As anxious days seem to be upon us with the Coronavirus know that Dilworth Church is committed to being the family of Christ that holds one another up in the midst of it all. Our church strives to be a safe haven for all people and that includes times that are filled with stress, anxiety and sickness. We live together in the assurance of God’s grace among us. It’s the same grace that was with our founder, John Wesley, as his old ship rocked in the storms of the mighty Atlantic during the 1700’s. He found that comforting grace as he and his new Moravian friends sang hymns and worshipped while fearing for their very life.
Certainly, I don’t believe that we are in the dire straits that John Wesley was on that ship, but we too may be anxious about the pandemic virus that has come to our country. As your pastor, it is my desire that we lean upon one another, worship and learn of God’s instructions and be comforted by the Spirit in our fellowship. I also want us to be cautious and observe practical ways to prevent spreading the Coronavirus. There are common sense ways we can accomplish both without stopping our gathering together as the Body of Christ.
We WILL continue to have the doors of Dilworth United Methodist Church OPEN for worship and activities. Please know that if you and your family feel uneasy about attending church during this time, we will miss you but understand and support your decision. I do ask ALL of you to take seriously these practical safeguards, some of which are recommended by the CDC for faith organizations. (Yes! Your pastor did her research.)
- IF you are the slightest bit sick, please stay home. Even if it’s just the sniffles, please worship from home until you are better and have NO FEVER. This will safeguard both you and all those with whom you come in contact.
- IF you know you have been in contact with someone who has the Coronavirus, please stay home until you know for a fact that you do not carry it.
- Upon entering the church, please sanitize your hands at one of our stations AND/OR wash your hands in one of the many bathroom sinks. You may choose to do this at various times throughout your stay.
- The pastors and staff will not be hugging or shaking hands as a safeguard to you and ourselves. While this makes me sad, I look forward to greeting you with a smile and words of kindness. I encourage you to do the same.
- If you need to cough, please do so into a tissue OR the bend of your elbow.
- All meetings will be held BUT some may be via zoom or other media outlets.
- Staff who feel the slightest bit sick OR who have family members who are sick, OR who are known to have had immediate contact with someone with coronavirus WILL WORK FROM HOME until there is assurance that they do not have the virus themselves.
- Pastors will be limiting visits to the hospitals to major emergencies only.
- We will assess Holy Communion before each scheduled celebration. Just to ease your stress, statistically speaking there has been close to 0% transmission of viruses through observing the sacraments over the years. It is a controlled environment with clean sanitized hands. This pastor also believes that the presence of Christ among us is holy and mysterious. However, no one is ever forced to partake and it is always your choice.
- We will strive to keep the church clean and supplied with sanitizer, soap and towels.
- DCDC and the Weekday School have their own policies and follow CMS recommendations so parents need to coordinate with them.
- We are working on getting our worship live streamed on Facebook for those who wish that option.
- If you are uncomfortable with the passing of the offering plate, you may give online at dilworthchurch.org. Please remember that the church relies upon your generosity even in your absence.
- Please let us know IF you or a family member contracts the Coronavirus after having attended church. We will pray for you and we will also try to let those know who have been in close contact to you while at church.
We will continually reassess our situation and keep you informed. Please use your own judgment and know that you are a beloved part of our family. If you wish to talk with me about this I am happy to do so. Know that I hold the entire Dilworth family in my heart and prayers and ask the same of you. We walk together.
In Christ’s abiding presence,