Dear Family of Bethany of Fox Valley United Methodist Church,
Grace and peace to you all from our almighty God. I hope this letter finds you strong and well in body, mind, and spirit, held close in the comfort of God’s strong Spirit. I am writing to you today to provide some new information regarding our current situation for resuming in-person worship and ministry in the church building.
On May 26, 2020, the Return Team of NIC in consultation with Bishop Sally Dyck and her Cabinet has released detailed plans and guidelines (click here) as each congregation navigates a specific return plan to in-person worship. The Administration Council of BFVUMC has been prayerfully discerning how to carefully implement those plans and guidelines in our unique context. As of May 29, 2020, all of Illinois except the city of Chicago has entered the third phase of reopening under the Restore Illinois plan. Based on the phase 3 guidelines, we will follow the requirements and rules below as a way of loving our neighbors at this time.
1. Worship Format
Live Stream Online Worship at Facebook (Sunday/ 9am): According to the phase 3 guidelines, only gatherings of fewer than 10 people are allowed. This is why in-person worship is not workable at this moment.
2. Individual Safety
- Anyone that is sick must stay at home
- Face covering required for all in the church building
- Post signage at the main entrance that states “No one with a fever or symptoms of COVID-19 or known exposure to COVID-19 in the prior 14 days is allowed in.”
- Strict Physical Social Distancing
- Digital Bulletin
- No Nursery and No In-Person Children’s Ministry
- No In-Person VBS
- No In-Person Child, Youth or Adult Sunday School
- Zoom Coffee Hour (Virtual fellowship)
- 1 person limited at restroom
- No handshakes or hugging
- Touchless sanitizer stations
- Extra masks
- Offering – Mailing & Online
- Online Communion only
- No Baptisms
- Wedding with physical social distancing and limited number restriction of 10 or less
- Funeral with physical social distancing and limited number restriction of 10 or less
3. Church Programming
- No large inside gatherings
- No large outside gatherings
- Continue online ministry for all
- Zoom meeting highly recommended
- Prayer Walk Group through Call, Email, Text and Card
We are all weary of not seeing each other face to face. We are all exhausted from not having basic physical human contact. However, the AD. Council is not afraid to keep asking each other for more patience, more perseverance, and more time. It is because we, God’s church, need to assure that no one will be endangered or placed at unnecessary risk, as we desire that others would do the same for us. As we wait and plan for what’s next, I continue to ask you not to be afraid. We have a calling as followers of Jesus to care for our neighbors and to watch for the vulnerable.
Let us together, continue to endure and wait to care for one another and steward our community health.
Be well, be still, and be at peace.
Rev. Sam Park, Pastor