Dear FUMC member,
We hope you are doing well and staying healthy. We miss seeing you all each week but are thankful that technology has allowed us to stay connected as a church family as our nation and community deal with the effects of COVID-19. During this time, we have had to consider new ways to approach what have been longstanding practices and traditions, and we know many of you are wondering about our plans for returning to in-person services.
As you are probably aware, the state recently announced churches could resume in-person services if done in accordance with strict social-distancing protocols, and many of our local churches will begin doing so soon. The Northeast District Superintendent Chris Ramsey has asked churches in our district to develop and present to him plans for how we will safely handle this transition for our congregations.
First, let us say, that the health and safety of our congregation and community are our top priorities. We are operating under one of John Wesley’s Simple Rules – to “do no harm” and are evaluating options for safely returning to in-person services. We want to do what is best and most well-received by our congregation. We will be soliciting your feedback via a survey to be conducted by email or over the phone in the coming days. Once the information has been gathered and reviewed, church leadership will develop a comprehensive, phased plan detailing our transition for returning to church services and other activities. This plan will consider the frequency of activities and detail any safety measures we will be taking, including limiting person-to-person contact, social distancing efforts and enhanced cleaning.
Our return to in-person services will only be resumed after careful consideration of a variety of factors, including insight we gather from you, advice of health professionals and feedback we receive from our district superintendent. Each phase of our plan will be implemented only after a thorough assessment of the circumstances during and between phases. For the time being, we will continue our online services as we have since early March.
We realize that many questions remain, and we look forward to updating you with more information as it is available.
While this pandemic has created much uncertainty across the country, one thing remains constant – God is in control. We want to thank you for your faithfulness and unwavering support for your church and church family. Please keep praying for our community and leaders. Continue taking precautions to keep you and your family safe. Keep trusting God.
We are looking forward to being able to gather in-person again soon.