our Operations Team is working with Deaf Access Solution, our ASL provider, to provide ongoing ASL interpretation which honors their COVID protocols.
  • Bulletins will not be prepared; however, worshippers will see elements of the liturgy on screens, and hymnals will be placed in chairs.
  • Evensong services will not be live-streamed. This will be an in-person worship experience only.

Attendance Check-in

We will test the use of electronic keypads to sign in both members and guests. These will be similar to airport check-in kiosks in addition to staffed kiosks for first-time visitors. Servant Leaders will be available to assist with these sign-ins.


As the city continues to reopen, only street parking will be available for the Evensong services.

Audio Visual (AV) Upgrades

Necessary AV upgrades, enhancements, and improvements are underway. The Board approved expenditures to cover the cost of equipment and services required to deliver effective, high-quality audio and video from the sanctuary for those joining us online.

Looking Forward

The reentry process has many facets. Foundry’s staff is hard at work executing the various timelines in place for us to return safely to in-person worship in the sanctuary later this summer. The Reentry Implementation Task Force continues to meet on a weekly basis and address issues as they arise, tapping into the knowledge and resources of numerous experts.

We remain focused on turning the corner together toward a return to full in-person Sunday worship in the sanctuary by Sept. 5 at the latest. Please continue to read these emails for updates on topics that are important to you.

Foundry's Reentry Implementation Task Force

We are grateful for the leadership and guidance of Foundry’s Covid Reentry Implementation Task Force. This Task Force is composed of: Rev. Ginger Gaines-Cirelli (Senior Pastor), Gwen Williamson (Chair), Nick Jessee, Matt Hansen, Sam Kilpatrick, Paula Blair, and PJ Taylor.

Please feel free to submit comments and/or questions to reentry@foundryumc.org.

To read previous reentry updates, please visit foundryumc.org/covid19.

In peace,

Rev. Ginger E. Gaines-Cirelli
Senior Pastor
Foundry United Methodist Church
Important Reentry Update: June 26, 2021
Beloved members and friends of Foundry,

We continue to make progress with plans for our return to in-person gatherings and worship at Foundry. Our clergy and staff are keenly focused on reentry issues, working closely with the Reentry Implementation Task Force on everything from building hours to intinction protocols.

The Board is also involved, having recently approved a plan to ensure that Foundry has the technology it needs to continue providing a high quality, meaningful online experience once we return to in-person worship later this summer. We are all looking forward to being together again in-person, and efforts are underway for us to be able to do that safely!

As we re-enter Foundry’s physical space, all are encouraged to act in keeping with the spirit of our Covenant of Consent and Sensitivity that respects individual needs, concerns, and preferences around mask usage, social distancing, and other safety matters related to the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

A non-exhaustive list of decisions that have already been made is below. Many other matters are still under review. Throughout the summer, we’ll continue to be in regular contact to share progress we’ve made (and obstacles we’ve faced) as we “Turn the Corner Together.”

Building Hours and Phones

Beginning July 15, the Foundry phone lines will be staffed and the building will be open to the public on this schedule:

  • Monday: Closed for deep clean
  • Tuesday: 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
  • Thursday: 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
  • Friday: 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Saturday: Closed for deep clean
  • Sunday: 7 a.m.-2 p.m.

Events on the Plaza

  • Before July 15: Visitors may only use the restroom in the Narthex (to the right inside the front doors) while masked.
  • After July 15: Visitors will have full access to the building’s restrooms while masked.

Masks & In-Person Gatherings

  • As a general rule, in-person participants at Foundry events will be masked through the end of August unless the event is held outdoors and all present (for smaller groups) agree that masks may be optional.
  • As of July 15, people can be in the building when masked. There will be no limits on group sizes or the frequency of group meetings. (Work is underway to facilitate hybrid online/in-person meetings at Foundry).
  • Baptisms, memorial services, and inurnments may be scheduled for inside the building starting July 15. Services will be arranged/customized following our Covenant of Consent and Sensitivity.
  • When we return to full in-person Sunday worship in the sanctuary, the following schedule and mask policy will apply:
    9 a.m. service, which enjoys significant attendance by families with young children, will require all participants to be masked.
    11:15 a.m. service will be mask optional (with masks made available on-site). Masks will be required in Community Commons during this service for those who wish to gather in a distanced, masked environment utilizing the existing screens in that space.
  • Both 9 and 11:15 a.m. services will be streamed on our current channels with staff support for online engagement.

