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Church & COVID-19

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

Isaiah 41:10

Our Commitment to You

We will continue to keep you updated on our latest changes.

Updated November 23, 2022

To bring our Covid policies into alignment with CDC guidelines, the following changes are effective immediately:

  • Pew ropes have been removed to provide more opportunities to socially distance at individual comfort levels.

  • The fellowship hall has been rearranged with single tables and grouped table arrangements to give social distancing options for groups of various sizes.

  • Masks, Hand sanitizer, and Covid tests continue to be available at the church.

We encourage you to continue caring for your own health and the health of others around you by following these guidelines:

  • Worship online if you are experiencing flu, Covid, or cold symptoms.

  • Practice regular handwashing.

  • Talk with your doctor to stay current with recommended vaccinations and boosters.

Updated March 11, 2022

Based on CDC guidelines and decreasing Covid numbers in Burleigh County, Bismarck UCC will be changing from a mask requirement to a mask recommendation and roping off of every other pew to maintain social distancing as of March 20, 2022. Thank you for continuing to care for one another.

Updated January 20, 2022

Thank you to all of you who participated in Council's request for feedback regarding our Covid policies. Our church council met last night to discuss your feedback, the recommendations of the ND Department of Health, and the current Covid situation in North Dakota. We received feedback from 39 members. The results showed an almost even split on worship attendees' comfort level with a change to the mask policy. 20 would prefer continuing to require masks. 18 would prefer changing to a mask recommendation. 1 has no preference.

This survey reminds us that we are a diverse community with a variety of needs, vulnerabilities, and comfort levels. Although this diversity sometimes makes decisions more difficult, it is something we have always and will continue to celebrate. Throughout this pandemic, Council's guiding principles have been to remain as informed as possible and lean on the side of love. With over half of our polled members uncomfortable with a change to our mask policy and the high rate of Covid cases in Burleigh County, we cannot in love make a change to our policy. Masks will continue to be required inside the church building during the current Omicron wave. Council is committed to reevaluating the policy when case numbers are indicating a downward trend.

I know that this news will be met with disappointment from some and a sigh of relief from others. Living through an ongoing pandemic is not easy. We do not celebrate needing to make this decision. We ask that you join us in leaning on the side of love regardless of your comfort level, hold one another in prayer, and commit yourself to being a part of your church family regardless of your preference. To love when everyone agrees is easy. To love when we disagree is the love that Christ calls us into.

Updated July 27, 2021

Effective July 28, 2021

  • Masks are required to be worn by everyone inside the church building.

  • Social distancing is required when food or coffee is served.

  • All eligible individuals are encouraged to get vaccinated.

  • Outside groups are permitted to meet in the church building if the above guidelines are followed.

Updated May 13, 2021

Effective May 13, 2021

  • Masks are required by everyone in worship on May 16, 2021.

  • Fully-vaccinated individuals are not required to mask in small group settings.

  • Un-vaccinated individuals, individuals with a weakened immune system, and individuals more comfortable masking are strongly encouraged to mask inside the church building.

  • All eligible individuals are encouraged to get vaccinated.


Effective May 17, 2021


Effective May 23, 2021

  • Fully-vaccinated individuals are not required to mask in worship or at any church function.

  • Un-vaccinated individuals, individuals with a weakened immune system, and individuals more comfortable masking are strongly encouraged to mask inside the church building.

  • Food and drink is permitted at church functions with appropriate social distancing.


Effective June 6, 2021

  • All pews are reopened for seating

  • Choir can resume with singing masks.

*Individuals are considered fully-vaccinated 2 weeks after receiving the final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccination.

Updated March 8, 2021

Masks and social distancing continue to be required in the church building and worship continues to be offered in-person and online. With proper mask usage and social distancing, we will begin reintroducing congregational singing in our in-person worship services. The fellowship hall will be reopened for masked and socially distanced visiting after Sunday worship. Food and coffee is not served at this time.

Updated February 8, 2021

Sunday worship continues to be offered in-person and online. Wednesday worship continues online only. Small church groups and meetings are welcome to meet in-person and/or online. Masks and social distancing are required inside the church building.

Updated January 11, 2021

Our in-person worship option will resume starting on January 24 at 10 AM. Masks and social distancing are required. No groups or meetings are currently hosted inside the church building.

