Fellowship is a big part of our life together as a church. On September 27, we returned to in-person worship; now we are moving forward with other types of gatherings.   After prayerful consideration, the COVID-19 Task Force would like to share the following information regarding returning to in-person Sunday School and small group ministries.


SUNDAY SCHOOL:
For the time being, Sunday School classes will not meet in the building on Sunday mornings.  Classes may meet online, or they may gather in-person as per the following guidelines.

  1. Online – Several classes have been meeting through ZOOM or Google hangouts, or have been sharing their lessons via email.  Classes may choose to continue to meet in this manner.
  2. In-person: groups of up to 25 people may meet in the church building for classes at any time during the week outside of Sunday morning adhering to the following procedures:
    1. Teachers or class leaders should contact the church office to schedule a time to their class to meet.  It is recommended that they pick a regular time to meet each week. 
    2. Tables and chairs may be set up in the Fellowship Hall with at least six feet between seats of individuals or family units. 
    3. Members of the class will be responsible for wiping down the tables and the seat backs with an accepted sanitary cleanser when the class is over.
    4. All persons should sanitize their hands as they enter the Fellowship Building.
    5. Participants will be required to wear a mask or face covering while in the building.
    6. There will be no serving of food or beverages during in-person gatherings inside the building.  It is recommended that individuals who may need a beverage bring their own.

SMALL GROUPS (Women of the Church, Sisters in Christ, United Methodist Men):
Ministry and fellowship groups may meet online, or they may gather in-person as per the following guidelines:   

  1. Online – groups may meet through ZOOM or Google hangouts.  If you need help with setting up this technology, please contact the church office. 
  2. In-person: groups of up to 25 people may meet in the church building adhering to the following guidelines:
    1. Group leaders should contact the church office to confirm their weekly/monthly meeting time. 
    2. Tables and chairs may be set up in the Fellowship Hall with at least six feet between seats of individuals or family units. 
    3. Members of the group will be responsible for wiping down the tables and the seat backs with an accepted sanitary cleanser when the meeting is over.
    4. All persons should sanitize their hands as they enter the Fellowship Building.
    5. Participants will be required to wear a mask or face covering while in the building.
    6. There will be no serving of food or beverages during in-person gatherings.  It is recommended that individuals who may need a beverage bring their own.

From a Spiritual Perspective:

Sunday School and small groups are vital to our lives as believers.  In these gatherings, we share life together, we pray for one another, we learn from one another, and we grow together spiritually.  In the same manner as Jesus’ disciples and the early church, these gatherings equip us to do the work of the Kingdom.  The Bible tells us, “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.  And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:23-25). 

The pandemic has kept us separated, causing many of us to miss the encouragement of our brothers and sisters.  As we now move back into the practice of gathering together, we need to do so carefully, practically, and with patience.  Life as a church community is not yet back to normal, and will not be for some time.  But, we are still family who need to be together with one another, and that fact will never change. 

Christianity is a life long journey – one that should not be experienced alone, but in the fellowship of other believers.  John Wesley said, “The Bible knows nothing of solitary religion.”  We hope and pray that these guidelines will help keep us moving in the right direction.