June 30, 2020
Greetings Sisters & Brothers in Christ;
Christina, Madeline, Ava, Harper and I have officially moved in and we’re excited about all the amazing things that God has in store for all of us at Mattoon First United Methodist Church!
My family’s move from Southern Illinois back up to the prairie has been wonderfully smooth. We’re enjoying the parsonage and settling in to make it our home. We appreciate all of the work done by the trustees to fix, paint, and clean it so that it was in tip-top shape for our arrival. Also, we have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of hospitality by all of the gifts that have made us to feel welcome. Feel free to stop by and see us at 3 Western Avenue Heights.
I have the joyful privilege of announcing that our first worship together this Sunday July 5th will be live and in-person in the church building!
Here are the details of how that will work in accordance with Bishop Beard’s social distancing guidelines:
Capacity: We are allowed to worship in our church building with fewer than fifty in attendance OR fewer than 25% of the seating capacity of the worship space. This means that we can be in the sanctuary for the traditional service and the gym for the contemporary service.
Distancing: Masks are required. Households should maintain six feet of separation from other households while anywhere in the church building. Our sanctuary balcony space will come in handy for the next few weeks. Offering plates will be placed in the entryways on tables along with masks and hand sanitizer.
Singing/Liturgy/Speaking: Singing and responsive liturgy (the Lord’s Prayer, offering prayer, communion liturgy) are not allowed.
Communion: Pre-packaged juice and wafers have been ordered and are on track to arrive before Sunday. Hopefully, we can celebrate communion in our first worship together. If so, we will say the liturgy together with the juice and wafers handed out as we leave the sanctuary to be consumed at home.
Childcare: The nursery will be open as usual on Sunday mornings with social distancing. Masks are required for children over two. The nursery and its contents will be sanitized.
Group Meetings: We may gather in groups of fifty or fewer inside the church building as long as each person wears a mask and everyone remains six feet apart by household.
I would also like to mention that after church on Sunday until Thursday evening, my family and I will be taking some much-needed time to visit family in Michigan. However, please feel free to call or text me at 586.549.1820 or call the church office if you need pastoral assistance.
I look forward to seeing you all Sunday morning…in person at the church!