Two weeks ago, we conducted an online survey to try to gauge how ready we were as a congregation to reopen our doors for in-person worship. We promised to repeat the survey periodically to stay informed about how we are feeling as a church about coming together.
In the meantime, the governor has released his recommended guidelines for the reopening of churches. Some churches will be reopening under these guidelines this coming Sunday. Below you will find the guidelines, which are much as we predicted. In fact, the only recommendation that we failed to foresee was that our state’s leaders strongly discourage congregational singing.
As promised, we are running a second version of the survey as part of our update this week. We’ve added a question to the survey to help us understand what sorts of benchmarks we need to be watching for to make re-entry to the building safe and comfortable. Please take a moment to re-read these guidelines.
Below the guidelines are some updates from other staff and a link to the survey.
1. Older members of the congregation should probably not attend. In particular, if you are 65 or older (especially if you have underlying medical conditions) we want you to stay home. The Corona Virus is especially dangerous to persons in this group and we want you to be safe.
2. Likewise, if you are sick, or have been sick in the last 14 days, we need to ask you to stay home for the protection of others. It is possible that the Governor’s guidelines may require us to check temperatures. If they do not, we would encourage you to do so before leaving home. Anyone with a fever should not attend.
3. Please be assured that our worship spaces will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before each service.
4. Masks will be worn at all times, and everyone should use hand sanitizer upon entering the building.
5. There will be no Sunday School, G3 or child care available. Children will need to stay with their families throughout the services.
6. There will be no coffee served in the morning or meal served in the evening at Thrive
7. Social distancing must be practiced at all times. We will be seated one household per pew and staggered in alternate pews in the morning. We will be seated one household per table in the evenings for Thrive. Fellowship time needs to be observed at a distance.
8. We will not use hymnals, bulletins, or other “handouts.” The offerings will be collected through an open basket near the door.
9. At the recommendation of public officials, we will not engage in congregational singing at this time.
10. It is unlikely that we will have a choir in the morning services during the early days of our reopening.
11. We will need to do our best to stagger entry and exit from our services to preserve social distancing. This means it will probably take a few extra minutes to move people into and out of the building.
12. The services will be abbreviated in form, in order to reduce the need for restrooms.
Please take a few seconds to respond to the survey to help us make decisions about the proper timing of reopening our in person worship services. I am anxious to be with you when we decide together that the time is right.
Again, please know that we will do all that we can to continue to provide high quality and meaningful online worship services to our at-home worshipers, even after our in-person worship resumes.
Don’t forget to check out the updates from other staff members, below
SCHOOL IS OUT!!! On behalf of FUMC UpTown Children’s ministry, congratulations on making it through another school year. Just like the end of the school year this year, as we move into summer, things will look and be a little different. So, with that we want to hear from YOU (yes the parents this time). We are coming up with new ideas and gearing up for a unique summer, filled with zoom, drive ways (more to come on that), flat teachers, devotions and more. We need to know what will work best and fit into your new summer schedule.
Please take 1 minute to answer this 2 questions survey about when we can meet on zoom! This new date and time will take the place of our Wednesday meetings that were happening. So, please give your input, by following this link. https://bit.ly/2Xc8J60
As always, please make sure you join our remind group by texting @uptownfumc to 81010. We have lots of new ideas and things in the works and I wouldn’t want you to miss them!
We had a wonderful time at our socially distant Chick-fil-A dinner for graduating seniors Tuesday night. We provided food to eight seniors and eight youth leaders, and we got to spend an hour or more talking in our chairs in the church parking lot, even through some intermittent rain.
The youth continue to study Jesus’ 12 disciples online through the summer, with weekly lessons available on the church website. Courtney Kleppinger is also sharing some writings about each of the disciples each week, and those are also accessible from the lesson post on the website.
We will be having an at-home interactive movie Friday, May 29 at 7 p.m. This is open to youth, children and our whole church family. We will watch “Chicken Little” together from our homes, with many interactive components throughout. You’ll need to have a Netflix subscription as well as Google Chrome on your computer so we can watch together on computers through the Netflix Party app, and we’ll also have a materials list for you to gather ahead of time to be prepared. All these details will be available on the church website.
It’s a special challenge to grow as Christians and serve in these times. But there are ways! I encourage everyone to be in the Word daily; there are so many good reading plans online to guide us. We are a few weeks into our Acts study on Zoom but it’s never too late to join. And if you’re ready to get out and serve, we are serving lunches to the homeless from our church parking lot on Thursdays at noon. We can use food and drinks and also people to serve those for 30 minutes. As restrictions loosen, some of you may be ready to meet in small groups. If that is you, please email me (Jamie Jordan) at . I’ll help as needed!