“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” – James 1:2-4
It has been a difficult journey for Community UMC. It has now been three months since we last met face to face. Since then so much has happened for us individually and for the church collectively. Through it all our testimony is that God has been faithful as we now find ourselves entering a new road on this journey. Governor Cuomo has approved the opening up of churches with strict limitations and at 25% capacity. Our Bishop has approved these mandates under the precondition that each local church fulfil strict requirements both for preparing a sanitary environment and creating protocols that ensure the safety of all who gather in their buildings. I am proud to say that all of these requirements have been met and the church is now officially open with our first worship service being this Sunday, June 28 @ 10am (this coming Sunday!)
There are many questions and concerns and I hope to answer them now. The building has been sanitized thoroughly including a professional cleaning of our sanctuary carpets. All surfaces have been wiped down and disinfected. Besides a few staff, the building has not been used for almost three months. In my time at this church, I have not seen the building this clean!
For this coming Sunday, here are some of the things we have done to ensure a safe environment. All windows and doors will be open to allow for proper ventilation. People will enter through the main entrance and exit through a separate door. You will be required to wear masks during the entire worship. (Refusal to wear a mask will mean we cannot allow you to enter the service.) Every other pew will be roped off and you will be required to sit at least 6 feet away from the nearest congregant (except for families who can sit together). All bulletins, envelopes and hymnals have been removed. There will be no choir or congregational singing although we will have a soloist who will sing a few songs. Masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer will be provided for those who did not bring their own. Offering will be put in a drop box as opposed to a plate that will be passed around. There will be no passing of the peace nor fellowship hour after the service. The service will be finished within an hour. For those who enter, you will be asked to share your basic contact information as we are required to do contact tracing if any known cases arise. These are the requirements set out by our denomination and we will adhere to these requirements.
It is also important to note that if you are older than 65 or have pre-existing health conditions, we are encouraging you to worship through our online service. Each Sunday service will be recorded live and streamed via Youtube.
Words cannot express how excited I am about seeing some of you this Sunday. Although I may seem distant this coming Sunday (in fact, about six feet or more away from you!) there will be so much joy in seeing you face to face. I understand that the circumstances are not ideal but we have an obligation to create the safest possible environment for all of you. See you Sunday!
We at COMMUNITY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH as disciples of Jesus Christ, are called by God
-to deepen our faith through inspiring worship and challenging small group study,
-to build our fellowship through hospitality and acceptance, and
-to transform the world through active service and faithful witness.
We have people, love, and worship to help you in your search for God. Thank you for visiting today!