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Letter to Greenup First UMC from Lisa Mantz, Chairperson of Administrative Letter to Greenup First UMC from Lisa Mantz, Chairperson of Administrative

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Letter to Greenup First UMC from Lisa Mantz, Chairperson of Administrative

Posted on Mon, May 11, 2020

Letter to Greenup First UMC from Lisa Mantz, Chairperson of Administrative

  Greenup First United Methodist Church

 607 Main Street, Greenup, KY 41144

 Rev. Ronnie Highland, Pastor

 Telephone Number: Office-606-473-9236; Cell: 606-585-8821

 

Greetings Greenup First United Methodist Member in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ:

We have some exciting news for you! We received a letter from our KY Conference Bishop Leonard Fairley on, Thursday, May 8, 2020, explaining that we can reopen the church on Sunday, May 24, 2020, for our regular Sunday morning service if we can meet certain guidelines. The Bishop stressed that churches should not feel pressured to resume face-to-face worship services on May 24th if they are not prepared to follow and meet these guidelines at this time. The Bishop appointed a reentry task force to produce guidelines under which we could reopen the church based upon the recommendations from the Governor’s Office which is being guided by health care experts.

 

The guidelines may seem stringent, but they are designed to minimize the chances of any person attending our services to become infected with COBID-19.

 

The Bishop reminds us that John Wesley gave us three simple rules to follow in your lives as United Methodists:

  1. Do no harm
  2. Do good
  3. Stay in love in God

We believe these three rules will help guide us as we prepare to safely reopen our church. Following are the guidelines from our Bishop to all United Methodists in Kentucky:

There will be phases as we move forward in reopening our church.

Phase I – Preparing Facilities and Congregational Members for Re-Entry

Phase II – Re-Entry into Facilities and Worship

Phase III – Sustaining Safe Facilities and Health of Congregational Members

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease transmitted by inhaling droplets from infected persons or spread by touching surfaces. It is very different from the flu. COVID-19 kills people at a much higher rate than the ordinary flu which is why we are being extraordinarily careful in trying to establish a safe environment for our church worshipers. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) defines vulnerable populations as:

Phase I – Preparing Facilities and Congregational Members for Re-Entry

 Step 1. Communication Plan – We will establish an intentional and timely communication plan. This letter is a part of that plan. We will disseminate it through email, other social media, and our phone tree. Also, we will post the original letter and guidelines we obtained from the Bishop on the church website at https://www.greenupfirstume.com. Additionally, signs will be posted around the church reminding the people to wash their hands and maintain social distancing.

 Step 2. We will establish a Re-entry Task Force to assist with re-entry recommendations.

 This Task Force will consist of the Chairpersons of each committee plus, two  nurses.

 Step 3. Cleaning and Preparing Church Buildings and Worship Spaces.

 Prior to re-opening the church, the Administrative Council Chair, Lisa Mantz, will appoint a task force to clean and implement Phase I. The task force will thoroughly clean the church and prepare it for worship on May 24, 2020.

Phase II – Re-Entry into Facilities and Worship

 Step 1. ALL PERSONS ATTENDING THE WORSHIP SERVICE WILL BE ASKED TO WEAR A MASK. If you do not have one, the church can provide one for you from a limited supply that will be available at the Church.

 Step 2. Social Distancing in Sanctuaries, Facilities and Worship Spaces

  1. Maintain 6 feet of social distancing.
  2. Pews will be taped off prohibiting people from sitting too close together. Families (from each household) will sit together and must be seated at least 6 feet from other people in every direction.
  3. Each pew or row should be no more than half-filled.
  4. Ushers and greeters will remind people to maintain social distancing.

Step 3: Consider Worship Components Carefully

  1. Members and worship leaders should not pass or share microphones at any time.
  2. There will be no more bulletins.
  3. Doors will be propped open, so people do not have to touch the handles to open them.
  4. No handshaking or hugs.
  5. No coffee stations or food, snacks or meals at this time.
  6. People are encouraged to use online giving. You may give through two online giving systems already in place on the church website. In addition, if people are uncomfortable with online giving, then a box, basket or bucket will be established for people to simply drop their offering.
  7. You will notice more technology in the worship service.
  8. There will be no choir or choir practice until further notice. Singing produces an extraordinary number of droplets in the air.
  9. There will be more solos, duets, trios, and quartets.
  10. There will be more pre-recorded video projection.
  11. No nursey will be provided.
  12. Children will need to sit with their families during worship.
  13. A children’s moment may still be a part of worship; however, children should remain seated with their families while someone speaks to them from the front of the worship. Childcare and children’s ministries may resume in Phase III.
  14. It is recommended that children under 2 not wear a mask.
  15. There will be no gathered youth activities.
  16. For the foreseeable future (late Phase III) and probably until a vaccine is widely available, food, beverages, potlucks and shared dinners/receptions must be avoided.
  17. Sunday school may resume, but social distances must be maintained, and books may not be used except by the teacher.

 

Phase III – Sustaining Safe Facilities and Health of Congregational Members

 

 Phase III (Getting back to normal) information will be forthcoming and will include the components listed below. Many of the Phase III components are dependent on state and local guidelines.

 

In the event Greenup County becomes a hotspot of COVID-19, then the projected dates for reopening and recommendations may need to pushed back consistent with the prevailing conditions. In addition, we will again rely on increased technology if we must suspend our face-to-face worship services if necessary. 

These are unprecedented times that call for unprecedented measures. We do not anticipate these measures will last forever, but for the foreseeable future we want to keep everyone as safe as possible yet continue our face-to-face worship.

Even if we take these extraordinary safe measures, no one can guarantee that you will not become infected. Thus, attending the face-to-face worship services is an individual choice that each person must make for themselves and their families.  

 

In other news: our April giving was $17,757.85 and our expenses were $10,562.26. Everyone keep up the good work!! Thank you for your generous contributions to keeping our church running smoothly.

 

 

Pastor's Pen:

Greetings Everyone, It seems like forever since we have seen one another and worshiped as a Church Family. Thankfully, we can now see the end of this separation that we have all lived through. I am sure these memories will last a lifetime, and hopefully we will not see anything like this again. As we plan to return to our Church and seek our "New Normal" as it is being called, let us be in prayer, daily for our Church and each other. We can take comfort in the example of Christ, when denied, beaten, disgraced and murdered, he rose again, in love and peace. Let us too rise, in love and joy as we proclaim his coming again. As we enter his Church later this month, my prayer is that we never lose sight of the reason we are marching on. In his service and in love. Your Pastor

 

 

Also, enclosed with this letter is a copy of Reverend Nancy Preston’s Mother’s Day sermon. Enjoy reading these important words.

I look forward to seeing you on Sunday, May 24, 2020. If you have any questions, please call me at (606) 923-4009. In the meantime, stay safe.

 

Lisa Mantz

Chairperson of the Administrative Council

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