Worthington UMC Update – March 11 2020

Hello all Worthington UMC Members and friends,

Please see the attached file for a letter from Pastor Cyndy Garn and the church staff regarding the current health concerns. As of now, we are continuing all regular church programming. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at (614)-885-5365 or at office@worthingtonumc.com.

Dear Ones,

As we prepare this communication we are aware that our daily living is being impacted by a new virus, COVID-19, or Coronavirus. We are not certain what to expect and how great the impact will be nor for how long. We are certain that, as in everything, God is with us. Bishop Palmer has shared the following reminder:

“Do not be afraid” appears 47 times in the Old Testament and 21 times in the New Testament. There is no doubt that the news coming at us every day is fear producing and we need to take reasonable precautions to protect ourselves and our families. But as Christ followers, we also need to remember the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). People walked by the man in need out of fear – fear of getting too involved, fear of contamination, fear of interrupting their own lives. At all times, but especially in times of crisis, we need to be good neighbors.

As we move through this time, may we be open to assisting each other as needs arise.

Please know that your church staff is attempting to stay alert to the various threads of information including from the Columbus Public Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and to anticipate needs which may arise. Extra care is being taken in keeping the church clean and disinfected.

In addition we are making some modifications and taking actions as listed below:
This evening at Taize we will not do the anointing with oil, but will light candles, sing and pray;
We will continue the fist-bumps and elbow bumps we emphasized last Sunday for greeting each other;
We will have extra bottles of sanitizer around the church and encourage you to use them as you desire;
We will receive the offering by asking you to place it in a basket or other container during the offertory or as you leave the sanctuary and thus we will not pass the offering plates.
We encourage you to hand prayer cards directly to the pastors.
We will continue the normal program and schedule of the church.

We will be alert to changes around us and especially to decisions by the Worthington School District, Worthington City Government, Columbus Health Department or CDC. If these entities take further actions we will re-evaluate our situation and communicate any changes;
Our communication will be through emailing to the E-blast list, Facebook, website, and our voicemail message. We encourage you to check these forms of communication for up-to-date information or call the church office if you have questions.

And finally, we want you to know that we realize that each person reacts to viruses in different ways. You know if you have certain conditions which make you more susceptible to a virus such as this; if so, please do what you need to do to care for yourself. We will understand if you decide to stay home. If you are not feeling well, please stay home so that you are not impacting others. If you need something, please call the church office (614-885-5365) and we will try to get you help.

To quote Trent Bowers, Superintendent of Worthington School District, “this global health event impacts us all. It requires us to take careful precautions and to follow advice provided by public health experts.” In UMC language, it provides another example of how connectional we are.

Please know, that as we stay alert and ask you to stay alert to what comes, we also ask that you join us in prayer for each other, for our neighbors, for our community and for our world. May we be aware and alert to those around us and to God who walks with us.

Your Church Staff