August 2021 COVID-19 Update
Dear St Paulers,
For 71 Sundays we worshipped from our homes, our porches, on our cell phones, laptops, tvs, and tablets. We worshipped in the park, and over zoom. For a year and a half we learned first hand that the church is indeed not a building, rather, the church is the people. And the absence of the last year and half made it all the more sweet when we were finally able to join together this last Sunday in the St. Paul UMC Sanctuary. Thank you so much for your prayers, your diligence, and your spirit during this time.
We have all experienced for ourselves how unexpected this pandemic has been and recent events are no different. Over the summer the number of COVID-19 cases in our county and in the metro area decreased dramatically showing us that vaccines do in fact make a huge difference. Unfortunately viruses are unforgiving and this one has learned more and more about us, bringing us the Delta Variant. COVID-19 numbers are once again high in our area, predominately among those who are unvaccinated.
We do however, know much more than we did a year ago. We know that vaccinations reduce our chances of catching the virus and having severe symptoms. We know that wearing masks makes a huge difference in the transmission of COVID-19. We know that social distancing and washing hands is imperative. Therefore, through lots of prayer, discussion, and research, we your St. Paul UMC Health and Wellness team, believe that we can continue meeting in-person in the sanctuary, as long as we continue to be as safe as possible. This means continuing to wear masks while inside, using hand sanitizer and washing our hands, distancing in the sanctuary, and encouraging and helping each other to get vaccines when they are available.
So while all of these plans could change at any point as we learn more, we are excited to continue worshipping in-person in the sanctuary. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out to any of us. Also please check out the FAQ’s about in-person worship on our website. And of course we continue to stream worship on Sunday mornings live on our Facebook page, and then on demand on YouTube and Sermon by Phone by Sunday afternoon.
Thank you and God Bless!
April 2021 COVID-19 Update
Our Health and Wellness Team want to first and foremost thank all of you for everything you have done this last year to be a Good Neighbor in Grant Park. Having to suddenly change the way we go about being the church was difficult, but as a community we have done so well. Additionally, while there many in our congregation have been greatly affected by COVID-19, by and large our community has stayed safe and healthy, all because of your efforts to Do no harm by social distancing, wearing a mask, and keeping the health of others in mind. Well Done!
As case numbers are starting to decline and more and more people are getting vaccinated, our team has been meeting to discuss what this all means for St. Paul UMC. Currently our policy states that as long as Fulton County is at a red or orange alert, we will continue to worship online, and once we are at a yellow alert for two consecutive weeks, we will move back to in person worship. Currently, Fulton County has been at an orange alert for a couple of weeks. The number of cases is definitely declining, but the numbers are still quite high. So we are continuing to follow this policy and keep an eye on how the cases are doing in our community.
In the meantime though, we have been making plans for how to start meeting together. Taking into account that any timeline we make could at any point need to change based on current data, we have come up with the following plan. On May 23rd, Pentecost Sunday, we will meet together, socially distanced and masked, in Grant Park for worship. Stay tuned for more information on this exciting worship service! Then, over the course of the summer, we will offer every other week at 9:30am a small worship service in the park along with virtual services at 11am every week online. This will help us get back into the groove of meeting, while still staying as safe as possible. And then, with the hopes that case numbers continue to decline we hope to be gathering back inside our Sanctuary by August 1st. Additionally we are working on a covenant for groups who wish to meet in the church building so that we can continue to do no harm to one another.
There is light at the end of the tunnel, and we can’t wait to be together again. In the meantime, let’s continue being safe, loving our neighbors, and being the church in Grant Park. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me, any of the members of our Health and Wellness team, or Pastor Cassie. Thanks!