by Lee Corpier
First, thank you for being extremely patient and understanding as we continue to decide and plan how to move forward as a local Body of Christ. All of us have missed meeting together and worshiping together for these past four months. We have needed to learn new ways of living through this time together and will need to continue to learn how we can do so responsibly.
To that end, the Salem United Methodist Church Council has met by Zoom to ask our Trustees how we can move forward together safely. The Trustees are the primary committee in any United Methodist Church with the responsibility to ensure the safe functioning of the church property for the use of worship. The Trustees having met safely in person to discuss mitigating options and whether it would be possible to gather on the property, have unanimously decided that even with mitigation efforts, it would not be safe to meet inside the building at this time.
No one has made these decisions lightly, and everyone has expressed their desire to meet together. Yet, our desire can not and must not motivate our every action. Instead of meeting inside the building, we are planning to meet outside the church building, however, and whenever, it can be planned and supported.
This Sunday, July 26, 2020, we will be having Drive-In Church at 10 AM. (Online Worship will continue)
There will be no children’s services at this time. The service will be shorter because it is still summer (~85-90 degrees mid-day). Also, as much as possible, we need to limit use of the bathrooms (one person for each bathroom at a time). There is now an automatic hand sanitizer dispenser at the front door, we will be requiring masks on the property (we have some if you do not), and maintaining 6 feet of separation. The change in time is necessary because of the need to prepare and set up equipment for the service, that cannot be done before Sunday morning.
If this is all sounding reasonable to you, we invite you to join us. Respectfully, if not, or if you are in a high-risk group or having symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, persistent coughing or sneezing, loss of smell or taste) we would ask you to stay home.
Because of the on-going risk to health in public spaces, we cannot guarantee a timeline for when things will change.
We ask you to do these things because we live to love others as much as ourselves, to prefer others more than ourselves, so that the goodness of God may be extended beyond ourselves.
Thank you for your patience and may God continue to keep you healthy and whole.
Thanks and Blessings,
Rev. Terry Lee Corpier