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July 16 | Way Forward Task Force Updates

Update from the way forward task force

July 16, 2020
To all the beloved in Christ in the Diocese of Milwaukee:
Dear Friends in Christ,
To keep pace with these changing times and to incorporate the creative to solutions that you all have presented to serve our communities during this time in the COVID-19 pandemic, the Way Forward Task Force has updated the diocesan Returning to Public Worship Guidelines (Guidelines) and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). I am writing today to provide those updated documents.

Though many of you have submitted your plans and had them approved, please keep in mind that permission to meet in-person is not encouragement and may be rescinded. The Diocese of Milwaukee Regathering Risk Assessment Dashboard (Dashboard) and county evaluation criteria ultimately determine whether you can consider meeting and, if so, how many people can be present. As of now, in most places within the diocese, it is still not in the best interest of our communities to meet in person.

The updates to the Guidelines and FAQs include:

  • Guideline Requirements and Recommendations were streamlined, and new guidelines provided in the FAQs have been incorporated into the Guidelines.
  • Guidelines for other parish meetings have been added.
  • We have made it a requirement to provide information to persons at higher risk for contracting COVID-19 to better inform their decisions about attending in-person events.
  • Other minor clarifications and edits of the Guidelines have been made.

I would like to stress the requirement to provide the CDC information on the personal, informed decision-making process. Those websites should be a part of your communications to the members of the diocese and those who visit or use our facilities. The recent spikes in COVID-19 place a great number of us at greater risk. Poor decision-making by many are having a disastrous and deadly effect on us all. Stressing this information is important and required.

As you continue to submit plans or revisions to existing plans, please use the updated Guidelines to develop those plans. Also, any new requirement should be incorporated into your day-to-day operations. Please continue to check the Regathering Risk Assessment Dashboard and county health departments.

The following are links to the updated Guidelines and FAQs:

The Task Force will continue to monitor the events around us related to COVID-19 and respond to your questions. We will also update the FAQs frequently and the Guidelines as required.

As always, if you have questions about these guidelines, please feel free to contact us. Questions specifically pertaining to the Regathering Risk Assessment Dashboard, its methodology, or its underlying data may be sent directly to the Rev. Dave Mowers ( ). All other questions and plan submittal should be sent to me ( ) with a copy to Rev. Bill Dunlop ( ) and Patty Jaffke ( ).

Yours in Christ,

The Rt. Rev. Steven Andrew Miller
Bishop of Milwaukee