Updated November 19, 2020

Due to the increased risk of infection throughout the holiday season and the current strain on our hospitals, Bismarck UCC is returning to online only worship starting on Sunday, Nov. 29.  This includes Sunday mornings, Wednesday evenings, and Christmas Eve. No groups are permitted to meet inside the church building at this time. Please be part of reducing our rates of infection by masking up and limiting close contact with those outside your household.

Updated September 10, 2020

We continue to follow our vision statement and prioritize our care for one another and the wider-community. To do that as the pandemic continues, the church Council has voted to continue outdoor worship whenever possible in October and has moved worship to 11 AM in hopes that the temperature will be a little warmer at 11 AM in October.  We will have indoor worship on October 4 at 11 AM.  The remaining Sundays of October will be outside on the church lawn if the tempearture is above 50 degrees at 11am.  If the temperature is below 50 degrees at 11 AM in October, worship will be moved inside.  A reminder that as of the Council meeting on August 13, masks are required at all gatherings inside the church building.

Updated June 10, 2020

We believe God is Love, which means that we understand relationship and community to be an essential part of the way we experience God. We also believe that we were made in the image of God, meaning that we were created to live as communal beings in the image of Love. Since mid-March we have been creating community online and want to give you a huge thank you for joining us in that endeavor! Worshiping and connecting online will continue to be an important part of our church going forward. However, we know that in-person connections are also important to not only our faith, but also our health and well-being. After reviewing the recommendations of CDC & ND Department of Health and consulting with infection control specialists, our church Council unanimously voted to resume in-person gatherings. Starting Sunday, June 21 at 10 AM, weekly in-person gatherings will resume at Bismarck UCC with new guidelines.

Most of the guidelines, such as roped off pews, no-contact passing of the peace, increased sanitation, and other safety measures will be already implemented by our staff and volunteers before your arrival. What you need to remember is our worship schedule:


  • Online & in-person worship will be on Sunday at 10 AM.

  • In-person worship will be held INSIDE with no singing on the first Sunday of the month.

  • In person worship will be held OUTSIDE with singing on the remaining Sundays of the month.

    • Please bring your own chair, mask, water, and sun protection.

    • In the instance of bad weather, worship will be moved inside.

  • Online worship will be livestreamed on YouTube.

  • Sunday Fellowship will be held outside in the church parking lot

    • In the instance of bad weather, fellowship will be cancelled.

AND your part in protecting each other:

  1. Stay home if you are sick, have a sick family member, or have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 within the past 14 days.

  2. Monitor your physical distancing and keep 6-feet apart from others outside your household.

  3. Wear a mask.

  4. Go before you come… the church bathrooms will be available, but we still encourage you to take care of business before you arrive.

Here's a poster to help you remember your part!

Small groups are also permitted to resume meeting at the church with new guidelines. Please contact the church office at 701-223-2915 for details.

Updated May 27, 2020

We're gathering in-person on June 7 at 2 PM! Here are the details you need to know:

  • Sunday's 10 AM worship service will continue online only.

  • Our 2 PM in-person fellowship & communion service will be outside in the church parking lot.

  • Please plan to arrive no earlier than 1:45 pm and no later than 2:10 PM. The in-person gathering begins at 2 PM.

  • Ground rules: It is in our vision statement that ALL are welcome to freely explore spirituality in a safe and nurturing environment. This means watching out for each other and protecting one another from harm.  All in-person gatherings involve a level of risk and we need your help to make our first in-person gathering a safer place.

  1. Stay home if you are sick, have a sick family member, or have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 within the past 14 days.

  2. Monitor your physical distancing and keep 6-feet apart from others outside your household.

  3. Go before you come… the church bathrooms will be available, but we still encourage you to take care of business before you arrive.

  •  What to bring?

    • Your own chair

    • Your own drink – water, coffee, tea, etc.

    • Your own mask – we will not be requiring people to wear masks at this outdoor event, but we do encourage mask wearing anytime you might be within 6-feet of others.

    • Donations for Jack’s Food Pantry – shampoo, deodorant, and laundry detergent are needed by local families.

    • Your offering – for those who prefer to drop it off in-person rather than mailing it in or giving online.


When you arrive, please park on the street and an usher will direct you to a sidewalk chalk “pod” which will be yours to decorate with the provided chalk during the time of fellowship/worship. Communion will be served at each family’s sidewalk chalk “pod” in individually wrapped servings. In the instance of bad weather, check the church website before you come for updates.