Mission Activity

  • We will operationalize our Covenant of Consent and Sensitivity for ministry with with neighbors who are unhoused, undernourished, or with unknown vaccination status.
  • The ID Ministry is now using the Narthex (space immediately inside Foundry’s main door) for client meetings, given the summer heat and direct sun on the Plaza.
  • Cooking missions will resume on-site when community partners and teams are ready, following the Covenant of Consent and Sensitivity and additional food preparation protocols.
  • Vaccinated youth will be participating in the highly popular summer mission activity — Appalachian Service Project (ASP) —as well as a week-long local mission experience.

Children & Childcare

  • Childcare workers will be required to be vaccinated and follow safety protocols established by the CDC, local health authorities, and industry standard protocols for childcare facilities.
  • We plan to hire additional childcare staff given the number of new births/young children at Foundry and are exploring options for additional space to accommodate the increased number of infants and toddlers.

Music & Choir

  • The public-health focused Reentry Ministry Team has advised that there is no need to remove hymnals from the sanctuary.
  • Congregational singing will be allowed when we return to in-person worship.
  • Choir members will participate in an anonymous survey to provide data for finalization of safety protocols for choir rehearsals and worship leadership. Additionally, they will be asked to enter into a Covenant of Safety and Comfort with choir members and other contributors in this valuable ministry of the church.

Coming Soon

As our clergy, staff, and Reentry Implementation Task Force continue to work together to address the needs and concerns of our community, we will focus on some of these topics:
  • The offering: How do we lift the offering in a post-covid environment?
  • Weekly Attendance: How do we register attendance on a weekly basis?
  • Communion: How will we receive the elements of Communion safely?
  • Ushers & Greeters: How do ushers and greeters ensure overall safety protocols while offering radical hospitality?
  • Parking: What parking options can be made available?
  • Ventilation & HVAC: Which windows are openable and which are painted shut? Planning the instillation of new air filters in the HVAC systems and choir rooms.

Foundry's Covid Reentry Implementation Task Force

The Covid Reentry Implementation Task Force is composed of: Rev. Ginger Gaines-Cirelli (Senior Pastor), Gwen Williamson (Chair), Nick Jessee, Matt Hansen, Sam Kilpatrick, Paula Blair, and PJ Taylor.

Please feel free to submit comments and/or questions to reentry@foundryumc.org.
Important Reentry Update: June 19, 2021
Beloved members and friends of Foundry,

Thank you for responding to the survey released earlier this month to gauge the readiness of our congregation to resume in-person congregational life as Foundry Church. Of the 321 completed surveys, 76 percent of respondents indicated they are ready to return to in-person worship. 99 percent report being fully vaccinated. Key concerns identified in the comments relate to the safety of children and vulnerable populations as well as the need for clear communication of safety/hygiene protocols and continuation of both online and in-person options to participate in worship, classes, and other groups.

Foundry clergy and staff, along with members of the Foundry Board, the Science/Public Health Reentry Ministry Team, and a special Reentry Implementation Task Force, are working collectively to ‘turn the corner’ for a resumption of worship and group gatherings in our building spaces. It is extremely important that we navigate these uncharted waters carefully, to protect young children who cannot be vaccinated; care for persons with health conditions that preclude their participation; and remain aware that everyone may not be willing to reveal their vaccination status.

There are multi-level planning decisions and process modifications required to ensure safety and the depth of spiritual experience desired for those joining us online and in-person for worship and engagement. In a recent staff retreat, it became clear that a seemingly simple decision is quickly complicated by many valid, contextual questions—all needing their own answer. Foundry’s leadership continues to identify the critical considerations and to weigh them against the impact of local practices as well as guidance from the science/medical community.

Currently, we are on schedule to return to a phased-in worship schedule starting mid-July, to include a Wednesday evensong service. August will be a time to assure our safety and hospitality protocols and audio/visual systems are all in place and working effectively. We hope to move toward some Sundays in August in the sanctuary for worship with limited, then increasing, capacity. We will ease into full capacity at Foundry to ensure the safety of persons who call Foundry home! Presuming there is no surge in COVID-related health threats, we anticipate being back at full capacity by the beginning of September.

