Love Your Neighbor...Resources & Ideas to Consider

posted on May 16

Resources and Ideas to consider...

I have been participating in a variety of webinars lately as we work to resource and assist local churches, clergy, and laity. A particularly good one this week was a conversation among several large church UMC pastors about "The Road to Re-Opening the UMC". A link to the webinar is shown below...it was about an hour of time well spent. In the chat of participants, an idea that I especially appreciated was one shared by a pastor regarding a covenant that her church is working on as they begin to ponder the path ahead. A work-in-progress draft of their covenant is also shown below.

Just sharing resources and ideas that your church might consider and adapt in the days to come...

Peace and Blessings,
Lynne Gilbert


Webinar:  The Road to Re-Opening the UMC

  • You can watch the webinar at this link. They had a large number of folks joining the webinar...more than 3200 registered. Here is how they describe the conversation:  "Re-opening church spaces for our members and our communities will require thoughtful planning. Join our online webinar and listen to discussion from a panel of church leaders. We will cover a variety of topics including strategies for re-opening buildings, safely gathering for worship and communicating plans to the community as we explore a path toward opening our spaces."
  • In the chat for participants of the webinar, one participant shared a draft of a covenant that her church is working on as they consider future steps. Rev. Kathryn Strempke, of First UMC in Grand Prairie, Texas, shared the following as a work in progress:
    A Covenant of Re-Opening to Fight Coronavirus-19:
    • We, the people of God at First United Methodist Church of Grand Prairie, have a mission of “loving our community . . .”
    • As a part of loving our community, we hereby covenant one with another to continue the fight against coronavirus-19 even as we open our buildings for public worship, learning, and use.
      • We covenant not to attend any activities on the church campus if we are sick or believe we have been exposed to someone who is sick.
      • We covenant to wash/disinfect our hands immediately upon entering one of the church buildings, using the soap/disinfectant for the time it takes to pray the Lord’s Prayer.
      • We covenant not to hug or shake hands when we are with others on the church campus.
      • We covenant to remain at least 6 feet apart from people with whom we are not sheltered-at-home.
      • We covenant to wear face coverings to protect others in case we are sick but not showing symptoms.
      • We covenant to attend the service time allotted for our name in the alphabet even if it is different from our “regular” time.
      • We covenant to be seated by an usher in a designated safe-distance seat. (We further covenant not to add to the stress of the ushers by complaining or requesting special treatment.)
      • We covenant to remind our current pastor that she is in the vulnerable population (with the underlying condition of asthma) and will help her not to hug us or shake our hands, and we will be particularly careful that face coverings are in place when near her and others whom we know are in more vulnerable groups.
      • We covenant to continue giving to the church as we can and increasing our giving if possible to make sure extra expenses due to cleaning/sanitizing are covered.
      • We covenant to practice such safety measures until such time as the United States Center for Disease Control lifts restrictions and recommendations in the battle against coronavirus.
      • We covenant to pray for a cure and a vaccine for coronavirus-19.
      • We covenant to serve others as Jesus has commanded us, “You will love your neighbor as yourself.”
      • Written May 2020

Love Your Neighbor...Resources Ideas to Consider
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