Come before Winter’s COVID-19 Procedures – Participants

As the realities of life after the Covid-19 pandemic have evolved, so have the procedures that Come before Winter (CbW) employs for our in-person events. The core question that has shaped our procedures has been “How can we best love our neighbors and serve women in need of renewal?” We recognize that the diversity of Covid-19 experiences, opinions, responses, and personal needs means that we will not be able to craft procedures that every person will agree with at any given moment. However, we do not all have to agree in order to maintain loving relationships with one another and the communities we serve. This has been a core belief of Come before Winter from the very beginning. We believe that Christian unity is more important than proclaiming our opinion as “right.” This value has guided us in shaping what we believe is a set of procedures that will create a loving, hospitable environment for as many people as we can possibly serve. This renewal is intended to serve women from a variety of countries and regions, each of which has responded in different ways to the pandemic, so we seek to create a space that will feel inviting and welcoming to as many of those women as we can.

We have done our best to craft procedures that can evolve based on the medical realities at the time we are planning our events, trusting that our medical advisors will help us to reshape them if the need arises. Our leadership has been prayerful about these procedures at every step, and has reevaluated them periodically to ensure they continue to meet our desire to create as safe and welcoming of an environment as we can. Because Covid-19 guidelines are continually changing in response to an ever-evolving disease, there are certain procedures CbW knows in advance that we will follow even as others may be asked of participants closer to the renewal based on travel requirements or public health recommendations at the time of the renewal. We ask for your patience, understanding, and flexibility as we strive to create a renewal that meets the needs of participants.

It is highly recommended that all participants receive, at minimum, one complete course of Covid-19 vaccination at least two weeks before the start of the renewal. Bivalent boosters are encouraged if available.

“One complete course of vaccination” equates to one of the following (as of Oct. 18, 2022):

  1. Two doses of one of these vaccines:
    1. Comirnaty (Pfizer-BioNTech)
    2. Spikevax (Moderna)
    3. Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca)
    4. Covaxin
    5. Covishield
    6. BIBP/Sinopharm
    7. CoronaVac (Sinovac)
    8. Nuvaxovid (Novavax)
    9. Covovax
    10. Medicago
  2. One dose of these vaccines:
    1. Janssen/Johnson & Johnson
    2. Convidecia (CanSinoBIO)

Participants and team members are welcome to wear masks if they desire. The decision about whether we will require masks indoors for all attendees will be made closer to the renewal depending on the recommendations of our medical advisors, health authorities, and local ordinances at the time.

Come before Winter may ask participants to provide a negative COVID-19 test prior to arrival, depending on the guidance of health authorities and local ordinances. More information about testing requirements will be shared in advance of the renewal, if needed. If testing is required for your return travel, you will be responsible for coordinating that testing with as little disruption to your participation in the renewal as possible. The hotel or retreat center staff can help connect you with local testing resources. Once your application has been accepted, please let CbW know if you will require testing for your return flight and we will share resources that we know of with you so that you can make appropriate arrangements as well as help minimize disruption to the renewal schedule.

Single-Occupancy Rooms
For a typical Come before Winter renewal, we reserve rooms with capacity for two to three participants per room. We do not ask participants to sleep on a top bunk or to share a bed smaller than a king. This means that there is a possibility you will be asked to share a king-sized bed with another participant. We offer you the opportunity to request a particular roommate and do our very best to accommodate each request. Participants may also request a single-occupant room for medical reasons. If a room is available, you will be asked to pay an additional fee ($60 per night, $240 total). These single rooms will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Other things to keep in mind:

  • Please stay home if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 or another contagious illness (see cancellation policy for more information).
  • CbW will follow any local ordinances that may be in place and any COVID-related procedures that may be required by the conference facility designed to protect the health and safety of staff and attendees.
  • If symptoms develop, participants may be isolated in the hotel until other arrangements can be made, based on the recommendation of our medical advisors. It will be up to the participant and/or their family to make other arrangements for the remainder of their isolation (if required) either with the hotel or retreat center where the renewal is being held or in another nearby facility. Come before Winter is not responsible for any costs associated with quarantine requirements or transportation to another facility. We will offer support as possible.
  • Once an application is received and accepted, each applicant will be asked to confirm her willingness to follow these guidelines.

Heart change and inner renewal will surely have an impact on my relationships, attitude and the ministry I’d like to start…

Women’s renewal, Russia 2016