I ask for your patience and prayers as we do our best to address your concerns post COVID. Reentry updates from the Implementation Task Force will be published regularly as we discover new ways to connect as the Body of Christ

As we turn this corner together, let’s remember to Love God, Love each other, and Change the world.
Foundry Covenant of Consent and Sensitivity

COVID-19 Updates

Updated 09.03.2020
Updated 08.18.2020
Updated 08.13.2020
Updated 07.19.2020
Updated 06.26.2020
Updated 05.07.2020

Foundry family,

Can you believe that we are already one week into May? And while we typically start our updates with pleasantries such as “we trust all is well,” I am keenly aware that many of us are tired of seeing that statement. If you’re like me, the answer for the last several weeks has been “Nope, not well, tired of isolation, need to get outside, want to see my people, desperate to go to the beach, nothing right now is normal or well…except maybe my puppies.”

I am reminded daily from our clergy devotionals that as frustrated and zoom-fatigued as I am, there are many blessings to be found as we patiently wait, endure, lament, and pray during this season of uncertainty. One of those many blessings has been watching each of you and our collective staff, create spaces of meaningful, innovative worship and fellowship in brilliant ways.

Our clergy team is encouraged by the responses to the Facebook daily devotionals and energized by the participation in the newly launched Waypoint midweek virtual worship.

We take comfort in familiar faces providing spiritual resources on our website at The Well. and find joy in the relational photos captured through social media with #thisishowifoundry.

We are humbled by the overwhelming generosity of those who continue to give to our Greatest Need and General Fund, enabling us to make an immediate and direct impact for the most vulnerable in our community.
While we had hoped to be back to some sense of regularity by mid-June, we now know that this shift in lifestyle and routine will be much longer than anticipated. As such, we will continue to follow the science and guidance of the CDC, WHO, and District officials. Under no circumstance will we jeopardize the safety or health of our beloved staff and congregation, for the sake of being in the building.

Rest assured we have established a task force of lay health professionals, staff, and one Board member to determine the proper training and timing of a phased re-opening. This task force meets together regularly and has been actively participating in weekly denominational meetings with other UMCs, national panels with faith-based executives, and medical professionals for updates on contact tracing.

This team has also assisted in the development of a brief congregational re-entry survey to gather empirical data, while simultaneously taking a pulse of our community. We encourage you to participate in this survey as the task force will use the data to determine a definitive plan and timeline of when the building will be opened to the general public.

Finally, our Hospitality team has been working diligently towards offering an opt-in only online directory of Foundry folks to help us all stay connected. More information will be coming from that team this week, with specific instructions explaining how to update your contact information as well as your privacy settings.

Friends, that was a lot of information and it is my hope that we keep you updated in a timely manner. Please know you can reach out to any of us with specific questions or concerns. We miss each of you and pray for you and your loved ones often.

Stay resilient, stay healthy, find joy.

Lani Willbanks
Business Administrator

Updated 04.08.2020

Foundry family,
Holy week is upon us and I find myself anticipating resurrection Sunday with an unfamiliar feeling of heaviness and despair. This year has lacked the vibrant, pastel colors of plastic eggs and decorated lilies. I already miss the excitement of seeing the tent in the courtyard, the smells of Ms. Rosa’s hospitality spread, and the sounds of our glorious choirs and musicians. There will be no pre-dawn run through this year and my robe and stole will remain on a hanger. The most peculiar part of Easter 2020 will be sitting in a guest bedroom, 6 feet from my colleague and friend as she delivers the Gospel story from the intimate and vulnerable space of her own home. Is this really happening?

I am grieving. I want to see my colleagues, our neighbors, our congregation. I want to hear the bells in person, touch the plants in the Columbarium, stuff visitor swag bags with candy. And yet here we are, trying to digest and fact-check rapid paced information and countless distractions while trying to remain present in the season. Some of the information has slowed down and like many of you, we’ve heard rumblings that this new normal will take us well into the summer. Your operations team stands ready to adapt with every shift and offer info and updates as things evolve:

The building is secured. We have identified individuals to routinely check on the facility and the utilities. Our grounds are still being cared for, the plants in the Sanctuary and Columbarium continue to be watered, bringing fresh life into otherwise still places.

