Guidelines for Funerals and Memorial Services At Bethel College Mennonite Church during the COVID-19 Pandemic

BCMC Purpose Statement: Our faith in a God of love leads us, by the power of the Spirit, to follow Jesus in doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God.

Our common purpose in the context of the COVID-19 calls us to love and comfort those who mourn in caring, merciful ways that keep all involved as healthy and safe as possible, bearing in mind the well-being of the most vulnerable in our midst. There is an inherent tension in this as we seek to find a balance between caring for one another and keeping a distance in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Families who have experienced the loss of a loved one during this time most acutely feel this tension.

In order to keep a responsible balance between care and safety, the Reopening Church Task Group of Bethel College Mennonite Church has developed the following guidelines for funerals held inside the sanctuary at Bethel College Mennonite Church while we are in the COVID-19 pandemic. Any questions or clarifications about these guidelines can be directed to Pastor Nathan Koontz at

  • Limit of 20 people in attendance.
  • Masks required for every person while inside the church building.
  • 6 feet of social distancing is expected while inside the church.
  • The funeral party will only be allowed access to the sanctuary and bathrooms on the main floor. The fellowship hall and kitchen will not be available.
  • Congregational singing will not be allowed.
  • In order to reduce the amount of viral load in the sanctuary, the funeral will be limited to 45 minutes. The funeral party is invited to gather outside before and after the funeral for fellowship time. The funeral party is also welcome to book another venue for more extensive fellowship time.
  • During the funeral, access to the church will be restricted to the funeral party in order to prevent unnecessary contact with BCMC staff.
  • Organists, other musicians, and the sound technician participate on a voluntary basis. BCMC staff cannot guarantee that we will be able to find these volunteers to participate in the service.
  • If a sound technician is available, live streaming of the funeral will be possible.

Approved July 23, 2020
Reopening Task Group