“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people dwell together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down Aaron’s beard, down the collar od his robe. “
It is time! Time to come home together as the people called Methodist in El Campo, Texas. It is time to join in in-person worship together to “Dwell together in unity” as The Psalmist put it. On Sunday, June 14th we will be coming back together as a community of faith to worship at 8:30 and 10:45 am in the church Fellowship Hall. This decision has been taken after much prayer and discussion of your church leadership team and church council. I know we have all been looking forward to this day for a number of months, and now the time has come.
We will be taking a number of important steps to make sure everyone is safe in this time of Covid-19 :
- We will practice social distancing in the Fellowship Hall worship space.
- Hand Sanitizer will be available and will be used by everyone as they enter and leave the worship space.
- We strongly encourage you to wear a face mask. (we will have extra masks available in the entrance to Fellowship Hall for you to use if needed. )
- We will be using electronic bulletins displayed on the large screen Smart TV in the Fellowship Hall so we will not have any paper bulletins or hymnals to sanitize after services.
- We will have baskets to receive offerings and registrations and prayer concerns in the back of the Fellowship Hall. We will not be passing the offering plates. Don’t forget the option of online giving. Please check that option out on our website, fumc-ec.org and click the online giving button.
- We will not be having the passing of the peace in order to practice social distancing.
- We will keep the service to 30 to 35 minutes as has been the practice in our online worship. This also allows for more time to enter and exit with new social distancing rules.
- Online worship will continue to be posted on both Facebook and You Tube for those who may need to continue to stay at home because of high risks of infection from Covid – 19 or because of illness or fever.
- We will be using Rio Texas Annual Conference guidelines for Holy Communion in order to keep everyone safe. This includes the servers wearing masks and gloves as well as distributing individual cups and wafers for each person who comes to the table. (A basket will be provided on each side of the front of the Fellowship Hall for you to dispose of your plastic communion cup after being served.)
- Persons will be dismissed by the pastor at the end of the service by rows so as to keep social distancing rules. (Per CDC and Texas State guidelines.)
- A team will be cleaning and sanitizing the fellowship hall and restrooms before both services and after each service as well.
- No drinks or food may be in the fellowship hall or rest of the campus during these services in order to keep everything clean and safe.
- All surfaces people come in contact with – ( ie seating, doors, ect.) will be sanitized and wiped down between services.
- No pew bibles will be provided to keep down the risk of infection. If you would like to bring your own personal bible that will be fine.
If you have questions about any of these new ways of doing things during the pandemic, please feel free to call me at the church 979-543-6426 of on my cell at 210-787-9955 or email me at email@example.com. I will be glad to hear from you and to check into any concerns or suggestions you may have.
I understand that there will be many of you that may not be ready to return to worship for health concerns or other issues. Know that we will miss you, but want to be connected with you. Please remember our weekly Zoom town hall meetings on Monday mornings at 10:00 and Wednesday evenings at 6:00 pm. The sign in for those weekly get to gathers can be found in the e news each week, they will also be put out via email blast shortly before the meetings.
You matter to us at FUMC El Campo. Each one of you is important to our church family. If you need help during this difficult time, don’t stay isolated. Call us, email us, text us and let us know if you need help with errands or doctor’s appointment or maybe just a listening ear as we go through this difficult time.
It is time to come back together to be in worship together as the body of Christ! Know that we are trying to do all we can as your pastor, staff, and lay church leadership to make this an exciting reunion as well as a safe place to be during this Covid-19 outbreak. We may not get everything right at the start, but we will be striving to enjoy the goodness of dwelling together with all of you our brothers and sisters in Christ!
With great anticipation and excitement,
Pastor Richard A. Young