An important announcement follows from Pastor Duane:
Change has become a very real part of our lives in recent months. And here at Southport United Methodist Church we are facing some more change.
Because of the recent increase in the number of Covid cases across the country and in Indiana, our Bishop here in Indiana, Julius Trimble, has recommended that United Methodist churches suspend in-person worship immediately and extending for the foreseeable future.
That means we will not have in-person worship tomorrow night, Thursday, November 19. We will not have in-person worship on Sunday, November 22, and we will not have in-person worship in the coming weeks. We need to be prepared for no in-person worship through the weeks of December, through Christmas Eve, and into the new year.
The Bishop is recommending this only reluctantly, and I agree with his recommendation. Our first priority right now is to keep everyone in our church and community as safe as possible and help our country begin to put this pandemic behind us in every way we can.
It does sadden me to have to close things down once again, I have to say, because even with reduced attendance, our in-person worship services have been dynamic and full of the presence of God, some of the most I've experienced in my life. And I can see the need we all have each week to be connected, even at a distance and wearing masks, and experience each other's presence, even briefly.
We will do what we can to keep us all connected in the coming weeks. We will maintain our online presence in every way, with online worship, and emails and Facebook Live postings. We're working on something special for Christmas Eve.
And please, if there is anything you need, even just a friendly voice on the phone, please let us know, and we will do what we can. The church phone number is 317-784-9508. We respond to our emails pretty quickly too at email@example.com.
We will resume in-person worship and our one-step-at-a-time approach to opening everything back up, just as soon as we can, as soon as it is safe to do so. We've been through that process before, we feel we've been able to do it safely, so we can shift into that gear pretty quickly when the time comes.
In the meantime, hang in there. Stay safe. Be part of the solution. Ask for help if you need it. Receive the grace and hope God offers you. And in the limited ways you can right now, offer grace and hope to everyone you can.
Grace and Hope to you,