Dear Church Family and Friends,
Our task force has met multiple times for the primary purpose of recommending a plan for reopening our church for in-person worship. We reviewed and discussed recommendations from the Governor of Texas, our Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, Bishop Scott Jones, and the CDC COVID-19 Reopening Guidance. As your pastor, I will assume the initial responsibility of communicating these recommendations and changes to you, and ask for your compliance and sharing of this information. We realize that some of these changes may not be the personal preference for everyone, but believe they are for the greater good. We are also hopeful that as the pandemic is brought under further control that some of these restrictions can be eased, but we have no timeline for when that may be.
We established the goal to reopen for worship on Trinity Sunday, June 7th, 2020 for those who want to attend and plan accordingly. We want each person coming for in-person worship to feel reasonably safe, and if not we encourage them to worship at home. For this reason we ask that anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 or who has been exposed to a person who tested positive to the virus within the previous 14 days to not attend. We also require that those in attendance wear a mask. If you do not have one, one will be provided for you. If you do not feel safe or have other concerns you can still tune in to Facebook for our service. Due to the guidelines we are trying to follow we are 𝐨𝐧𝐥𝐲 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐬𝐞𝐫𝐯𝐢𝐜𝐞 𝐚𝐭 𝟏𝟎𝐀𝐌 𝐨𝐧 𝐒𝐮𝐧𝐝𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐥 𝐟𝐮𝐫𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐧𝐨𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐞.
There will be no Sunday School classes, no youth programming, no children’s programming, no children’s church, no nursery, and no fellowship time with or without coffee and donuts, and no greetings that involve being closer than six feet to one another. This means no handshakes or hugs. The Texas Annual Conference has also closed our summer camping ministry at Lakeview.
While we will continue to have children’s messages with Mrs. Jenny, we will have the children remain in pews with their families. We are concerned that children will have a difficult time staying six feet away from each other.
As we begin to reenter, only the main sanctuary entrance will be used to enter the church. Doors will open at 9:30AM, thirty minutes before the service begins. Another set of doors will be used to exit the sanctuary. Ushers wearing masks and gloves will be at the main entrance taking temperature, making sure you have a mask, sanitizing your hands, and seating you in an assigned seat. Please watch the video of facebook for further info: facebook.com/fumchallsville
Based on 6-foot distancing, pews that will NOT be used will be taped off. All Bibles, hymnals, pens, pencils and paper products will be removed from the pews. There will be no printed bulletins for the service and worship information will be on the screens.
The offering plates will NOT be passed but will be placed at the doors you will be using to exit the building. When we eventually worship with communion it will be offered using prepacked wafers and juice.
We realize that you may not like all these recommendations, but we are trying to help our people to be safe and also provide in-person worship again. These guidelines may change in the weeks ahead. We will keep you updated.