On June 21 we will embark on a new adventure here at Bethel UMC, returning to in-person worship after a three month break! Yes, with safety precautions in place, it will be different and at times perhaps even a little awkward. We will be sitting six feet apart and our smiles will be covered by masks. However, I am confident any inconvenience felt by taking these precautions will be quickly melted away because of the joy we feel being back in the House of the Lord with our fellow believers! Your safety matters. As much as we all desire to “get back to normal” concerning in-person worship, we must approach this carefully, diligently and above all with love for those in our community, especially the elderly and those with underlying health conditions who are especially susceptible to COVID-19.
Our main concern is your health and well-being. If you feel sick in any way, or if you are uncomfortable being back at church, please stay home. We will continue to offer worship online.
As we return to worship, this is what Phase One will look like:
01. We will have one worship service at 10:00 a.m. in the sanctuary.
02. We will require everyone to wear masks while inside, with gloves being optional (we have ordered masks and gloves that we can have available, if folks do not bring from home).
03. We will have doors propped open and marked IN or OUT with a greeter/usher stationed at each door to assist you.
04. Greeters and Ushers will encourage folks to use hand sanitizing stations as they enter.
05. We will have painters tape on floor marking aisles one way like at grocery stores.
06. The general rule is “keep to the right.”
07. We will have painters tape on pews, marking off every 2 pews to help folks spread out.
08. Worship will include music, scripture, sermon, prayers, and a Hymn Meditation (but no congregational singing of hymns.)
09. Collection plates will not be passed during the service but available at the front of the sanctuary for you to drop in your gift.
10. We encourage folks to continue to mailing in their gifts or giving online if possible.
11. Bulletins will be placed at entrances for individuals to pick up.
12. You are encouraged to take your bulletins with you and recycle them at home.
13. At the end of service, people will be dismissed by pew, and asked not to congregate inside the church.
14. No Nursery care or Sunday School will be offered for now.
Please keep in mind that we are all part of the Body of Christ and we have a duty to protect ourselves, our families, and our brothers and sisters in Christ. We must be measured in how we return to in-person gatherings. We are to love God and our neighbors and transform the world. We will do both by being careful and safe.
REMEMBER: your health and well-being is most important! If you feel sick in any way, if you have potentially been exposed to the Coronavirus, or if you are simply not ready to return to in-person worship, please stay home.
I am so proud of how our Bethel UMC family has remained positive in the face of so much negativity and adversity in our world. Our faith in Jesus Christ provides the only light we need at the end of the tunnel. Our denomination will be stronger because of our connectional nature as United Methodists.
Pray for me, as I pray for you.
Peace and Blessings,
Rev. Julie Belman