6-30-20 FUMC Update

As we have all watched the news of COVID cases in Texas rising and the Governor pausing State re-opening plans, our Church Council met last night. And out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to close the sanctuary on Sunday mornings through July.
image.pngWhen we made plans in early May to partially re-open on June 7, our seven-county statistics gave us hope that we had “flattened the curve.” As you can see from the NETHealth.org graph below, by Memorial week there were 53/49 weekly confirmed cases, but two weeks later that number jumped 69% to 120/110.
Just two weeks later, those cases jumped another 50% from June 12 to June 26, doubling again to 256 cases per week. It appears that when Memorial weekend came, school ended, summer started, and people began to gather again and travel, there have been significant spikes and we anticipate that happening again with July 4th weekend coming. Let us pray that does NOT happen!
My heart is heavy making this decision because I truly believe our Sunday procedures are as safe as they can possibly be! As our original opening documents stated,The advice of public health officials may change as more becomes known about COVID-19 so we want to reiterate that we may move back and forth between phases of reopening if second or third waves of infections emerge.”
Sadly, while we moved forward when things looked good, it’s now time to take a step back, TEMPORARILY! We just didn’t want to risk even ONE person getting sick. And if that means engaging our spiritual gift of PATIENCE (which P.S., is one I really have to work on!), then we will PAUSE for the next four weeks. Again, please continue to PRAY, PRAY, PRAY that we can stop the spread and get back together, IN PERSON, in August! And as always, we will continue to worship LIVE on Facebook!
WISH HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THOSE WHO CAN’T GET OUT ~  A detailed individual directory with the birthdays that have been given to us, plus the family picture directory were attached to this week’s church-wide email. Please pay special attention to those in our assisted centers and/or are homebound. Every week I will include the birthdays of people who can not get out so you can call and say HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I can’t imagine how hard it is for them so let’s send a little love!
ZOOM BIBLE STUDY CONTINUES, Wednesday Mornings at 10 a.m. ~ This will be a GREAT week for you to join us because we are pointing out the MAJOR Old Testament events that are important to understanding the New Testament. Click here to get the app if you don’t have it:  https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193-Joining-a-meeting
Then, after you get the app here’s the connection our OUR group, it’s the same every week: 
Join Our Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 451 285 222
Password: 486447
WE’RE STILL COLLECTING CANS OF “LYSOL SPRAY” (or generic) ~ Most stores have limits on buying one or two, so if you have what you need at home, buy a can of disinfectant spray or wipes and drop them at the church, please. Our red tub is still by the office door. (Copies of The Community Chronicle, Upper Room devotional books, as well as prayer guides are there!)
PRAYING AT HOME ~ As the sanctuary will be closed, I want to ask that everyone to please pray at home! We can’t wait to re-open the sanctuary to have a physical presence in our building, but God hears us no matter WHERE we are!
THIS SUNDAY, July 5, God in the Movies Sermon Series, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe ~ If you have not seen this wonderful C.S. Lewis film, it’s definitely worthwhile; ESPECIALLY when the Christian allegory of good versus evil is so clearly seen! When you join us on Sunday, please COMMENT and let us know you’re with us. And look for names of people you DON’T recognize, and please reach out to them! You’ll also see the little purple box below the video when we begin and you can SHARE the message and watch with your family and friends. Anytime you share our post, be sure you share the message that we are a church where EVERYONE belongs!
Grace and peace,
Pastor Debbie