Last week St. Andrew’s Executive Team, made up of the chairpersons of SPRC, Trustees, Finance, Church Council, as well as the pastor and Lay Leader, met to discuss the COVID-19 positivity trends. It was their decision to wait until the end of the weekend to review the latest numbers before making a final decision. As a result of Sunday’s numbers these are the decisions that were adopted.
In-person worship will be suspended for three weeks (1/17, 1/24 & 1/31). At the end of three weeks the numbers will be reviewed again. Hopefully, the numbers will have decreased and we can resume in-person worship.
On-line worship will still be available. Our 8:30 Contemporary Service will be live-streamed on St. Andrew’s Facebook page. The 11:00 Traditional Service will be live-streamed on Facebook, YouTube and our homepage. Adult Sunday school classes with under 12 attending will be moved to larger rooms such as the sanctuary or Fellowship building if they chose to meet in person. We do encourage all groups that are able to meet via zoom. Children’s Sunday School will not meet during this time.
The preschool will continue to function as it serves to help our essential workers with child care. The upcoming concert scheduled for January 20th will be live-streamed only. The office will remain open and staff will continue to work. We are asking everyone who comes to the office to keep your visit short and as always, a mask that fully covers both nose and mouth must be worn.
As your pastor, this is a very difficult time and this is a decision that I had prayed we would not have to make. It has been our collectively prayer that by this time this disease would be under control; unfortunately. that is not the case. Our Methodist tradition says, “Do no harm” and what has been decided is meant to help us live into that tradition. I ask that you pray for your church staff, members and friends. Let us pray that we remain safe and healthy.
If you have any questions, please feel free to call or email me.
Rev. Tom Howe
Pastor, St. Andrew’s U.M.C.