Policy on building sharing

Church of the Open Arms

Approved by the Leadership Council

August 2013

Amended June 2020

Church of the Open Arms UCC (COA) believes that our building is a gift from God and that sharing all gifts is part of our service to God and the world.  We also believe that part of being a good steward of this gift includes having a clear understanding between the church and any other group that shares in the use of the building.  This policy is a statement of that stewardship.

In 2020 the world was suffering from a pandemic.  We limited the use of our building in accord with all public health advice.  In June of 2020 we determined that additional guidelines should be added here for times such as this.  Fees were also reviewed and amended at that time. These guidelines include the following:

  • No meetings in the building or limited numbers of people (10 or fewer or 61 and fewer) depending on the phase of the pandemic recovery.
  • Attendees must wear face masks and maintain appropriate social distancing (6 feet)
  • Groups must provide their own cleaning supplies and equipment.
  • Before and after each meeting, the user must sanitize all surfaces in any room in which your participants may have been. This includes the restrooms and the passage ways.  This must occur before each meeting as we cannot guarantee how much time has passed after others have been in the room and after to make the room as sanitized as possible when the next group or person arrives.
  • Bring your own trash sacks and remove your trash to outside containers after meeting.
  • Follow all other building closing procedures

COA offers the use of the building to many organizations but cannot do so without compensation to defray the cost of utilities and related building use costs.  It is the policy of COA to waive the fee for some groups such as 12 step programs, PFLAG, and others which are within the mission of COA.

COA will also offer the use of the building to other community groups but a fee will be required for that use. These groups will be asked to make a payment of $20 for each hour of the event, including cleaning before and after meeting.   

This policy does not include the use of the building for weddings and funerals.

No use of the building shall be allowed without a written agreement (see below) between the church and the group.  The executive team or the church council (or the Pastor) shall approve each group wishing to use our building.

The agreement shall include at least the following:

  • The name of the guest church or group, and the name, address and telephone number of the pastor and other leader.
  • The dates for which the agreement is effective.
  • An initial list of rooms to be used and times of use, which may be changed by mutual agreement.
  • Kitchen use and clean-up, along with a list of kitchen equipment that may be used including coffee pots, pans, and table service.
  • List of any audio-visual equipment that may be used with the name of the trained operator.
  • List of any musical instruments that may be used.
  • The procedure for scheduling special meetings.
  • Where to park and not park.
  • Cleaning arrangements.
  • Responsibilities for setting up, moving, and putting away chairs and tables.
  • A statement that children must be supervised at all times and that our Safe Sanctuary policy will be followed.
  • Use of telephones, office space, and storage space allotted to the guest.
  • Specific responsibility for keys and lock-up after each use and duplication of keys.
  • Only service animals are allowed inside the building without special permission and the payment of a deposit.
  • Financial responsibility for damages.
  • For a separate congregation, a statement that the guest group’s insurance should list the host church as “additional insured”.
  • If a separate congregation, any authorization for use of a sign identifying including how large the sign can be and where it can be located.
  • The amount of shared use fee to be charged, if any, and when it is due.
  • Financial penalty for failure to follow this agreement.
  • A procedure to terminate the relationship.
  • Flyers, materials and other publicity must be approved by COA if the name of the Church is used in any of the publicity, including an automatic designation on electronic advertising.


Format for a Memorandum of Understanding for

Building use

The Church of the Open Arms, UCC (COA) owns the building located at 3131 N Penn in Oklahoma City, OK.   _____________________ (guest) is a church/nonprofit/association which desires to use part of COA’s building for its services or other meetings and activities. ________________ is the pastor/leader of this group who can be located at:
(name, address and phone numbers, email)

COA is willing to allow Guest to use part of its building as outlined below.  This agreement shall become effective on _____________________, 20__ and shall remain in effect until terminated by either party as specified below.

During a time of pandemic and on notice from a church official the guest agrees to the following additional requirements:

  • No meetings in the building or limited numbers of people (10 or fewer or 61 and fewer) depending on the phase of the pandemic recovery.
  • Attendees must wear face masks and maintain appropriate social distancing (6 feet)
  • Groups must provide their own cleaning supplies and equipment.
  • Before and after each meeting, guest must sanitize all surfaces in any room in which your participants may have been. This includes the restrooms and the passage ways.  This must occur before each meeting as we cannot guarantee how much time has passed after others have been in the room and after to make the room as sanitized as possible when the next group or person arrives.
  • Bring trash sacks for any litter or trash and remove to the outside containers after your meeting.

Guest may use the following rooms or spaces:

Sanctuary

Community Hall

Kitchen

Elevator

Room number __________________ for basement rooms

Playground

Common areas in main floor

Restroom in south basement

This list of rooms for use can be expanded or diminished by mutual written agreement.

Use of the kitchen is limited to the following: List specific kitchen items that may be used.

At no time may the items used by COA for communion be used by any other party.

Audio-visual equipment in the rooms designated may be used except in the sanctuary.  Use of equipment in the sanctuary requires that a member of COA trained in its use be present and be paid for his or her the time. A member of the guest group may be trained by COA if necessary but the equipment shall at no time be used without an authorized, trained operator in control.

The guest may use the parking lot on the west side of the church building and it may use the lot south of the church behind the commercial buildings except for the parking immediately behind the commercial buildings.  Legal street parking is also available.  Parking in the west lot shall be within the designate parking slots including observance of the handicapped slots and with no parking in areas not so designated.

The guest shall maintain the areas within their control in a reasonable manner.  COA retains the right to inspect all areas of the building at any time. 

Guest shall leave the areas used, including the common areas, in at least as clean and as straight as they were found. When the kitchen is used, all items used must be cleaned and returned to the proper storage areas.  Any setup of the space is the responsibility of the guest and the arrangement found upon entering the space must be reestablished at the end of the meeting. The church provides monthly janitorial space for the sanctuary, narthex and community hall. No other cleaning services are provided by COA.

The guest agrees to follow the building closing checklist (attached and provided to guests when a key is received). Guest agrees to open the gate from the courtyard on the east before a meeting is conducted and to relock the gate when leaving the building. The courtyard is an emergency escape.  Unlocking the gate is the responsibility of the guests.

Children are welcome at COA. However, the guest is responsible for supervision of those children at all times. COA is a safe sanctuary and we expect our guests to comply with this policy while using our building and equipment. The COA safe sanctuary policy is available on request and on the website.

The telephones and office space are not to be used by any guest unless there is a specific invitation from a church officer or employee.  No storage space is allotted to any guest except as specifically provided in this agreement.

The guest may be provided with a key to the building. The building key policy and agreement must be completed before the key is provided.  The leader listed above is responsible for the key. No duplicate may be made.  Should additional keys be needed, COA will review the request and, if approved, will provide but the guest must provide the name, address and phone numbers of the person in possession of the key.  The entire building and the gate to the courtyard must be locked after each use.  If someone is in the building alone, the outside doors should remain locked at all times. This is for your safety as well as the safety of the building.

Damages to the property of COA during the time guest occupies the designated space and the common areas shall be the responsibility of the guest.  Damages are payable upon the presentation of an estimate of the cost of repairs. Should other extreme costs occur (such as leaving the air conditioning on all night), the church may access a financial penalty for the cost of the utility.

The guest shall pay COA _________________ fee for use of the space on the 15th of

Or

The guest may use the space without charge as long as the space is use properly.

Should termination of this agreement be necessary or should either party believe that continued use no longer serves its purpose, then the party wishing to terminate shall give the other party at least 60 days notice of such termination.  However, COA retains the right to terminate without notice for violation of this agreement.

Date and signatures of COA and guests