Dear Church Family,

Your Reopening Task Force and Administrative Council leaders have done their jobs faithfully. Here is what I can tell you today about our reopening process. I’m looking forward to seeing you again!

Youth Group – June 14
In order of the timeline, first this Sunday, June 14 at 10:45am in the Chapel, the youth group 6th to 12th grade students will be the first to meet in person in masks and social distanced (6 feet). The church believes our students need this interaction with their peers and want to honor both their need and maturity in Christ. This is a good first step in getting back into the youth group groove of Sundays at 10:45am and Wednesdays at 6:30pm. Our youth often lead the way in our church in bringing friends to Christ and serving others. We are happy to have them lead the way in our reopening process.

Fireworks – June 20
Second, the following weekend on Saturday, June 20 at 8pm the entire church family and your friends are invited to come to the church property for a fireworks display at approximately 9pm. Bring your lawn chair or blanket and visit with your friends as you are comfortable. Keeping outside and socially distanced, we pray this will be a great time of fellowship and reconnection. We also hope it will be a signal to the larger community that we are beginning to reopen. This will give us a good opportunity to get the word out that we will have in-person worship the next week at 10:45am on June 28.

Church Online
Finally, on Sunday, June 28, we will maintain our 9:15am Church Online experience complete with interaction of the staff online. Church Online will continue to be the excellent presentation of God’s love for the world and our love of God through prayer, song, creed, scripture, preaching, sacrament, and sending forth. In order to do this, the staff needs to be available to our church online at that time. We are currently reaching more people online than we ever have in person. We have new people worshipping with us each week and having new people support the church with their prayers, online presence, and gifts. We do not want to undo the good work God began in us in a new way in March.

In-Person Worship – June 28
On Sunday, June 28 at 10:30am, when you enter the parking lot, you will notice a few tables out in front of the Sanctuary to check in—think VBS. There, we will need a phone number or email from you to contact you in the event someone tests positive for COVID. We will also remind you that masks are required and available. We are still working on a plan for children birth through 5th grade which means for now, no nursery or children’s church. Our little ones will be with us as a family throughout our time together. Children aged 8 and up are also required to wear a mask. We will not do temperature checks at the recommendation of our health professionals.

As you enter the Sanctuary, we will sit every other row and keep four seats between families. Please keep this in mind especially if you are the first seated as it changes what seats will be left for others. We will have live music, but we ask that you not sing under your mask for now. Let the music wash over you and meditate on the words of God’s goodness. Not singing allows us to distance at 6 feet instead of 12 feet. Communion will be served following the service outside for those who choose to participate. We are still working on the details of how to do communion as safely as possible and await our shipment of self-contained wafers and juice for each person.

We will not do this perfectly. We will do our best to love one another and serve one another and make adjustments following the 28th.

We do need your help in letting us know if you are coming. It is not a reservation, but it will help us plan and check you in more quickly. If you know you know for sure you will be attending at 10:45am on June 28, please email Hilary Hoffman at h.hoffman@acts2umc.org.

Children
Our plan for reopening children’s programming is dependent on volunteers. We need 20 volunteers to start. If you are willing to help us to get our young families back by volunteering with children in July, please email our Children’s Director, Meagan Durham at m.durham@acts2umc.org.

Pray
We love you. We thank you for your help in our ability to come back together in a way that honors God and does no harm to others. For those who are concerned about someone not wearing a mask and putting others at risk, we are too! However, the church will be welcoming to all as it is our core value. This means we need your help in wearing your mask as guests will follow what they see us doing (not just saying).

This is our plan for the next three weeks and we will be evaluating and making changes as we go and will let you know of next steps following the July 4th holiday weekend. We would love to be even more open by July 12. Pray with us as we are praying for you.

Every blessing in Jesus’ name,

Pastor Mark

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