Following information was updated on August 21, 2020. Email was sent to the congregation by Donna on August 22.
We pray that this informational correspondence finds you blessed.
It has been about a month since we last worshipped together in our beautiful sanctuary (although it seems a lot longer). We thank the Lord for modern technology which has allowed us to continue to connect with one another. Yet,we also know that there is something unique about coming together in person for worship, teaching, and fellowship. Our Reopening Task Forcemet on Monday, the 17th. After much discussion, and taking into account the protocols that we will follow as well as hearing your hearts, we are delighted to announce that in person worship will return again at our regular worship times of 8:30am and 10:30am on August 30th.
The date that small Bible studies will start up again is this coming Monday, August 24th (see the calendar at www.1umc.org for schedule of bible studies, classes, etc). Some ministry groups will be on the calendar, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are READY to meet yet. Please call your facilitator first if you have any questions about your particular groups startup before showing up for a meeting. MASKS AND SOCIAL DISTANCING WILL BE MANDATORY THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE MEETING TIME!
Ministry meetings that have notified us are:
1. The Thrift Shop will be opening back up on Wednesday, August 26 that their regularly scheduled hours.
2. Prayer in the Chapel will start back up again on Thursday, September 3rd at 1:15 pm.
3. The UMW will be holding their annual bazaar in Fellowship Hall this year, for one day, on Friday, November 6th from 9am to 3pm. There will be no food being served or sold. Whether or not masks will be required will be dependent on CDC guidelines on that date.
4. Serendipity Men will begin on Tuesday, August 25th at 3:00 pm in rooms 113/114.
5. Men’s Prayer Wednesday, begins August 26th at 7am in rooms 113/114.
6. Stephen Minister peer groups (check the calendar). They are meeting in respective rooms and at the same times as their pre-pandemic schedule that they met in before the pandemic but call your group leader to verify first.
7. W.O.W.-call your facilitator.
8. Bible Discovery Class, Fridays, August 21 @ 6pm in room 114.
9. S.O.A.P. Thursday’s beginning August 27 @ 10am in rooms 113/114.
10.Wise Bible Study, Friday’s August 28 @ 10am in rooms 113/114.
11. ML Respite, Monday’s August 24@ 1pm in room 105.
12. ML Caregiver Support, Monday’s August 24 @ 1pm in room 106.
13. Truthseeker’s, Sunday, August 30, 9:30am in rooms 113/114.
If I have omitted your group, class or study I do apologize. Please call your facilitator to find out if they are opening up yet or, if not, when they plan to. I will need to add it to my calendar again.
We want as many people as possible to feel comfortable returning to worship together,so out of love for one another we ask that the precautions outlined below be followed as closely as possible. It is our hope that the joy of re-gathering will overcome any potential awkwardness and frustrations we may experience.
We will not be able to anticipate every scenario of social interaction nor remove every risk. Each individual is responsible for their own personal health and we will continue to provide our worship services streamed live on Facebook at 8:30 am and on YouTube pre-recorded about 1:00 pm for anyone who is not ready to return to a public gathering. We will also continue to operate in accordance with the guidelines put in place by the CDC and the United Methodist Florida Conference.
Guidelines and precautions for August 30th reopening (We apologize in advance, but they are not open for negotiation):
Before the Service starts:
-First and foremost, if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, fatigue, difficulty breathing, loss of appetite) or are exhibiting any other flu-like symptoms or illness we ask that you stay home.
-As you arrive our Faith Community Nurse team will check your temperature using non-contact thermal scanners. Those with a temperature of 100.4 or above will not be allowed to enter the sanctuary but will be given instructions on what steps they should follow and be directed to go home and enjoy our worship service online.
-As you wait to be scanned/enter the sanctuary please wear your mask and practice social distancing. If you need a mask, we will have them available. Just ask one of our ushers to bring you one. If you are on oxygen and cannot wear a mask, we will have a clear visor shield available for you. Please be patient!
-Immediately upon entered the Narthex, we ask you to use our hand sanitizer.
-MASKS WILL NOW BE MANDATORY THROUGHOUT THE SERVICE AND ENTERING AND EXITING THE CHURCH BUILDING. We understand that some may have breathing difficulties wearing a mask for an extended period of time. If this applies to you, then you would do well to stay at home and watch us online, because masks will be worn throughout the entire period that you will be in the building.
-Singing or visiting with your neighbors while in the pews will not be allowed either. As difficult as this will be, we must follow these rules in order to continue to be able to worship in personas we attempt to not spread the virus to our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
-Ushers will guide worshippers to their seats. (Every other pew will be blocked off and congregants will be seated six feet from other worshippers). Please respect the direction of the ushers.
-There will be no bulletins or any other printed materials in the pews.
-The Welcome Desk will be open, but again, you must wear your mask.
During the Service:
-Offering plates will not be passed from hand to hand. Rather there will be designated receptacles for the offering in the Narthex area (this will be the only entrance on Sunday morning) and at each exit as you leave through the side doors.
-There will be no hymn singing but our wonderful music team will present special music items. You are welcome to lift hands in praise.
-We ask you to refrain from shaking hands and giving hugs.
-Restrooms are open, but please do not congregate outside or inside the restroom.
After the Service:
-To prevent congestion and ensure social distancing, ushers will dismiss worshippers by rows(similar to our Communion Sundays). Please stay seated until the usher directs you to leave.
-Conversation is encouraged outdoors while maintaining proper social distancing.
Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the building.
Faith Cafe is suspended until further notice.
The Sanctuary will be thoroughly cleaned between the two worship services using a disinfectant solution applied with Hudson Pumps.
We eagerly await the day when these temporary restrictions can be removed. Our cooperation will help speed up that process. Until then, let us all remember that love and consideration of others is the truest mark of a believer (John 13:35; Philippians 2:3-5). Our aim is to honor the Lord and show proper concernand respect for one another, as well as maintain a faithful testimony before the world as we reopen the sanctuary.
If you are unable to meet with us, we fully understand and will try to minister to you the best we can while we face this pandemic. As stated, for the time being, our worship services will continue to be live streamed on Facebook at 8:30 am each Sunday. After the service, then about 1 pm, it will be accessible via our website at www.1umc.org and our YouTube page at https://www.youtube.com/user/webmaster1umc
If there is anything you need or if you have any concerns, be sure to contact Pastor Patti at firstname.lastname@example.org or our Administrator, Donna at email@example.com.
IF YOU HAVE BEEN TO A SERVICE AND THEN TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID (WITHIN 10 DAYS OF BEING IN THE BUILDING), PLEASE, PLEASE LET PASTOR PATTI KNOW. WE PROMISE YOUR IDENTITY WILL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL, BUT IT IS LOVING YOUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS TO KEEP THEM IN THE KNOW IF THEY HAVE BEEN EXPOSED SO THAT THEY MAY TAKE THE PROPER PRECAUTIONS FOR THEIR AND THEIR LOVED ONES SAFETY.
~ Pastor Patti and the Reopening Task Force Committee