With the large amounts of fear and worry surrounding the rough flu season, and the reports of corona virus this year, we thought we would take a few moments to let you know what Downs UMC is doing in response.
Short Version: We are still having church on Sunday, but absolutely understand and respect you if your decision is to stay home. We’ll be working next week to provide you with some at-home resources.
We Value Our Time Together: We really do believe that 50% of what makes church awesome is are the people. Time together is profoundly important to our spiritual growth as Christians and some things (like praying and singing together) just cannot be replicated without Sunday Morning. We will always remain a church that values and finds ways to spend time together. All that said, Christ does ask us to be wise, and the entire book of Proverbs is all about wisdom. It only makes sense to be wise amid today’s concerns of flu and Corona, so here is how we are going about that at Downs UMC.
Small Changes in Sunday Morning: You may notice, there’s a lot more hand sanitizer around, we have placed some at every entrance. We are also de-emphasizing (just for flu season) portions of the service involving handshaking and hand-holding. Those parts were always optional, but we may do a little less of them for a while. We’ve also made a few changes to serving communion to make sure It is even more sanitary than it already was. You can also find a United Methodist article about responding to Corona here. Our conference (Illinois Great Rivers) has a site with Corona information here. Some of the social-distancing that is being talked about in the media can also be practiced at church (if you want to leave some more space between you and your neighbor in the pews, that’s no problem).
A Note From Our Custodian: Our fantastic Custodian Leigh wants to let you know that she is being extra diligent with all the contact surfaces in the church. This is not just tables and counters but it’s also railings, knobs, handles, and more. If it gets touched by hands, it gets cleaned at our church. Our cleaning schedule is such that the church gets a good once-over after each high-traffic event in the building. Additionally, we have always asked individual groups and ministries to be diligent in cleaning their area when they are finished.
Should you Find Yourself Staying Home: We thank you in advance for staying home if you’ve got a fever, or any major symptoms of the flu. We miss you and look forward to seeing you when you’re feeling better. We also understand if you’re holding back from attendance because of concerns over crowed places. If that’s you, please know that your church is with you, you’re a part of what’s going on here, and we understand if you hold back for a bit. We also look forward to seeing you soon, when you can make it, you’re an important part of our church. If you do find yourself at home for a season, the next section of the article is all for you.
- A New
Page on the Website (Coming Next Week): Starting
next week we’re going to create a new tab on the website, called “Faith at Home”. While it will have some great “on your own”
faith formation techniques, we don’t intend this in any way to be a permanent
substitute for church attendance. You’re
just too cool to be away forever and we would miss you. If, however, you are home for a few weeks
check that Tab and you’ll find the following:
- PDF’s of the church bulletin to keep you up to
- A fun article about designing a worship
experience at home
- A conversation about spiritual disciplines that
you can do on your own
- A Devotional from the Pastor (connected to the weekly
Sunday Morning Theme)
- Information on Tithing and Pledging online