Grace and peace in the name of Jesus Christ.
We know that uncertainty is in abundance right now in the face of COVID-19. In this time of great anxiety, we understand the importance of allowing our space to be open for those who seek comfort in their community of faith. I had a Zoom call with the staff, members of the nurture team, and other administrative team leaders on Thursday night. About 18 of us on the call had an opportunity to speak about how FUMC Westfield will respond to the most vulnerable in our community. If you are in need of support, please contact the office immediately.
We also discussed worship on this Sunday, March 15. At that time, collective wisdom, though not all in agreement, suggested that I keep worship open on Sunday — encouraging people to make decisions for themselves, and altering worship to maximize social distancing.
We will still worship together in the church this Sunday, March 15. But, I fully believe this will be our last public gathering for worship. Our staff is planning for online worship on March 22. A final decision will be communicated next week.
All programming for Sunday, March 15 is scheduled, with the exception of Fellowship Hour which will not be held. All church activities outside of worship after this Sunday have been postponed or canceled, and we will keep you updated with new dates and times as we develop them.
For those who will be joining us in worship this Sunday, we urge you to leave some space between you and others in the pews, wash your hands before and after worship, and avoid touching other people if possible. You know this is difficult for me, but I am adapting. Offering plates will not be passed; instead, there will be a basket near the entrance to the Sanctuary where you may leave your gift, or you can give through our Online Giving Portal.
If you are feeling sick or are included in the vulnerable population for the virus, we encourage you to refrain from worship for your safety and/or the safety of others. We invite you instead to join us in online worship, which will be available on YouTube and our Facebook Page on Sunday at 10 a.m. You will receive an email Sunday with links to the live stream and digital bulletin.
We encourage you to still actively participate in this online worship experience by submitting prayer requests either through our Online Prayer Request Form or in the video comments, as well as by giving through our Online Giving Portal. If you have any questions or trouble accessing the video, please contact email@example.com.
Keep praying, keep extending love to those who need it, and keep trusting that our God is at work even in the midst of our fears.
With love in Christ,
Rev. Williams and The Staff of FUMC
Visit us online at fumcwestfield.org.