Dear Friends,

We are continuing our one-step-at-a-time and safety-first approach to opening up more and more of our church facility and having more in-person experiences. So, I thought I would use the church email this week to keep you up to date on some steps that are being taken in the near future.

Our plan, and of course if we've learned anything during these times it's that plans can change and change quickly, but our plan is for our nursery to start this coming Sunday, October 18, at the 10:30 service. The nursery is for children aged 2 years old and younger. Allyson Ball, our Children's Ministry Director, and April Patterson, our Administrative Assistant, will meet parents at the Imagination Station entrance and escort our children to the nursery.

On Sunday, November 1, again only at the 10:30 service, we will begin in-person Children's Church. All children aged 3 years old through 5th grade are more than welcome to attend. Again, Allyson and April will meet parents at the Imagination Station entrance and escort the children to nursery and Children's Church.

November 1 we will also see the return of in-person Sunday school for our youth in 6th through 12th grades during the 10:30 worship hour. More details will be forthcoming from Lesa Bellin, our Student Ministry Director.

(November 1 is also the end of daylight savings time, so be sure to set your clocks back an hour the night before so you don't arrive overly early for church or anything else on your schedule that day.)

Our staff has been making contact with the leaders of each adult class and group that meets in the church to determine which will soon be ready to return to in-person sessions and the number of those attending. It looks like those classes and groups will be slowly returning to their meetings in the church in the weeks and months ahead.

So, as I say, it's one step at a time with safety being the prime consideration. It's slow, but it has been amazing to me that we have kept almost everything going in the church one way or another through this whole time. We'll have to see what the steps to come are as we continue to follow God's leading for Southport United Methodist Church during such uncertain and extraordinary times.

Grace and Hope to you,

Pastor Duane