Greetings Emmanuel Church Family,
I pray that this letter finds you well, and enjoying these beautiful days God has gifted to us!
I know that so many of us are eager to get back to life “as normal” and that includes life in the church. As a church council, we have been intentionally praying and planning for the fall and what new rhythms of life God is calling us to at this time.
As we have witnessed the number of COVID cases rise, especially within our own congregation, we have decided to postpone our 40th Anniversary celebration and our new fall worship schedule.Our new discipleship time on Sunday evenings will also be postponed. All other current ministries and planned events will continue.
This means that we will continue the drive-in service at 8:45 a.m. and the Indoor service at 11:00 a.m. The online service will also continue to be available. We are keeping a close eye on the COVID numbers in our congregation and community, and will choose new dates when we feel it is safe for our whole congregation to worship back inside together.
Last week, Bishop Park sent out a letter about best practices to resume or continue during this pandemic. Here is a short expert from the letter:
Reflecting on the recent trends in COVID transmission, I am convinced it is our responsibility as loving Christians to take the following precautions against spreading this new variant, especially to our children and others who are most vulnerable. If we faithfully observe these practices, we are more likely to be able to continue in-person worship and other activities. Health practitioners and others in our conference met to review the research and they offer the following recommendations. I wholeheartedly endorse these and strongly recommend them to our congregations and their safety/protocol teams.
• Our worshipers, including the vaccinated, are strongly encouraged to wear masks at all of our worship services, meetings, and gatherings.
• In our times together, please continue to practice social distancing.
• Pastors and congregational leaders: please urge people to get vaccinated. This is not a political statement, but rather a plea to avoid putting others at risk of sickness and even death. (Of course, the encouragement to get vaccinated does not apply to those who are too young or whose doctors advise against it.) As people of faith and leaders in our communities, we can share the most up-to-date, medically determined evidence and clarify misinformation.
• Those who are vulnerable: please, for your health and safety, do not attend in-person worship at this time.
Thank you for considering our bishop’s words.
We are continuing to plan for the new rhythms of ministry outlined in previous letters. When we are able to all gather back inside, we will have a traditional service at 8:45 a.m. which will include Junior Church for our children, and a new, intergenerational service at 10:15 a.m. This service is being intentionally designed to include traditional hymns, contemporary songs, and interactive elements. This service is intended to engage our youngest children to our oldest adults. I invite you to join me in covering our new worship schedule in prayer, as we seek to be faithful to the vision God has given us.
While there is some discomfort in the unknown, I encourage you to come and be a part of this new season of ministry at Emmanuel. If you have any questions or concerns, I would love an opportunity to talk with you. Please contact me via email at email@example.com or by phone at 717-732-1713.
Fall is coming . . . . .
Emmanuel United Methodist Church
Thank You for another nice day. Thank you for all blessings received this holiday week-end. If we received visits from friends and family members that have not been seen for some time we thank You and ask that You take care of them and bless them. A special blessing for family and friends who are dealing with serious illness, keep them under Your care and grant them healing and relief from pain. Bless families who have lost loved ones and friends. Support those in law enforcement who are facing danger as they protect all people. Thank you for the men and women who serve in the military. We trust in Your love and mercy for all of them as they face danger and loneliness away from families. Guide all who make decisions for children as they attend school. Bless the teachers and open their minds for the best ways to teach and guide them. Bless all who are serving the folks that have lost homes and loved ones due to hurricanes and floods. Give them the ability and strength to find the lost and heal the broken. As we enter the autumn season, we ask for continued blessings and protection. All these requests are made in the Holy Name of Jesus who takes care of His children. Amen
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