Keeping our Community Safe during the COVID-19 Outbreak
Our response is rapidly developing. Please check this page for updates and clarifications in the days ahead.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has posted information about the virus online.
- Wednesday, March 11 recommendations from Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Health and Human Services
- Washtenaw County is continually updating their recommendations online.
- Message from Bishop David Bard, March 12, 2020
- Message from Bishop David Bard, March 23, 2020
New! We are collecting information from the congregation to find out how you are feeling about a return to worshiping together and what circumstances would make you feel safe doing so. Let us know here: https://tinyurl.com/whenchurch
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Things we are doing at FUMC right now…
We are praying for our community and those that are impacted in big and small ways by this virus.
Friday, April 3
A Fund has been created to assist with emergencies due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more about the fund here.
Our Justice League has put together a list: How to Help during this pandemic.
Monday, March 23
Due to today’s shelter in place directive from Governor Whitmer, our church buildings will be closed through the April 13. All on-site services and meetings are cancelled through the period. Decisions regarding the rest of April will be made as soon as possible. If you have a meeting or event, please contact that meeting/event leader to find out if you will postpone until a later date or meet online via Zoom or using some other technology. Speaking of Zoom meetings, we have lots of them scheduled! As might be expected, more than one group might want to meet at the same time. If you create a personal zoom account (at zoom.us) you can schedule and conduct meetings that are 40 minutes long. If a meeting needed to go longer, you would create a second meeting to join. Here are some instructions that might be helpful. Please keep us up to date with your prayer concerns. We want to hear from you! The Prayer Ministry Team serves our congregation with both email and phone Prayer Chains. If there is a prayer concern submit a prayer request online or contact a pastor or Olivia Fanning, email@example.com.
Wednesday, March 18
All worship and meetings at the church buildings are cancelled through the end of March. Some meetings are still taking place via the Zoom app or other methods. Contact your meeting leader to see if that applies to your meeting. Please revisit this space for future updates.
Monday, March 16, 2020
Update from Rev. Nancy Lynn –
Thursday, March 12, 2020
Thursday Thought from Rev. Nancy Lynn –
Dear FUMC Family:
Over the last 24 hours, I have been working with our staff and Leadership Council to make decisions about how best to care for our church family during the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic. After much discussion and discernment, we have decided the most responsible course of action is to suspend church activities and worship services for the next two weeks and then reassess the situation. We will make a decision for the following weeks on Wednesday, March 18.
The guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services are to postpone or cancel events of 100 people or more and gatherings of ten or more if at-risk individuals are involved. As a large church, that includes a lot of what we do! By not meeting, we can help to slow the spread of the disease which lessens the likelihood of overwhelming our doctors and hospitals.
Our staff will continue to keep the church office open and be on hand for pastoral care. We will also increase the cleaning and disinfecting of our buildings. In addition, we will be looking at ways to provide online worship, faith formation, youth group, and other activities. Make sure to keep checking the website for more information! This is also a great time to set up online giving if you haven’t done so yet! (Information can be found here.)
As Christ-followers, we are called to love our neighbors and, in this case, loving others means staying at home. This is a challenging time and we will face it together with faith, courage, and love. I encourage you to reach out to your neighborhood care group to find out if anyone is in need of groceries, meals, or errands run during these next few weeks. Check in on our older members with a phone call or a note. Send cards to people you learn are sick. Meet with your small group on zoom or Facebook live. Remember that we have Stephen Ministers available if you are in need of additional support (contact Amy Kennedy, firstname.lastname@example.org) People need their church family in times of crisis, and we can continue to be God’s hands and feet to each other as this story unfolds.
As we move through the coming weeks, let’s remember the last words of Methodism’s founder, John Wesley – “the best of all is that God is with us”. God will be with us through COVID-19, every day, no matter what. May we respond with love.