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Faith's grand re-opening planned for September 12

Friends,
 
Even before I officially started at Faith United Methodist Church I was already meeting with our reopening team. We knew then that one of the most important things that we would need to be doing as I started my time here as your pastor was to lay out a plan for a safe way for us to begin reopening the church. While I will be the first to admit I had no idea that this process would take so long, I am so thankful for the hard work of our reopening team to continue to study data, listen to experts, poll the congregation, and stay focused on our core values as a congregation as we have navigated the challenges brought on by the pandemic.
 
I am excited to announce that we now have a plan for safely reopening the church. We will be doing so gradually, which will not only allow us the time to adjust if conditions around the pandemic change but also to give us the space to not just reopen, but reopen better than before. With that in mind we are will be reopening in several key stages with a goal of being able to celebrate our Grand Reopening on Rally Sunday in September. To get that to that point there are several important steps.
 
Starting in June:
We will be inviting congregation members to attend the recording of our worship services on Wednesday evenings. The first opportunity for this will be June 16.
 
July:
The next stage will be to move to live-streaming our worship services on Sunday morning. We will start this on July 18th. As we shift to live-streaming we will continue to invite people to be present in-person for the worship service. Our hope is that this will allow people who are ready to be back in the building for worship to do so but also honor the needs of those who are not able or ready to return to worship to continue to be a part of our community on Sunday mornings.
 
Outdoor services:
In addition, we will continue to offer some outdoor worship experiences, specifically on June 13 and July 11th 9:30 a.m. It is our hope that these will continue to be times for our community to reconnect safely.
 
There are many details that still need to be worked out around this, like congregational singing, when it be safe to serve food and coffee following the worship service, and lots of other small details. We will also be continuing to monitor developments such as the availability of vaccines for our youngest members, the continued infection rate in our community, and what learnings we can glean from experts and other congregations who are also in this process.
 
I am so grateful for the leadership represented in our reopening team and also the patience and support of this whole congregation who has faithfully supported our church during this long journey. I am hopeful of a time where we can see each other face to face and join together in worship as we give thanks to the God who has seen us through this pandemic and continues to be present with us each and every day.
 
Pastor Jeff