8-18-21 FUMC Updates … important information about COVID

WHAT’S GOING ON WITH COVID? I sure wish I had answers! I know there is a fine line between sharing important information and fear-mongering but right now, I am going to ere on the side of our Methodist Three SIMPLE RULES:

First: Do no harm.

Second: Do good.

Third: Stay in love with God.

In this new burst of Coronavirus spreading rapidly, some things are very clear and very real … the virus is rearing its ugly new head and hospitals beds are not available, cases are skyrocketing, Moderna and Pfizer current vaccines wane in effectiveness and will require booster shots after 8 months, young people are getting sick and cases in our schools are increasing. Just when we felt we were taking one step forward, I do NOT want to take ANY steps back, so we need to work together to keep each other safe. Please allow the ushers to sanitize your hands or squirt your own hands when in the buildings, and please try to maintain distance from each other, especially on Sundays. And please, let’s PRAY this virus is eradicated!

The attached images are from our local public health agency, NET Heath and look at the hospitalization report … we are almost as high as we were at the HIGHEST peak last year. Also, look at the attached infection rates within our 7-county area … just in 2 weeks, 8/1-8/16 we have had 5,235 REPORTED positives … last February we only had 2,858! You can watch the reports on their website here, you can even click on Wood County and you will see new case reports like this one:

We also want to remind you to get your health advice from your doctors and/or medical professionals. Erika Martin, WISD campus nurse, is directly in touch with Texas Education Association health professionals and she shared this:

“As Covid cases begin to increase, the church would like to remind you of some guidelines we all need to be aware of. If you have Covid-19 or Covid-like symptoms (fever or chills, cough, nasal congestion or runny nose, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, diarrhea or vomiting, stomachache, tiredness, headache, or muscle or body aches), please stay home.

If an individual has tested positive for Covid, they should isolate for at least 10 days from symptom onset, be 24-hours fever free, and all other major symptoms have improved as well. If you test positive and are asymptomatic, you should isolate for 10 days as well. If symptomatic, we highly recommend you isolate for 10 days before coming back to church and seeing your physician.

You may be contagious if you have had close contact with someone who has Covid. Close contact means being within 6 feet of someone who has tested positive for 15 minutes cumulatively over a 24-hour period. An individual is also contagious 2 days before symptoms start so be mindful of this as well. If you feel as if you are a close contact, it is recommended to quarantine for 10 days since the last exposure.

If you are vaccinated, you are technically still susceptible to Covid-19……unfortunately. If you are vaccinated and in close contact with someone who has Covid, please be cautious about returning to church too quickly as well. I would still recommend the 10-day quarantine to be safe.

Erika Martin, WISD Nurse”


While we had hoped to start our choir back this week, Judy Beaty and I spoke at length about this and have agreed that until the infection rates so down, it is not smart to have people sitting side by side singing. She and some of the other choir members will lead us in singing and we’ll remain seated in worship when we sing. THIS IS TEMPORARY… please, let’s PRAY this virus is eradicated!

I have also spoken to Don Beaty and while the Wednesday night cooking team is ready to roll on a weekly basis, we will take extra precautions and ask that you spread out for the FIRST WEDNESDAY of SEPTEMBER meal on 9/1, and then we’ll reevaluate in October. In the meantime – check in on our homebound friends, your neighbors, and those on the prayer chain, and consider sharing a meal with them! THIS IS TEMPORARY… please, let’s PRAY this virus is eradicated!

I am also extremely disappointed that KIDS BEACH CLUB, which we finally got approval to have at the Intermediate School is being put on hold … again THIS IS TEMPORARY! We were ready to go with a 12-week high, energy, JESUS FILLED in-school Tuesday afternoon program, but we just don’t feel this is a good time to start something that deserves LOTS of attention. Our hope is to try again in January and let’s PRAY this virus is eradicated!


ALL OF THAT BEING SAID … I want to look ahead and say WELCOME TO THE CHOIRWednesday, September 22, 6:30 PM in the sanctuary … Yes, all of you who have been part of the choir or love to sing and might consider singing in the choir, SAVE THIS DATE! While me may not actually have choir return to the choir loft by then, we want to start getting ready and Lynn and Lindy will be returning in September to help us discover the possibilities!!  As many of you know, Lindy was the Worship leader at a Fort Worth church for many years and like Lynn, they both grew up with fathers who were church music directors!  They love Jesus, love this church, and are excited to be part of the music ministry through the end of this year. Lindy and Lynn are ready and looking forward to helping us get choir started again, but until then, we can spread out in the sanctuary for this gathering and start to get ready! SAVE THE DATE!

A SPECIAL WELCOME to the WILCOX FAMILY who joined the church on Sunday … what a joy to see Dave, Ashley, Mary Claire (MC) and, Will profess their faith together and express their commitment to God and His church!

JOINING SUNDAY, Sunday, 8/29, 10:50 AM … I hope that EVERYONE who comes to our church the very first time feels they belong here! Hospitality is important to us ALL and making people feel welcome is the first step in making someone feel part of this church family. When visitors, however, feel God calling them to make a commitment to Him by joining the church, it’s a special, special thing! Anyone can join the church anytime, but some people prefer to join with others rather than coming forward alone! If you have been visiting with us and have considered joining FUMC please let me know before the 29th … our website explains our joining process but I’d love to talk with you if you have questions!

MONDAY MORNING BREAKFAST with BROTHER HENRY, 8 AM at Richie’s:  you’re invited to “hang out” with the guys on Monday mornings! This informal time of fellowship is for anyone looking for great conversation and some faith-filled time with other Christian men!

SEW DAY, THURS 8/26, 9 am-3 pm  the Prayer Quilt Ministry will be hosting another sew day in the quilting room so bring your lunch and join in! You can (1) sew on your own project or (2) they will help you get started learning how to piece a quilt top. If you are interested in piecing a prayer quilt, we will provide the fabric and teach you how! We also have a cutting table and an ironing station. You will need to bring your own sewing machine. Beginners and seasoned sewists are all welcome! Contact Amy Moss for more information.

LAST DAY FOR SCHOOL GIFT CARDS AND UNDIES, Sunday August 29th … school is already back and our gifts will be MOST appreciated!

WHAT’S GOING ON WITH THE SUNDAY BROADCAST ON FACEBOOK? We’re trying to figure it out! I noticed that some of you faithful worshippers were having trouble getting a smooth signal and while we have good, solid upload and download speeds, we are looking at all the other components that make up a worship-filled live stream! Kade Martin and Ken Ragsdale have found a “bug” that may have been the cause of the problem so please try back again this Sunday – they are working VERY hard to make sure it’s all working as best as it can!

COACHES CORNER:  thanks to Shiela Haynes and Kade Martin who have joined the team of volunteers in our community who support our coaches, AND through them, support our kids, The coaches know the financial and emotional struggles going on with these kids and we’re blessed to be a blessing where we can!

THE BEST IS YET TO COME! There is difficult news swirling all around us but as we talked about last Sunday, God is with us IN the valleys, and He walks us THROUGH the valleys to beautiful tables of abundance! This Sunday we’ll dive into the RESSURECTION CHAPTER, 1 Corinthians15 … until then, let’s PRAY!

Grace and peace,

Pastor Debbie