#8 May Nexus Weekly Church Newsletter 2020 #8

#8 May Nexus Weekly Church Newsletter 2020 #8

News from Pastor Denise

Re-opening Update

St. Andrew’s UMC remains closed for now. In compliance with current state and denominational directives and health concerns, all in-person meetings, as well as indoor and outdoor events will continue to be cancelled through June 15th. Our staff and congregation are following the Stay At Home directives from WA State. If you need to reach the Pastor Denise (email at RevDeniseRoberts@gmail.com) or the Church Office at 360 491-2030, and someone will return your call. Kathy is checking voicemail and email remotely throughout the day.

In the meantime, church leaders at both the local level (St. Andrew’s) and across the Conference (AK, WA, and OR) have been meeting for several weeks outlining the new policies that will need to be put in place Conference-wide before we feel that we can open our sanctuaries for worship while keeping our vulnerable populations safe.

In the event that we are permitted by the Bishop to return and gather for worship sooner than June 15th, we will send updates via email, Facebook and phone calls as required. We have placed guidelines from the Governor on the church website, and we will include guidelines from the Bishop once they are available. As we await new guidelines, you are invited you to call, email, text. Let’s stay connected as we are able.

Here is plan for re-opening so far. Keep in mind that this is subject to change.

Expectations for Re-opening

  • Only the south door will be used
  • Masks will be required to enter. There will be some sanitized masks available at the church.
  • Temperature checks will be required
  • Social distancing is required: the number of people in the sanctuary will be limited by ability to maintain proper social distancing. Attendance restrictions will be managed by the church office.
  • Anyone entering the building must sign in – any day, any time.
  • Restroom and sanctuary doors will be propped open to limit touching of door handles and crash bars.
  • We will sanitize the church name tags. As people enter the building for worship, we will give folks their name tags and request that they keep them and bring them to church each week.
  • We are unable to provide nursery or child care. Children will need to stay with their parents.
  • We will refrain from the celebration of Holy Communion until the community can meet safely in-person. There will be an online celebration of Communion.
  • No live singing. Pre-recorded singing is allowed.
  • No woodwind or brass instruments allowed.
  • There will be limited access to the AV Room.
  • We are working in how to best sanitize microphones and hearing devices.

We will institute;

  • No-touch sanitizers
  • Looking into no touch trash cans

Friends, we will continue to update you on what is happening, and what you can expect. We know that this is a difficult and challenging time, and we also know that we are people of faith, and with God’s help, we will get through it. That’s what faith is about, trusting in the movement of the Holy Spirit when we cannot yet see it. May we always remember, God is with us. - Pastor Denise

A Brief Summary of the Bishop’s Re-opening Requirements

On May 20, Bishop Stanovsky issued a document titled, “Reimagining Life

Together”, stating the requirements for local churches to reopen. This is a short summary of the 26 page document. Reopening and resuming in-person worship will occur in 4 phases. Three conditions must be met before moving from one phase to the next:

  1. Bishop Stanovsky ends the suspension 2. State and local public health guidance permits intended activities in the next phase. 3. The local church written, reopening plan has been approved by the District Superintendent.

Phases of Safe Reopening

Phase 1 Phase one began on March 13, and is currently in effect until June 15, and may be extended. A group of 5 or less is permitted in the church to prepare on-line worship materials while practicing social distancing and wearing masks. High touch surfaces must be sanitized after each use.

Phase 2 In Phase two, worship suspension continues. A group of 10 or less may have access to prepare materials. Again, social distancing, masks, and sanitation are required.

Phase 3 Phase 3 allows for in-person worship for up to 50 people while wearing face masks, utilizing proper sanitation, and physical distancing. No Communion, live singing (no choral, solo, or congregational), or food service is allowed. High risk populations must continue to worship from home. No fellowship. Education activities for adult or youth must remain virtual, if conducted.

Phase 4 Phase four returns to more normal worship with no size limit. High risk populations join at their discretion. With increased hygiene practices communion may be shared and limited fellowship time may resume. Live singing is still not permitted.

 

Reopening Plan Planning for St. Andrew’s reopening has already begun, (see Pastor’s Message). The written plan is yet to be produced. The plan must address 12 “Key Actions” as follows:

 

High risk populations and how they might be accommodated at home until Phase 4.

Social distancing is strict for Phases 1 and 2, moderate for Phase 3, and no limit for Phase 4. How will these be enforced?

Group size limited from 5 to 10 to 50 to no limit and how will you make accommodations when the maximum group size is reached?

The church leadership must prepare the plan, review and update the plan as necessary, and communicate progress. How will this be accomplished?

How will safety actions, like social distancing, face masks, sanitation, and maximum group size be implemented and monitored. What will we do if a person refuses to comply?

How will staff and volunteers be kept safe? For example, the money counters, the Lay Readers, and the Communication Room “clickers”, etc.

Worship may be significantly different. For example, no hymnals, how to “pass the peace”, no live singing, no coffee hour, and no Sunday School. What alternatives may we put in place?

What new ministry activities will we need to meet the spiritual and pastoral care of our congregation? Should we continue the virtual worship?

How can our building be used by the staff, the congregation, and outside groups? How do we arrange the Sanctuary seating, what signage is needed, where are the high touch surfaces requiring frequent cleaning, and how do we avoid handling door knobs, etc.?

Our community connection (Missions) is an important component of St. Andrew’s. How will we continue the St. Benedict’s dinners, the “For-Kids Program”, and the Preschool?