Updated May 2, 2020

Bismarck UCC's Council continues to closely monitor the recommendations from CDC and the ND Department of Health. At this time, we plan to resume in-person worship on June 7.  As part of our precautionary planning, we will be requesting attendees (who are able) to wear masks to worship and encourage our members to acquire masks over the next month.  Throughout the month of May, and after we return to in-person services, worship will continue to be available online at and on Facebook.  Thank you for your continued support and dedication to being a beacon of God's love!

Updated April 20, 2020

Suspension of in-person activities extended through at least May 31, 2020.

The church office remains open, online worship continues, and additional activities and gatherings are being made available online.

Updated March 31, 2020


  • Online worship services HERE and on Facebook.

  • Church office is open M-F from 9am - 1pm (Phone calls are encouraged over drop-ins)

  • Jack's Food Pantry has transferred food to Adopt-A-Block.

  • Check out the church calendar for updates on other events

TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED: (through April 30, 2020)

  • Sunday & Wednesday in-person worship services

  • All in-person activities, classes, and events

  • Worship at Primrose Retirement Community

Stay tuned for ways to be involved in online fellowship groups, classes, and game nights.

For the latest information on COVID-19, please visit the Bismarck Public Library COVID-19 page.

March 17, 2020

All in-person activities suspended through the end of March.
Worship with us ONLINE at

We continue to be committed to being a place "where all are welcome to freely explore spirituality in a safe and nurturing environment" and today that means joining other churches in Bismarck and around the global in suspending all in-person groups, worship services, classes, and meetings.  Our church council has not made this decision lightly and will reevaluate the situation at the end of March.

What you need to know:

  • Both Wednesday and Sunday Worship services will be held ONLINE. Our first online service is "Minimalist Lent" on March 18 at 6pm.  Visit for instructions on how to join.

  • The church office is still open M-F from 9am-1pm.  Please call instead of dropping in.

  • Jack's Food Pantry is still serving hungry families with updated safety measures. Please call ahead to schedule food donations.

  • Donations can still be mailed to the church office or made online through your bank or our website.

God's blessing be upon you,
Pastor Gretchen, UCC Council, & Staff

March 12, 2020

​As it says in Bismarck UCC's Vision Statement, we are committed to being a place "where all are welcome to freely explore spirituality in a safe and nurturing environment."  This includes making the physical health of our parishioners and visitors a top priority.  Utilizing resources from CDC and ND Department of Health (NDDoH), we are implementing changes in our gathering practices to minimize the transmission of COVID-19 through church activities.  These changes include: increasing the frequency of surface sanitation, encouraging social distancing, modifying worship and communion practices, and utilizing more technology for pastoral care.  You will notice these changes on Sunday in worship and throughout the week.

You can participate in living out our joint vision of being a safe place for everyone by staying home if you are ill, washing your hands regularly, and being especially mindful of those with increased risk.  We are continuing to hold worship services.  However, for our friends who are ill or at increased risk for serious COVID-19 outcomes, we encourage you to stay home from all public gatherings, including worship.

A church is a church because of the faithful dedication of its people and there are ways to continue to participate in this church family from home if you are at increased risk or are ill.  As the situation continues to unfold it will become even more important that we are of strong support to one another.  Here are just a few ways we encourage you to continue to be involved with your church family:

  1. Make it a habit to check in with one another over the phone.  If you need a church directory, please contact the church office and one will be mailed to you.

  2. Hold each other in prayer.  Prayer can change us, reconnect us with God, and be of deep encouragement to others.

  3. Contact the church office if you would like to be added to the weekly prayer list.

  4. Call or email Pastor Gretchen to set up a pastoral visit.  We are utilizing more technology for pastoral visits during this time.

  5. Switch to electronic giving or mail checks to the church office.  The church will continue to be here for you and anyone who needs the reminder of God’s hope throughout all of this.  This means that we will continue to pay salaries, cover bills, and offer assistance and pastoral care to those who need it.  Please continue to support the ongoing work whether or not you are able to join us in worship.

  6. Stay tuned to updates on Facebook or this website.  We are in the process of developing a podcast for congregants to participate in a worship experience from home and hope to have it up and running soon.

  7. Sign up to receive email alerts by clicking HERE.


Above all, whether or not worshiping in-person is the best decision for you, be an agent of hope in the world.  As Christians we are called to be like Christ to others.  Remember to show kindness, patience, and love in every situation and be especially mindful of letting go of fear.  Your church is right here with you.

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