CORONAVIRUS UPDATES (MAY 4, 2020)

Dear Family in Faith,

I announced during worship yesterday morning that we are expecting to reopen the church building on May 31, 2020. Attached you will find a phased pathway to reopening the church.

For some it will seem too soon, for others not soon enough. We are easing into the reopening with worship only because, with the exception of only a couple of places, it would be nearly impossible to maintain the kind of social distancing we are supposed to have in our Sunday School area. Nursery and Elementary grades will be delayed longer because, while they are in the lowest risk area, they are the ones most likely to unknowingly spread the virus. Children DO NOT social distance well and toddlers even less so. In June, we expect to be able to move towards more group meetings with the lesser vulnerable groups.

As much as I want to have everyone back at one time and get back to a pre-pandemic normal, I do not want to be the pastor who said, “ignore the medical authorities” and have people get sick, or worse, die because of my wants. I know this may be frustrating, it is for me who is the consummate optimist, but I cannot as your pastor, put you at such peril. You will see on the attached guide, we are asking people to wear masks to worship, practice good hand hygiene, maintain social distancing and self-select whether your risk factors should preclude you from gathering.

That said, we are still the church and in my last letter I listed some ways to be actively serving our community. We are still looking for some volunteers to help with Family Promise the week of May 17, (call Pattie Terrell, 281-382-3030). The “Masks for All” program is in full swing. Our drop off times are 8:30-4:30 daily so we can secure the container in the building overnight. If you have masks to drop off and can’t fit those times, please let me know and we will arrange for your drop-off or come by and pick-up. I have heard that elastic has become the new toilet paper. You can find some online, but other alternatives include creating ties for the masks or using the elastic hair ties (the larger size). Kim Ratcliff will be sending the sign-up sheet for to-do things around the church separately.

Okay, church take a deep breath, exhale. Remember you are not alone. Remember what Philippians says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). We are getting through this together.

In Christ’s Love,

Pastor Jim

Resources

What you need to know about the Coronavirus from Houston Methodist.