Mail is retrieved on Thursdays. While we strongly encourage all financial gifts be made online, we know that checks are often pre-scheduled and difficult to re-route. We are also holding all vital documents for our ID Ministry neighbors, collaborating with the respective service agencies to get these to the individuals in a timely manner.

Quarterly Contribution Statements will be emailed. Later this week you will receive an email from me with a link to log in to retrieve your contribution statement. This method of delivery does not list the balance on your estimate of giving. The email will have instructions for you if you’d like to know your balance.

All Clergy and Staff teleworking. While you may not see everyone on the Sunday worship video, rest assured our team is in good health and caring for each other in new ways. We are grateful for the generosity of so many through which we are able to extend compensation to each staff member during this season.

CARES Act benefit for non-profits. Through coordination with the Board and Finance Committee, our Finance Office worked diligently to prepare all necessary information required for the Small Business Association Paycheck Protection Program offered through our banking institution. The application and supporting documentation were submitted on April 3 and April 6 respectively.

Our building has endured the changing landscape of 16th and P for over 100 years. Through all that time—and certainly in this time—Foundry has stood as a beacon of faith, hope, and love. Even though the building is empty right now, it continues to emanate our shared life and all that we stand for. Family, we will continue to show up and give our best, for however long it takes. We miss each and every one of you deeply and pray for you every day.

Much Peace and Health,
Lani Willbanks
Business Administrator

Updated 03.25.2020

Foundry family, There are moments in our lives where the right decision is painful and the pull to make an easier, wrong decision is strong. For Foundry, making the painful, right decision has meant moving worship and gatherings out of the building and onto virtual platforms as we continue to take all recommended precautions to keep our team and greater community healthy and safe.

In that spirit and in following with our Bishop’s and Mayor’s guidance for the District of Columbia, our staff has taken the necessary steps to work from home for the foreseeable future. Given that most of you are practicing this, don’t be surprised if members of our team reach out to you for best practices, how to put the filter on Zoom, or simply take time to laugh with you while in our pajamas.

This shift means that worship during this season will change—even from what we’ve experienced the past two weeks. Worship will look different and will feel different, since our team will be sharing, praying, and preaching from our respective homes. We ask that as we step into this unknown, you pray for our staff, our Senior Pastor, and our ministry partners as we fervently seek fresh ideas and creative shifts to help us stay connected with God, with one another, and with the needs of our greater community. Please extend and be willing to receive copious amounts of grace and hold tightly to the spaces, practices, and people that ground you.

Family, we will continue to show up and give our best, for however long it takes. We miss each and every one of you deeply and pray for you every day.

Much Peace and Health,
Lani Willbanks
Business Administrator

Updated 03.17.2020
  • Foundry UMC will continue with one online worship service at 11:15 a.m through May 10, 2020
  • Effective immediately, Wednesday Lenten Evensong will be online at 6:15 p.m.
  • Holy Week events will be online
  • Easter Sunday will be online at 11:15 a.m.
  • The building will remain closed to the general public, indefinitely

Additional updates regarding specific ministry areas and social services will be posted at a later date.

Updated 03.12.2020

Foundry UMC takes the personal health and safety of our congregants, staff, and clergy seriously. In this season of uncertainty, we pause to reflect on the words found in Psalm 46;

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountain shake in the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved; God will help it when the morning dawns. The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Come, behold the works of the LORD; see what desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.
“Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth. The LORD of hosts is with us.”

After much discernment, prayer, and deep concern for our most vulnerable populations at risk of exposure to the coronavirus (COVID-19), effective immediately, Foundry has decided to temporarily close the building for worship and subsequent community gatherings through March 25. Recent developments from Mayor Bowser’s office, the Episcopal and Catholic Diocese, and Bishop Easterling, affirm our decision.

Regular Sunday worship will stream online, with Foundry clergy conducting one virtual service at 11:15 a.m. on March 15 and March 22. You are encouraged to participate using the following online platforms:

Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/FoundryUnitedMethodistChurch/ no login or password required.
Foundry Website Online: https://foundryumc.churchonline.org/ no login or password required.
Foundry Vimeo Channel: https://vimeo.com/user85227976 no login or password required.

