Greetings in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
Information about the Coronavirus pandemic is rapidly changing. Each and every day we are being offered new ways to maintain our health, as well as protect the health of those most vulnerable around us. I want you to know that I am monitoring the situation closely and what it means for the ministry of Houston First United Methodist Church.
I am working with our Lay Leadership to ensure the wellbeing of our congregation. While there has been no mandate from the Bishop to suspend services, he has highly recommended that we follow the guidelines of the CDC. Those guidelines recommend not having gatherings of more than 10 people. Due to those guidelines, we will be cancelling the remainder of the Lenten Lunches and suspending all midweek activities through the end of March.
Houston FUMC will also be cancelling services for March 22, 2020. As for the worship service on March 29, it will be televised and streamed only, so you may worship from the comfort of your home. We are working hard to setup a streaming service for our church. I will be sending out more information next week on how to access the stream. Those of you with cable will be able to view our service as usual.
This decision was difficult and not entered into hastily. However, it is deemed to be in the best interest of the health of our congregation. During this time, we are having to think outside of the box and reimagine the way in which we worship. It is hard for us not to gather on Sunday mornings and not worship together. Worshipping together on Sunday mornings for many of us is something that we have done our whole lives. However, these are uncharted waters that we are trying to navigate. I am trying to make the best decisions that I can for our church and make the best recommendations to our Lay Leadership.
In the meantime, what can we do? I encourage you to tune into Tupelo FUMC worship Service on Sunday morning. You can do that through your local networks: My MS (channel 11 or 111 on Maxxsouth) at 11 a.m. or by visiting FACEBOOK.COM/FUMCTUPELO/ at 11 a.m. Also, worship as a family in a small group. This is our Wesleyan heritage; our roots are in home and small group ministry. Most importantly pray. Pray for those who are sick, for those who are providing care and for all as we navigate this situation. I especially covet your prayers for discernment in leading our church as well as prayers for our Leadership Team.
God Bless each and everyone.