First United Methodist Church Of Bay Minette, Alabama
Wednesday, July 08, 2020

E-News from Pastor Marty

7-3-2020

Independence

 
FUMC Family and Friends
 
     This coming weekend is an interesting combination of Patriotism and Faith. On Saturday, July 4th, we will celebrate our nation’s 244th birthday. For almost 2 ½ centuries, the United States has grown and prospered. Though we have certainly faced times of war and dissension and strife, we have remained strong. Regardless of the conflicts we face, regardless of the leadership (or lack thereof), regardless of the plagues that beset us, the people of the United States are good people who still love the ideas of freedom and independence that our nation was founded upon.
     So, it is right to celebrate our nation’s birthday on Saturday. I hope you will do so safely and wisely. I also hope you will take a moment on Saturday to lift-up a prayer to our Heavenly Father thanking him for the blessings He has bestowed upon us as a nation. And pray for liberty and justice for us all, as we strive to be the greatest nation on earth.  
     
May God Bless America.  
     But then Sunday, July 5th happens. For us, at Bay Minette FUMC, this is also an Independence Day of sorts. After 119 days, we will gather in our sanctuary for worship. I am so thankful to God for the blessings that he has bestowed upon us as a church. We are truly blessed to be his children. 
     As I was contemplating the meaning of all of this, I was reminded of a story in 2 Chronicles. King Solomon had been given the task of building the Temple. For centuries, God’s ‘home’ had been a tent that was set up where-ever the Jewish nation settled. But King David asked God for permission to build a permanent structure where the people of Israel could come and worship God. Because of David’s sinfulness, the job of actually building the Temple fell to his son Solomon. 
     Chapter 5 describes that moment when the Ark of the Covenant was moved into the Holy of Holies marking the completion of the Temple. As the priests, exited the Holy of Holies, musicians played and the people sang a doxology, ‘For he is good, for his steadfast love endures for forever.’ The final line in that chapter is ‘for the glory of the LORD filled the house of God.’ 
     As we begin our worship this Sunday, we will remember that glorious occasion as we sing a modern doxology, ‘Praise God from whom all blessings flow, Praise him all creatures here below. Praise him above ye heavenly hosts, Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.’ I pray the ‘glory of the LORD fills’ this sanctuary as we sing. |
     I hope you will be in church on Sunday. I also hope you will also take a moment on Sunday to lift-up a prayer to our Heavenly Father thanking him for the blessings He has bestowed upon us as a church; that He will continue to watch over us, heal us, lead us.  
     On Saturday, many of us will enjoy great food as part of our Independence Day celebration. On, Sunday, we will celebrate with the bread of heaven as we remember the sacrifice of Jesus during Holy Communion.  
      Finally, as I have said many times throughout this entire ordeal, if your age or physical condition, make you susceptible to catching any disease, please do not feel that you have to come into the church. We will continue to broadcast our services on Facebook at 10:00 for you to watch. We will also continue to broadcast on the radio, FM 90.1, if you want to park at the church and listen to the service from your car. 
     However, you choose to worship God this week, I pray that the LORD fills the sanctuary of your heart.
May God Bless Bay Minette FUMC.
Hope to see you on Sunday.
 
Pastor Marty
 
  • Giving: Even though we are not meeting, the church still needs your financial support in order to continue ministering to the world. Giving is also a strong reminder that our faith is in God not in our bank accounts or stock portfolios. You can make your regular tithes and offerings several ways:
1)      PushPay (https://pushpay.com/login)
2)      Mail a check to FUMC - PO Box 338
3)      Drop off at the church office during normal office hours
4)      Drop donations in the secure black mailbox to the right of the office door.
 
  • Food Pantry: The Food Pantry continues to need items to fill their shelves. If you would be willing to donate some of the following items, peanut butter, canned fruit, canned meat such as tuna, spaghetti sauce with meat, spaghetti noodles as well as other pastas, and large cans of soup, it would be a tremendous blessing to the needy in our community. You can drop off your donations at the church office, and we will deliver them to the pantry. If you are unable or uncomfortable shopping, you can also make a financial contribution.  
 
IN-PERSON WORSHIP REOPENING
Starting July 5th @ 10:00 am
 
Know Before You Go
We are excited to be reunited with our church family for Sunday morning worship services! We will do our best to provide the safest possible worship environment for everyone to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
 
We encourage all persons (especially those who are in the high-risk categories) to make an informed decision regarding worship attendance. For those who choose to worship from home, we will continue to broadcast our worship services on Facebook.
 
We will be practicing the following enhanced health and safety measures:
 
Nursery and Children's Ministry
Nursery, Children’s Moment and Children’s Church are unavailable at this time. Children are welcome to attend the Sanctuary service with their families.
 
Building Entry and Exit
Worshippers will enter through the front doors of the Narthex where temperatures will be checked, and attendance recorded.
 
Hand Sanitizer and Disposable Masks will be available.
 
After the service, worshippers will be encouraged to exit through the doors closest to where they are seated.
 
 
Sanctuary Seating
Pews will be marked to encourage social distancing. Alternating pews will be available for use. Non-family members must maintain 6-foot separation.
 
All pew items (Hymnals, Bibles, Attendance pads, etc…) will be temporarily removed.
 
Restroom Use
Only one person or persons in the same household may use the restroom at a time. Children should be accompanied by an adult.
 
Sanitizing materials will be available to clean restrooms after each use. All surfaces, including seats, faucets, light switches, and door handles should be wiped down.
 
Worship Practices
We will not take an offering. Rather you may drop your tithes and offerings in the plates located at each door.
 
Virtual bulletins will be available in place of paper  bulletins.
 
Services will be shortened to lessen the possibility of spreading COVID-19.
 
Communion will be served with pre-packaged elements. Elements will be placed in seats prior to the start of service.
 
Congregational singing and responsive reading will be limited.
 
No choir initially. Special music will continue to be provided by solos, duets, etc…
 
Personal Practices
Please refrain from handshakes or hugs.
 
Face masks are strongly recommended and will be available for distribution. Remember masks are for the protection of others.
 
No food, drinks, or candy will be served. Water fountains will be non-functioning.
 
Volunteers
We will need a minimum of 8 volunteers each week in order to get people into the service smoothly. If you are willing to help please be at the church no later than 9:30 AM.  
 
Positive Test
First, if you are not feeling well, or are exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19 (Fever or chills, Cough, Shortness of breath or difficulty, breathing, or Fatigue) please stay home and contact your primary care physician immediately.
 
If you test positive for COVID-19, we ask that you be forthcoming and notify the Pastor as soon as possible so that steps may be taken to ensure the disease does not spread.
 
In the event, someone tests positive within 14 days of attending an event in our building, those in attendance will be notified via US Mail. They will be advised to contact their physician for further instructions.
 
The Janitorial Staff will then take additional steps to re-sanitize all church facilities. 
 
If you have any additional questions or concerns, please reach out to our church office at 251-937-8303.