COVID-19 Response Updates

St. Matthew UCC COVID-19 Response (from 3/14/2020)

After careful consideration, and consistent with other churches and schools in the area, we will be cancelling in-person activities at St. Matthew UCC for the next two weeks. Specifically:

   • No in-person worship service this coming Sunday (3/15) or next Sunday (3/22)

Pastor Allen will be recording a service consisting of music, scripture sermon, and prayers. This service will be on our website and on our YouTube channel. This should be available by 1pm on Sunday.     

 o Please send prayer requests to Pastor Allen in advance  miltonallenmothershed@gmail.com

   • Wafflepalooza this Sunday will be canceled.


   • Adult Ed series - Faith at Work series has been canceled.


   • crazies:  Mel will be contacting parents about plans crazies are making.


   • If you have questions about particular activities, please contact the activity coordinator/leader directly.

May we live with the hope of our faith and with love for each other through the challenges we have.

This is a difficult decision, but feel it is best for the health and safety of St. Matthew members, families, and the community.

St. Matthew UCC COVID-19 Response (from 3/12/2020)

 

Dear Members and Friends of St. Matthew,

We hear daily of new concerns regarding the coronavirus that have raised fears and concerns about how to protect ourselves and each other. At church, it is essential that we neither over-react nor underestimate the legitimate concerns. We are a people called to not live in fear and to act with compassion for what is best for each other and the community.

With this in mind, we are recommending prudent actions given the situation we face at this point in time. We will be carefully considering our area’s level of threat and recommendations from health authorities about how we should act in the future.

As we monitor the situation over the coming days, weeks, and months, please consider the following:


• If you are an older member, have a weak immune system, or any other situation that makes you vulnerable or concerned, please consider staying home from worship service — for your own protection. 


• If you show any symptoms of the virus or have come in contact with others who have been exposed, please stay home from worship service for a time period recommended by health authorities.   


• We are exploring the possibility of live-streaming our worship service for those who do not wish to attend in person. We certainly hope that it will not be necessary to cancel worship services, but want to have a live-stream option available if it comes to that. Regardless, if you need to stay at home, we encourage you to be a part of worship by watching the weekly service on our website, posted Sunday afternoon. Find a way to be in prayer with friends at St. Matthew and in touch with each other.


• For those participating in small group meetings at St. Matthew, we urge you to follow CDC guidelines regarding hand washing, etc.  If you feel it would be best, consider meetings via phone or on-line.


• We have already made changes to how we greet each other during our worship service, as well as not holding hands during the Benediction.


• Other steps we are taking to minimize the spread of germs:


◦ We will temporarily stop the passing of the blue pew pads.


◦ Rather than passing the collection plates, ushers will hold onto the plate and reach as far into the aisle as possible. If this does not work for you, feel free to drop your offering in the plate on your way out of church. 


◦ Over the next few weeks as we monitor the situation, we will consider how to share the communion elements safely.


◦ Hand sanitizer is available at the entrance of the church (although supplies are limited). We encourage everyone to use it as you enter and exit the sanctuary.  As we are being told, wash your hands for 20 seconds and with frequency.


◦ We have asked our cleaning service to increase their sanitizing practices.


◦ Children’s Ministry is increasing the frequency and depth of their cleaning/sanitizing practices in the nursery (toys) and other children’s educational space. In addition, if your child is sick (even a sniffle or cough), please keep the child at home for their safety as well as the safety of others.

 

Of course we cannot guarantee a fully sterile environment, but we are doing what we can to protect the health and safety of our members, guests, and staff.

May we live with the hope of our faith and with love for each other through the challenges we have.

Blessings,
Dorothy Peterson     Pastor Allen Mothershed
Council President     Senior Pastor