CONVID - 19 CHURCH RE-OPENING
Dear Woodburn Family,
I am keeping you all in my prayers as you and I navigate this season of our lives. John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist church had “Three Simple Rules” for us to live by:
1. Do no harm.
2. Do good.
3. Stay in love with God.
These are part of the foundation which our faith as United Methodists is built. These are also good things to keep in mind as we wrestle with what needs to happen before we gather together on that future Sunday for in person worship again; plus what you can expect when that worship service happens. We want to make sure that we still have a safe worship experience while minimizing any discomfort or fear that you may feel when venturing out those first few Sundays. Within in the context of this, the Ad Board met on Wednesday May 20, 2020 to put together a plan for what needs to happen prior to that first Sunday we reopen, and also what modifications need to be made. We also took into account the CDC and Governor Holcomb’s “BackOnTrack” Indiana plan that pertains to everyone like practicing proper social distancing and the recommendation to wear masks, plus staying home if you are sick, and considering staying home and continuing to worship online if you are part of that at risk group. We want to make it clear that if you are not comfortable coming back on that first Sunday that you are still loved and we respect your decision. Here are some of the things that will take place to prepare our church for our first Sunday together to minimize the risk of spreading this virus: • The entire church will be cleaned and disinfected. • All Bibles, Hymnals, etc. will be removed from the pews; as well as all items on the tables in the narthex. • Signage will be put up with important reminders like washing your hands, etc. • Hand sanitizer will be available. • All adult and children’s Sunday school classes are cancelled for the Summer • No fellowship time in the Fellowship Hall before or after the service, i.e. no coffee or cookies. • The curtain will in the narthex will be closed as a reminder to not go in the Fellowship Hall and kitchen • The Hallway pass the restrooms will also be closed off to encourage proper behavior to minimize the spread. • The food bank will continue to operate by phone in orders that those using this ministry will pick up outside the front doors.
What you can expect for Sunday worship: • The double doors will be open between the narthex and the sanctuary and they will be closed once worship starts and reopen prior to when worship ends. • The greeter will offer you some hand sanitizer and a loving greeting in the absence of a hand shake or a hug. The Governor refers to this as non-contact greetings. • There will be no bulletins. • Please show the love and respect for the other members of our church family by wearing a mask and by staying home if you are ill. • The offering plate will be at the back of the sanctuary for you to place your offering in upon entering or leaving worship. • Please practice proper social distancing in the pews, which is to allow an empty pew in front of and behind you. It is still okay for families that live in the same household to sit together. • Children will remain with you for the entire worship service. • We will be unable to share the microphone during Joys and Concerns, so please speak up if you share these during worship. Better yet let Susie or Pastor Art know via phone, email, or text prior to worship and Pastor Art will announce them for you. • Pastor Art will be reading both scripture readings. • As mentioned earlier, all Bibles, Hymnals, etc. are being removed from the pews. You are welcome to bring your Bible from home. • You will be dismissed by the ushers by pew starting from the back of the church at the end of our worship service. • Communion Sundays there will be single serving communion cups for you to pick up as you enter the sanctuary. • The church will be cleaned and disinfected after worship and before the food bank opens on Tuesday. • Please, if you are not comfortable coming it is okay. Jesus still loves you and so does all of your church family. We are looking at June 14th as our first Sunday to gather for in person worship. The “We Care” ministry team will be calling you closer to this date to find out if you will be coming that first Sunday or not to help us better prepare. Your answer either way is okay with God and okay with your church family. We will review these plans, and as conditions change, adjustments will be made to keep everyone safe. We will continue to offer our worship service on our Facebook page. Be safe, keep praying, and remember to find something every day that brings you joy. Blessings, Pastor Art