COVID-19Written by admin on Mar 14, 2020 in - No Comments
Message from Pastor DeWayne
about COVID-19 . . .
UPDATE: JUNE 13, 2020:
COVID-19 Update—Questions about Reopening AGC
In March, in response to information we received from state and federal officials about the risks of spreading COVID-19 when groups of people gather together in indoor settings, we suspended in-person worship and community gatherings at All God’s Children MCC. We immediately transitioned to holding meetings of our church ministries and recording and broadcasting our worship virtually. In the Governor’s most recent order gradually reopening offices, businesses, and churches, it remains clear that congregating in church settings, with both our worship and communal practices, such as communion and congregational and choral singing, leaves us vulnerable to the spread of COVID-19. And yet, we are mindful that we must strike a balance between being a safe space for our community and taking precautions to protect the health and wellbeing of our beloved community.
As part of the effort to prepare for a possible, phased-in reopening of AGC at an as yet to-be-determined date, I have convened an AGC Reopening Team with the purpose of creating a plan for addressing the range of questions and issues associated with a possible return to in-person worship and public gatherings; determining the timeline for a gradual return to full opening; and implementing best practices for mitigating the spread of coronavirus during worship and public gatherings all while maintaining our hospitality and beloved community. This team consists of the members of the Board of Directors and several members of the staff, representing the church’s fiduciary body and the staff/volunteers with responsibility for critical ministries and programs.
Please stay tuned for additional communication from the AGC Reopening Team about how you can help us as we make plans about how to reopen safely.
UPDATE: MARCH 16, 2020:
Glory to God in the highest, whose love and mercy are boundless, and who is faithful and just to do justice. I praise God for blessing and keeping us even as we confront this world-wide challenge.
I pray that you are finding a measure of calm in the storm, and that you are taking the necessary steps to protect your families and yourselves. I am so proud of the ways that we have pulled together to respond to these unexpected changes and interruptions in the way we live, commune, and worship as beloved community.
Heeding the call from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to practice social distancing, “remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet) from others when possible,” the Board of Directors is suspending in-person worship and all other AGC-led and –sponsored gatherings until further notice. I am working with staff to ensure maintenance and management of our building, to work with recovery groups to help them continue to support those in recovery from addiction, and to adjust our spiritual offerings and instruction to present them to you in the appropriate streaming formats. We are working with the Technology Team to set up opportunities to gather through online meetings. We also continue to plan for continued pastoral and community care, and I will let you know soon how will accommodate those requests and needs.
In the meantime, I covet your prayers for All God’s Children and your support for our church and ministry by doing the following:
• Join us for the live stream broadcasts of updates, announcements, and spiritual offerings (please look for posts and notices about live streams). https://www.facebook.com/allgodschildrenmcc/
• Join us on AGC’s Facebook page at 10:00 AM every Sunday for a live stream. Host an online viewing party to invite others to join the broadcast.
• Sign up for EasyTithe and donate electronically to the general fund: http://agcmcc.org/donate as part of our call to continued worship and stewardship and also to support the work of staff and ministries and meet our other financial obligations. If you are already signed up, encourage others to do so. Remember, we have a matching challenge for all new persons who sign up and give electronically.
• Pray for All God’s Children and each other. Check in with each. Send notes and prayers.
• Forward this email to other members, visitors, guests, and friends in your circle of influence. Encourage them to sign up for email communications to receive these important messages: http://www.agcmcc.org/newsletter/
Thank you for your love, support, and patience. I ask you to bear with us as we figure out how to live into this new reality. We are undergoing a frightening, unpredictable interruption in our personal lives and in our faith community. Given how quickly conditions change and new developments arise, we may have to adjust quickly just as soon as we get comfortable with a chosen course of action. Stay tuned for more updates.
May God bless and keep you. May God face shine upon you and bring you peace.
MARCH 14, 2020:
All God’s Children MCC is striving to continue to serve our community and maintain a safe and welcoming environment in the midst of the fast moving developments around the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). At this time, we have no plans to cancel our worship service or close the building to our renters, especially our recovery groups. However, our number one priority is the safety and welfare of our members, friends, and guests. In this moment of challenge, we will lean into our call to be a beacon of hope reflecting God’s unconditional love.
We have taken steps to keep those who are at higher risk of infection safe from a potential community spread. We are suspending our Thursday’s Table meal program for a few weeks, resuming Thursday, April 16, depending on updates and advisories we receive from governmental agencies. Our staff is taking extra precautions, with additional cleaning and disinfecting of touched objects and surfaces as well as our own frequent washing of hands and social distancing from others. We are also looking at alternative ways of doing our work and serving our community such that any minimization in contact does not interfere with our ability to respond to the needs around us.
We need your help as we continue to gather in beloved community:
• If you feel sick, have a fever or a cough, please stay home and avoid public places and seek medical help.
• Avoid close contact with others. Wave or give a peace sign rather than hugging or shaking hands.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (while saying The Lord’s Prayer). Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains a least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• As always, make good decisions concerning your health and protect yourself and your family.
We will continue to monitor the situation and be in contact with public health officials to determine the best ways to protect you and our community. We will re-evaluate the situation regularly and modify this approach as new information becomes available to us.
May God bless and keep you. May God’s face shine upon you and bring you peace.
Look for more information coming out on church operations until then, please remember that All God’s Children looks to their community for financial support in these times when those served need it the most.
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