Covid-19 UpDate

Greetings Peculiar United Methodist Church.

On May 31st, the COVID-Response Team, Vision Team, and church staff met via Zoom to determine if we should open as planned this next Sunday, July 5th.  This past week was the highest exposure rate in Cass County since the first case was reported in March. We are also seeing a spike in the counties and cities around us. Because of this, the decision was made to postpone our in-person worship for a little longer.

This is not the news I wanted to share- but I know it is the right decision. We DO NOT want to take a chance of putting anyone in harm’s way.

My biggest concern at this point is that I want you all to feel connected. Not just connect to the church but to feel connected to God. For me, the church has been where I get ‘filled up’, where I connect with God and also to other followers of Jesus.  I KNOW that the church is the people- not just the building, but- I also know that the church building has been a place of refuge in a chaotic world.

Because we have decided to keep the building closed for a while longer, I want to make more of an effort to connect with the congregation- the PEOPLE of the church.  All of our staff wants this!

We have put together a survey that I am asking each person who is associated with Peculiar UMC, whether a member an attendee, an online participant, or even just a Facebook follower of the church page- to please complete the online survey that is attached to this e-mail.  It shouldn’t take but a minute or so- and you can remain anonymous if you’d like.  But this will help us determine when to open the building, understand the safety concerns you might have, and also help us evaluate how to best to connect with folks.

This past Sunday evening, we held an outdoor service of music, prayer, & a message. It gave us an opportunity to see one another safely, and to gather physically distanced. (even from the car for those who chose to do so).  We want to offer more opportunities like this, so in the questionnaire- you’ll be able to let us know if you’d be interested in a weekly outdoor service.

For THIS Sunday, July 5, with it being the ‘first’ Sunday of the month, we want to offer drive-up communion again.  So, from 8:30-9:30 am this Sunday, you are invited to come to the church where I can serve you communion and pray with you.  Like last time, I will stay masked and we will use the disposable juice & wafer containers.

Please know that we so look forward to gathering together in our building- and will do so as soon as we can do so safely.

Again, please take just a minute or two to fill out the online survey and as always- if there is ANYTHING the church staff or I can do for you- just let us know!https://peculiarumc.breezechms.com/form/CovidSurvey

Wendy Minshall, pastor

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After we reopen:

Our plan when we reopen is to have both the 8:30 and 10:30 services in-person. (10:30 service will continue to be streamed online) Services will look a little different at first.

  • We will not pass the mic around, so if you have an announcement or prayer request, please be sure to submit it before Sunday morning.
  • We will not pass offering plates, but ask that offering be placed in the baskets on your way in.
  • We will have instrumental music to lead us in prayer, but will not have congregational singing.
  • We will not have traditional ‘children’s time,’ but we will provide families with take-home activities. We ask that children stay seated with their parents to avoid contact with others.
  • We will not hold Sunday School classes or have the Nursery available through the month of July.

Please know that these have been very tough decisions to make, but we have made them out of our Wesleyan commitment to ‘do no harm.’ We look forward to singing and having Sunday School classes and filling our nursery up in the coming months! We look forward to breaking the bread and communing together. We look forward to CONTINUING the ministry of the church!  We just need to do so in the most responsible way possible.

Thank you for your patience during this unprecedented time. Your gifts, prayers, online presence, service, and witness have never been more appreciated and needed.

My prayer is that the church will flourish, and we will grow God’s kingdom by whatever means possible. Thank you for being the church!

Wendy Minshall, pastor