** Connect with God ~ Grow in Faith ~ Serve in Love **
IN PERSON WORSHIP BEGINNING AGAIN!
Dear WUMC Family & Friends, May 27, 2020
Churches all over our country and our world are struggling with HOW and WHEN to “re-open” for in person worship services. Like so many others, we want to be safe, to do no harm, and to make all of our decisions rooted in love for God and love for others. In contemplating our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, none of us know for certain:
WHAT we should be doing or not doing, WHEN we should take the next steps or refrain from moving ahead, HOW meeting together could possibly have a negative impact on the health of others or HOW NOT meeting together could have a detrimental impact on other’s and our own health (physically, spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and relationally). These are definitely uncertain times in which we are living!
But we do know this: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of need” (Psalm 46:1). “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). And, “God who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Christ” (Philippians 1:6). God is not finished with us yet!
After much prayer and in consideration of state of Ohio, East Ohio Conference, CDC, and biblical guidelines, a COVID-19 leadership task group from our church has come to the consensus that Sunday, June 7, 2020 will be our first in-person worship experiences after a three month hiatus because of the Coronavirus. We realize some people will think we are “re-opening” in-person worship too soon, others are wondering what has taken us so long to open the church doors once again, and still others are not sure what to think about all of this.
As we move forward as a church family, please realize that although our opinions may vary, I believe each person has good intentions and wants to do what is right in God’s eyes, what is best for our church and community, and what steps and decisions will enable us to help others and ourselves to best fulfill our mission:
“Connect with God ~ Grow in Faith ~ Serve in Love.”
1) Sunday, June 7 – “In person” worship:
9am Praise Service in the Center for Hope
11am Traditional Service in the Sanctuary
**On-line worship will continue each week on Facebook, our church website, and
YouTube. Please be patient with us as we re-format and adjustments are made.
2) Safety Measures are in place:
Face masks are strongly encouraged
Safe Social Distancing Seating will be utilized (family groups may sit together)
Occupancy will be limited to 50% of capacity
The Center for Hope and the Sanctuary have been thoroughly sanitized, and will continue to be sanitized thoroughly after each use.
Hand Sanitizer will be provided at all doors and other locations as well.
3) Several aspects of worship will be very different:
Offering plates will not be passed, but there will be an offering box available (thank you for your faithfulness in mailing in and using PayPal to support our church budget.
It is greatly appreciated!)
There will be no bulletins or hymnals, but announcements and song lyrics will be on the screens.
Greeters & Ushers will be practicing social distancing.
Please practice “no touch” for now – no handshaking, no hugging, and keep 6 feet apart from all of those who are not in your “family group”.
NO Nursery and NO Sunday School for children or adults on June 7. We need to phase in our new processes and try to have as few “moving parts” as possible this first Sunday back.
4) All who are not sick are welcome, but SOME SHOULD CONTINUE TO WORSHIP FROM HOME FOR NOW. Please heed safety warnings and precautions from recognized authorities. Please “Stay Home and Stay Safe” if you have a fever, cough, or shortness of breath. According to the CDC, those considered “high risk” For COVID-19 include: People age 65 and over; people of all ages with underlying medical conditions including: chronic lung disease, moderate to severe asthma, serious heart conditions, immunocompromised, diabetes, kidney dialysis, liver disease, etc. You must make your own personal decision whether or not to worship “in-person” at this time. We are doing our best to provide a safe, meaningful worship experience for all, but the choice to either worship in person or online is one that you must make for yourself.
5) Youth Group and Kingdom Kids will soon be having “in person” activities and Ministry/Discipleship opportunities, in keeping with guidelines from recognized governmental and church authorities. For now, Bible Studies will remain online.
We surpassed our goal for the Center for Hope Double Matching Grant!! Exact figures will be totaled after May 31, but THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! To ALL who have given and pledged so generously to enable life-transforming, life-impacting ministry, mission, worship, discipleship, and fellowship to take place now and for generations to come. Your gifts, combined with the Double Matching Grant from our very generous benefactors, have/will provide over $750,000 towards the Center for Hope!
Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
For those who are safely able to join with us, we are looking forward to SEEING you on Sunday, June 7. If you are not able to worship in person, please join us online at 9:00am or any time after that. And please remember, stay in communication and “contact” with one another during these difficult and trying times. And if you need help, assistance, or prayer, please contact the church office (740-264-1676, or email: email@example.com) or Tif Manley. Church staff are continuing to serve and work during this time, and are available to assist in whatever helpful ways we are able. Feel free to contact any of us.
“May the God of Hope fill you with all Joy and Peace as you trust in Him, so that you will overflow with Hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13