Friends of Eastport United Methodist Church:
Here is an update from your Re-Entry Task Force:
Your EUMC Re-entry Task Force met Sunday evening (via Zoom) to continue in the ongoing effort to steer the church and our partners who use our church building through the decisions for re-entering a new-normal routine. The members of the group are keenly aware of everyone’s need for some sense of a plan for the coming months, and here are some items that may help satisfy that need:
We will continue the production of online worship for the foreseeable future. It’s a popular way for people to connect to their church and their faith, and it provides a sense of consistency in the midst of otherwise unpredictable circumstances.
The first Sunday of the month, beginning on August 2nd, Pastor Chris will lead a prayer gathering on the lawn of the church. This provides an opportunity for people who are eager to connect and pray as a group, while maintaining health safety protocols that align with CDC, state and county guidelines. In addition, the team has unanimously agreed that face coverings shall be worn for the duration of the prayer gathering. Please note: this is not a church service as you might expect for a Sunday morning. That worship experience will continue to be online.
Church partners who were using the church prior to the pandemic will begin to meet again outside on the property, while following CDC, state and county guidelines. For example, the Second Day Adventist congregation and a variety of recovery groups will hold their gatherings on their regularly scheduled day and time.
One month after AA County Public Schools resume on September 8th, the Re-entry Task Force will assess the current state of community spread of the coronavirus and make adjustments to the EUMC in-person gatherings, as well as our partners’ use of the property. It is our sincere desire that we can move towards indoor gatherings as soon as possible. The seasonable weather and the holiday church traditions will be major factors in the decision-making process.
Pastor Chris will continue to work with volunteers to develop new opportunities for church engagement. This might be volunteering with existing nonprofit organizations who are loving and serving others in the community; increased congregational involvement in producing the Sunday worship videos; or, establishing faith-based activities such as bible studies, discussion groups or podcast-style materials for folks to engage with during the week. It takes a village to make these things happen, so consider how you might be able to contribute!
As a final note, please be open to the opportunity we find ourselves in to rethink what “church” is. For many of us, church was a building with a Sunday morning service, and now we find neither of those things accessible to us. Beginning with Pentecost in Acts 2, an ingathering of Christ-followers began, and they had neither a building nor a worship service to define them. Instead, they were identified by their unity in purpose to love one another and ensure that there was no unmet need among them. We have an opportunity to experience that sense of belonging right now! Find a way to take advantage of this time that God has given us.
Re-entry Task Force Team members: Pastor Chris Broadwell, Sherrie Little, Mike Keller, Mike Wurst, Lisa Stevens, Jill Peddicord and Bill Schneider.