Foundry discipleship and family ministry classes and groups are encouraged to meet virtually using any of the technology platforms such as Zoom, Google meetings, etc. More information regarding training and best practices for online meetings, along with updated curriculum, will be shared soon. All other building events listed in previous communications will remain postponed until further notice.

At a time when social services are stretched to unimaginable limits, Foundry’s Social Justice department will continue work supporting community partners who provide direct services. More information about our modified practice will be communicated directly to the Social Justice Ministry teams. We strongly encourage each of you to check in with one another, call your small group friend, and stay connected in the safest way possible.

In Peace,
Foundry clergy and staff

Updated 03.11.2020

In response to the latest development from the DC Health Office regarding communal gatherings, the subsequent building updates have been made:
The following events have been postponed until further notice:

  • Choir Rehearsal Wednesday, March 11
  • Orchestra Rehearsal Saturday March 14
  • Special Music Sunday March 15
  • Funeral for John Harden postponed, date TBD
  • The Howard Thurman Retreat postponed, date TBD
  • Great Day of Service postponed until October

The following events this week remain as scheduled, as of 3:00PM this afternoon:

  • Lenten Evensong mid-week worship
  • Sunday Worship with New Members see 3.10.2020 response to modified worship experience
  • ID Ministry
  • Recovery classes
  • Cooking classes
  • ESL
  • Discipleship classes
  • Books 2 Prison

We encourage folks who are in any of the identified vulnerable people groups outlined by the CDC, to selfselect their level of participation in any of these activities. Our primary goal is the health and safety of our congregation. We will continue to monitor CDC, WHO, and DC Health updates as they develop.

In Peace,
Foundry clergy and staff

Updated 03.10.2020

Foundry continues to monitor the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation closely participating in the Bowser Administration’s Update and Preparedness for Advisory Neighborhood Commissions and Faith Leaders, publications from the CDC and WHO, and working closely with other community leaders who are recipients of the various ministries extended by Foundry.

Out of an abundance of caution, and in addition to the measures already taken and listed in our 03.06.2020 update, Foundry has made the following adjustments to the facility and Sunday worship experience as follows:

Effective immediately, there will no longer be tissue boxes or black binders in the pews. We would kindly ask that you submit all prayer requests through our online link found on the main page of our website at https://www.foundryumc.org/prayer. We are also asking folks who are present in Sunday worship who would normally share their attendance with us through the black binders, to check in online through the Church Center App. If you have not yet downloaded the App, it is available on both IOS and Android devices.

Effective immediately, Sunday morning offering will be collected in stationary baskets located at the back of the Sanctuary, Bell Tower Lobby, and Community Commons. We will have ushers stationed at these areas to ensure proper collection, monitoring, and transferring of offerings to the Finance Office. If you have not done so already, we invite you to utilize our online giving platform through the Church Center App or directly through our website at https://foundryumc.churchcenter.com/giving.

NEW VISITORS Effective immediately, we will ask all new attenders or visitors to fill out their information online through a form found directly on our website at https://foundryumc.churchcenter.com/people/forms/111028

COMMUNICATIONS A new link on the main page of our website will have this information, as well as building updates for any cancellation of classes, meetings, or events until further notice.

In Peace,
Foundry clergy and staff

Updated 03.06.2020

Foundry UMC takes the personal health and safety of our staff, clergy, and congregants seriously. As a result of the growing concerns related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Foundry offers the following recommendations to remain safe:

  • Hand-washing is your best self-defense against the spread of germs. Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, specifically after using the restroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • Utilize one of the hand sanitizing stations throughout the facility.
  • Substitute handshakes with elbow bumps, peace signs, or hand-waves, particularly during Passing of the Peace.
  • If you are not feeling well, or experiencing any signs of illness, please take advantage of our online worship through Facebook live or our Vimeo link on our website.

Foundry staff and clergy will continue the following practices:

  • Washing hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Sanitize hands repeatedly during communion.
  • Wiping down door handles 2 times a day, 4-6 times on Sundays.
  • Closely monitoring updates by both the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization.

Out of an abundance of caution, Foundry is also doing the following:

  • Advising staff to telework, as outlined in our personnel handbook, with any signs of illness.
  • Prepared to serve communion in the following months using individual, pre-filled, sealed, compostable communion cups and individual wafers.

We will continue to update this document as the need arrives.

In Peace,
Foundry clergy and staff