Where Two Or Three Are Gathered

March 15, if I am counting right, was the last time we worshipped together in the Southport UM church building. It will be 3 months without worship in the building before we meet again for worship. The good news is that our plans are to have in-person worship (presently for worship only), beginning Thursday, June 11 and Sunday, June 14.

But let me stop and say that even though we worshipped for the last 3 months online, in our own homes, make no mistake about it, two or three WERE gathered and Jesus WAS and IS present in our worship, even online worship. We don't need to be in the building to worship God. All of our lives should be about worship. But it has been hard, not seeing the faces of our brothers and sisters together in the building, knowing we all had gathered for the same purpose - praise and worship.

Now to the news about having in-person worship once again. We have been, along with every church, preparing intentional plans for having in-person worship in a way that will do no harm (to use a Wesleyan phrase) and to keep each one of us as safe and healthy as we possibly can.

The details of our plan are in the attached document. In-person worship won't look the same. We did not "get back to normal." It is our responsibility as Christians to do no harm but still have opportunities to worship, whether online or in person. Our online worship experience will continue even as we get back together. So, for now, we have a NEW normal.

In summary, here are the main things you can expect when you come back to the building:

  • Social distancing while waiting for worship, during worship and exiting worship
  • Spaced seating in the Worship Center.  This implies that we will have a seating capacity for each worship service.
  • Entering the building by the south doors and exiting the building by the west doors
  • Cleaning between each worship service
  • We encourage each person to wear a mask. Pastors, staff and volunteers will be wearing masks unless speaking during the service.
  • We also encourage each person to avoid close contact with others and to use hand sanitizer and wash hands often.

As I mentioned earlier, we will be continuing the opportunity for online worship each week. So, if you are in a category that would suggest you remain at home for your safety (over 65, are currently sick, or have conditions considered high risk) we do advise you to stay safe, be home and worship with us online (knowing you are still gathered with those gathered in the building by the bonds of family, held together by Christ's love).

As we prepare to have in-person worship, please pray that you would know how you should respond, what you should do, and know that each person will make their own decisions about how to keep others safe and themselves safe as well.

Grace and hope to you.
Pastor Doug

Click here for our plan.