So we're not calling it our Plan to "Re-Open", because Southport United Methodist Church has been open for all of these weeks. We've had worship online each Sunday, and weekly emails and Facebook, including Live, postings. Committees, our Youth Group, and various small groups have been meeting through ZOOM. Imagination Station, albeit with fewer children and staff, has stayed open for business. We've continued to support Interfaith Hospitality Network (known also as Family Promise), Hunger, Inc., Fletcher Place, Ronald McDonald House, and the Indiana Diaper Bank, and with hands-on help and cash donations. There have been a bunch of hand-written cards, notes and letters, personal emails and phone calls. Doug and I have had a few funerals and memorial services, and in-person counseling sessions.

So were not calling it our Plan to "Re-Open", because we've been open. We're calling it the more cumbersome, but also more accurate, "Socially Distanced In-Person Worship Action Plan. This Plan is attached and also available on our website at

This week is a time for which we've all been waiting. In-person worship will resume for all of our services on Thursday evening, June 11, at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday morning, June 14, at 8:30, 10:00 and 11:15 a.m.

Our District Superintendent and Bishop have reviewed our Plan and think it is a well thought out guide to safely return to worship in our building. Safety is our number one concern.

Among other things, our Plan includes these elements:

1. There will be a separate entrance and exit for all worshippers.

2. We will encourage you to stay six feet apart and take other physical distancing precautions.

3. We will encourage everyone to wear masks and wash your hands and use sanitizer frequently.

4. Seats will be spaced apart, so we won't have quite the seating capacity as before.

5. The Worship Center will be cleaned between all services.

So, it's going to be different! And yet it's going to be fun and exhilarating for many of us to return to in-person worship in our sanctuary.

Many of you, I know, will stay home for awhile and continue to worship online. We encourage you to remain at home if you are over 65 and/or have certain health issues that put you at greater risk.

We will continue to provide our online worship and online presence in other ways. This has been a time of almost constant change and I'm sure that will continue.
We thank you for all of your support and generosity and graciousness over these past few weeks and months, and we thank you in advance for your support and cooperation as we move forward.

Grace and Hope to you,

Pastor Duane