Edenton Street UMC during Phase 2 of Re-opening
Grace and Peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ:
There is so much that we miss as we find ourselves separated from one another.
We miss gathering together, we miss church life as we have known it, and we miss you! Yes, we miss passing the peace of Christ with a hug or a handshake; we miss singing our praises side by side, tearing the bread and receiving the juice, seeing children in the hallways and babies being baptized. While we are doing our best to be patient and to adjust in these unprecedented times, our hearts long to be together, to come near, to hold hands, and to worship side by side.
Yet we give thanks to God for the ways we have been able to continue our work of giving witness to the power and presence of God in the most difficult of times. We are thankful for the gifts of talented people who have enabled us to worship virtually and for the ways we have been able to continue our ministries of Christian formation of children, youth and adults. We are grateful to God for the ways the Spirit has moved in the hearts of many who have generously given financial gifts to the church and thereby sustained its ministries. By the Spirit working in us and through us we have adapted to the challenges brought about by the pandemic. We are the Church of Jesus Christ and we shall endure until the end of time.
While we long for the day we can come together to worship face to face, we recognize that the risks to our congregation continue to significantly outweigh the rewards of physically gathering at this time. We want to exercise an abundance of caution as we consider the most vulnerable among us. Both lay leadership and church staff will continue to monitor the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, but believe that first and foremost, we must follow the direction given in John Wesley’s three rules of life as a Christian. The first such rule is “do no harm.” It is in the spirit of this rule that we offer these guidelines for worship and community during Phase 2 of the reopening of our State, currently planned for May 22nd, but subject to change.
- Virtual worship will continue: We will follow the recommendation of the North Carolina Conference Model for Renewing Face-to-Face Community and Worship to continue virtual worship during Phase 2.
- Virtual small group gatherings will continue: We recognize the desire of many small groups (Sunday School classes, missional communities, etc.) to meet, and recommend that such groups continue to meet virtually. No small groups or other church meetings may meet on the church site during Phase 2.
- Staff changes: Staff members may return to their offices but may also continue to work remotely.
- Building Closure: All church properties will remain closed with the exception of the Child Development Center which is scheduled to open on June 1, 2020. Congregants are asked to respect the closure of the building to assure the safety of church staff as well as the children and staff of the CDC. If there is a critical need to enter a building, those entering must wear a mask, maintain six feet distance from others and use hand sanitizer upon entering the building. PLEASE respect this request.
- Funerals: The clergy honor the importance of community and ritual following a death. They will strongly encourage church members who have suffered a loss to hold either a small graveside service or interment in the columbarium during Phase 2 and to plan a larger memorial service for a later date.
- Weddings: Weddings will be limited to twenty-five or less people. There will be no rehearsals and all persons will be required to wear masks, use hand sanitizer when entering through the front doors of the sanctuary.
- Baptisms: Baptisms will resume when we return to face to face worship. The clergy will work with families to schedule baptisms at a mutually agreed upon time. Every effort will be made to accommodate the particular date requested by the family.
Revised guidelines will be made when we enter Phase 3.
Let us continue to pray boldly for one another’s health and spirits and to take actions that prioritize the health and safety of our neighbors and ourselves. May we return to the basics of our Christian faith: loving God and loving our neighbors as we love ourselves. May the way we engage in life together reflect the grace and love of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
The Clergy and Lay Leadership of Edenton Street United Methodist Church
July 5-July 11 Appalachia Service Project Youth Mission Trip CANCELLED
- September 25-27. Family Camp at Camp Don Lee. Register Here