First United Methodist Church
Update from COVID Advisory Committee
As most of you are aware, when COVID became a part of our daily lives in March of last year, our church formed an advisory committee to stay abreast of CDC guidelines, local trends and information from local doctors and health officials. This committee was also tasked with the responsibility of establishing guidelines to keep our church life vibrant while protecting our members, our staff and the people in the community we serve.
While it is impossible to implement restrictive guidelines without causing some inconvenience, our committee was very proud and pleased with the level of cooperation we received.
In May and June of this year, when the number of new COVID cases in Wilson County dropped to two or three per day and the percent of positive COVID test result dropped below 2%, we began to relax our COVID protocol. Most notably, we stopped wearing masks.
In early August, the trend in Wilson County began to escalate. According to the Wilson County Health Department website, there have been several days in the last few weeks where the daily number of new COVID cases reported in the county have exceed 100. As of August 26 th , the average number of new daily reported COVID for the county is 36. The positive COVID test percentage is over 7%. The majority of people you encounter each day have not been vaccinated. Because of this shift, the COVID Advisory team felt it was necessary to reconsider our current protocols. Our team met last week and developed a list of recommendations we felt were appropriate for the current environment.
While most of our COVID prevention activities will be transparent to you, there are a few precautions where we are asking for your cooperation. The most notable of these is our recommendation that you wear a mask during the service, regardless of your vaccination status. We would also request you help us maintain social distancing by leaving vacant the rows designated as “reserved” and that you leave the chairs in place as they are arranged in Asbury Hall. And finally, we ask that if you or any of your family members are not feeling well, or exhibit any of the symptoms related to COVID, please stay home and enjoy the broadcast of the service on Facebook or You Tube.
I would like to thank all the committee members for their service on this committee and their open and candid discussion on a difficult topic. And I would like to thank all of you for your help in keeping our church doors open and the people we serve safe. - Hearn Walston, Advisory Committee Chair
Keep the faith! While we won’t think of everything, we serve a God who is with us now and is calling us into this new reality with hope and confidence. Our ultimate faith is in God who is able to do immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine (Ephesians 3). …As we reopen our building, may we seek God’s time and not our own. We follow a God of hope and resurrections that makes all things new. That is where our ultimate faith abides. We do all of this so that we might fully love our neighbors as we love ourselves! (Mark 12:31)