What essential services do we provide, if any, as defined by state or local authorities? Is our agreement with the Red Cross still in effect for use of our grounds in an emergency and how is that affected? 12. How will we accommodate the REACH Program summer sessions and how is the REACH building project affected?

As we are producing the plan, we will communicate progress with the congregation from time to time, as in this NEXUS. Sorry about this not-so-brief summary. Your thoughts and suggestions will be appreciated. Pray for our church and its leadership.

~Rich

Pentecost Sunday

On Pentecost Sunday, we in the church celebrate the Holy Spirit. Fifty days after Easter, the disciples were gathered together. They were frightened and confused. They’d been through an emotional whiplash. First Jesus was dead, then somehow he was alive, and now he was gone again. Before he ascended, he told them all to continue to tell his story. I imagine the disciples sitting around thinking, “Okay, how do we do this?”

Scripture says that just then “a mighty wind” rushed through the room, and “tongues of fire” appeared over each of their heads. Suddenly, they could speak languages they’d never known.

They went out into the city and met people who had come to Jerusalem from every place they could imagine. And they began telling the story of Jesus, his ministry, death and resurrection. Miraculously, the people could understand the words of the disciples in their own languages.

Some were skeptical, thinking that the disciples must be drunk. But, Peter says, something has indeed happened. A new era has begun, and this small handful of disciples, this earliest church, has a story to tell.

What happened to the disciples was that the Holy Spirit had arrived. The Holy Spirit who Jesus promised would be there for the disciples, leading, supporting and guiding them, even after they no longer saw him. And it’s the Holy Spirit who guides us still, and who lifts up our hearts when we need to know that God is still with us.

This first gift of the Holy Spirit to the church is powerful and important for us still. The disciples get the ability to speak the languages of others. They get a way to tell the story of Jesus. And now it’s no longer just their story, but the world’s.

That’s a good reminder for us today because sometimes in the church we think everyone just needs to learn our language. If only people outside the church would just get come through our doors, and make an effort, they’d know how to speak like us.

But in a time when church is increasingly optional, that doesn’t happen. For the non-churched, church can be confusing and frightening. Our words may as well be a foreign language. So when people do walk through the doors of our church, it’s very important that we spell out in plain language what we are doing here.

That’s why we show the words of the Lord’s Prayer on the screen and announce the hymns. That’s why we explain the sacraments. We have to be translators because otherwise we may as well be speaking Galilean.

We do this so that those who are new to church hear that this story is for them too. That’s the power of Pentecost. That’s the gift of the Holy Spirit, and it’s a gift that is given to us not to keep to ourselves, but to use to share the story of God’s love with the world.

We become stronger every time we share our story. And we become stronger every time someone new walks through our doors because they bring their own gifts with them. That church that gathered in the Upper Room at Pentecost, all of twelve people strong, has grown to be a church of over 2 billion people worldwide today.

It didn’t get there by us all sitting in our pews, speaking our own language. It got there because the Holy Spirit taught us new ways to tell the story, to open our doors wider, and to invite people in. Now is our turn. Let us be Pentecost people in all we do, sharing the Gospel of God’s love and grace in every language we can find.

Happy Birthday –

7-Shantel Rose

16-Steve Speer

20-Jessica Byers

20-Arland Michel

25-Sammi Schoeben

 

Happy Anniversary –

7-Bob & Dolores Todd

12-Bill & Sally Bush

12-Bob & Joyce Scheuerman

20-Bruce & Nancy Kaufmann

22-Bruce & Geri Baldwin

30-Robert & Lillian Carr

If we missed your birthday or anniversary, or if you are new to our congregation, please call the church office (360-491-2030) or write it on your attendance card Sunday so we can update our records.

 

Prayer Requests

You are invited to call in your prayer request to the church office (360-491-2030) or to any time of the day or evening. If you get an answering machine, please leave the request or your name and telephone number.

Please pray for God’s peace & presence St. Andrew’s Families:

—Dave Reed

—Jackie Hinchcliffe

—Dick Hinchcliffe

—Vi Statler

—Tom Lund

—Carol Nichols

—Mary Novy

—Jim Martin

—Barbara Hawley

—Phil & Pat Latimer

—Dr. John Britcher

—Bea Aho

—Bill Bush

—Sumi Atkins

—Sara Lyon

—Jerry McKusker

—Marian McKusker

—Karen Langlois

—Donna Brooke

—Lois Brighten

—Gary Skaar

—Lillian Carr

—Amy Dickey & Family

 

Church Directory

Have you lost your church directory? Do you need to connect with new members? Please call the church office (360-491-2030) or email Kathy at saumc@comcast.net to get a replacement.

Children & Youth Ministries

Hey everyone!

This Sunday you're invited to join other youth from around the South Sound Co-Op in our vitutal youth group!

1:30pm-3:00pm

via Zoom

If you have a desktop/laptop with a camera, mircophone & speakers, or a smart phone or tablet simply click on this link on Sunday:

https://greaternw.zoom.us/j/543509527

Three Ways to Connect

God is steadfast and will see us through this.

Sunday Worship

YouTube link for Sunday’s worship video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PT-lkd7TlE.

It is being hosted on the new South Sound Co-op YouTube channel and will premiere every Sunday morning at 10 am.

If you have problems connecting please try:

https://www.facebook.com/standrewsumclacey/

This is our Facebook page and all Sunday Worship Service will be here as well for you to watch.

Morning Prayer

Monday - Saturday at 9:00 am

https://greaternw.zoom.us/j/378293561

Bread of Life

Thursdays @ 10:30 via Zoom

Please call the church office for that link to be sent to you. 360-491-2030

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