Worship - Updated Safety Guidelines
This past Sunday as the Executive Leadership Team met for its monthly meeting it considered our current guidelines for COVID-19. Through prayerful consideration of the CDC guidelines and our community context, the ELT in their capacity as our Trustees have voted to update our ministry guidelines as follows:
We are currently offering one in-person service which will be held in the Sanctuary on Sudays at 10:00 a.m. Children's Church and Nursery care are now available effective January 31, 2021. We will continue to provide a live-stream of the 10:00 worship service via our LIVESTREAM tab on this site, and also on Facebook. We look forward to seeing you either in-person or online.
Please note the following guidelines for our return to in-person worship:
In consideration of the updated guidelines that we have received from our Bishop, and the Executive Leadership Team’s decision in how to apply them to our local church, we will be suspending in-person worship for another week. Please know that this is not an easy decision because we long to gather as the community of faith to celebrate God’s work in our lives, and we hope that you will continue to join us for worship online at 10 a.m (via our Livestream tab, or on our Facebook Page). This past week has been exceedingly difficult in our county as the numbers of COVID-19 cases have risen and our hospitals have become overwhelmed. Each day this week we have also learned about another friend, family member, or acquaintance that has been diagnosed with COVID-19 some of whom are having sever symptoms. Please be in prayer for these individuals who are sick, for our hospital workers, and for our community as we hope to move through this surge in cases quickly. As we move forward, we will carefully consider the situation in our county each week and determine when we can resume in-person worship safely. Hopefully, this will be soon, and until then I am praying for you and your families.
Rev. John Embrey
We have recently received new guidance from our Bishop regarding COVID-19 and how we should make decisions about in-person worship. In light of family gatherings over the holidays, and the recent rise in exposure and confirmed cases in our local community; we have decided to pause our in-person worship services for Sunday, December 27th, and January 3rd. This pause will allow us time to evaluate how Christmas gatherings may have affected our community during the break regarding COVID-19. We will continue to provide a live-streamed worship service on Facebook and on our website Sundays at 10:00 a.m. We hope that you will join us as we continue to celebrate together and appreciate your understanding as we do our best to maintain the safety of one another.
No RSVP's required beginning Sunday, November 1, 2020.
Dear Church Family,
We have been given permission to move into Stage 2.5 by the Bishop and Cabinet regarding our worship services. This will allow us to increase the capacity based on the size of our worship spaces. Social Distancing and Masks are still required at this time, but we can now accommodate almost twice as many individuals and families. No RSVP's required at this time (11/01/2020). If you have been waiting for there to be more room in our worship services, we hope to see you this Sunday! As always, our 10 a.m. service will continue to be live-streamed.
Rev. John Embrey, Senior Pastor
We are offering a 9:00 a.m. Traditional service in the Sanctuary and a 10:00 a.m. Contemporary service in the Family Life Center. Children's Church and nursery are currently only available during the 10:00 a.m. service.
The GUMC COVID-19 Task Force and our Executive Leadership Team has put a lot of work into preparing our return to in-person worship. We have carefully considered the guidelines and expectations to provide the safest return that we can. Because the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet over we understand that there are things we must do as a congregation to celebrate in-person worship. We appreciate your understanding and continued support of the ministry of GUMC and look forward to the opportunity we will have to celebrate worship together.
For in-person worship there are several things that we need to do together to be in compliance with the directives given to us by the CDC, Arkansas Department of Health, the Governor and our Bishop and Cabinet:
1. Face Masks & Hand Sanitizer: It will be required that everyone over the age of 10 will wear face masks and everyone will sanitize their hands upon arriving for worship. We encourage parents and guardians to follow the CDC guidelines for children wearing face masks. You are encouraged to bring your own favorite mask. However, face masks and hand sanitizer will be available at the entrance.
2. Nursery is now available along with Children's Church during our 10:00 a.m. worship service. Children's Church will meet in the large Sunday school classroom in the FLC builidng.
3. Social Distancing Requirements for Worship:
Traditional 9:00 service - in the Sanctuary:
Contemporary 10:00 service - in the Family Life Center:
Please remember that it is our responsibility to care for one another. If you have had a fever of 100.00 F° or higher, have a cough, shortness of breath or other symptoms typical of COVID-19, or have had known exposure to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days, we ask that you remain home and participate in our online worship service. As always if you have any questions or concerns, or if you would like to see the entire re-opening plan feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at the office at (479)996-6397.
“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:3-6 NIV)
Forward in Faith
Dear Church Family,
I want to thank you for your faithfulness to our congregation during this year. Your generosity has allowed us to provide meaningful ministry to our community and the world during some very trying times. Even though the way we have had to provide ministry this year has changed, our purpose has remained the same: to “Love God, Love Others, and Make a Difference.” Our staff and volunteers have done these very things as they have creatively worked to share the good news of Jesus Christ to the people entrusted into their care. I am grateful to each of them for their commitment to Jesus Christ, and to you, their church family for the support you have shown them through this challenging time that has enabled them to do this work.
Our ministry at GUMC has been blessed this year by your faithfulness, as we have seen more individuals and families giving online or mailing in their contributions over the last several months. We are also grateful for the special gifts that have allowed us to continue our ministries uninterrupted during the pandemic. It is our prayer that as we move “Forward in Faith” into 2021, that this level of faithfulness will continue.
To keep our worship services friendly to weekly visitors who attend our online worship service, our yearly stewardship campaign will look different this year. However, it is still important for us to consider the necessity of our stewardship and our tithe to the church. The gifts that we give further the kingdom work of God in our community as we continue to reach out to children, youth, and adults of all ages in various ways. As our Executive Leadership Team prepares to set our budget for 2021, it is more important now than ever that we have a clearer understanding of the expected income for our shared ministry for next year. We have big dreams for the future ministry of our Church, and we want to be faithful stewards to the call God has placed on us as a church family.
You can help us to move “Forward in Faith,” by returning a pledge card. Or if you would prefer, you can submit your pledge online this year. The online pledge form can be found HERE.
Thank you for participating in this year’s “Forward in Faith” campaign, and I hope you will join me and my family as we increase our pledge for 2021! Please join us on October 25th, for a socially distanced lunch on the yard to celebrate our ministry together, or you can take it with you.
Rev. John Embrey, Senior Pastor
GUMC 2020 Mission and Budget
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