March 2022 Covid-19 Update

Dear St Paulers,

This last week we marked two years since the Covid-19 pandemic began.  We have  worshipped from our homes, our porches, on our cell phones, laptops, tvs, and tablets.  We worshipped in the park, and over zoom, and finally in our sanctuary.  How wonderful it has been to worship together!  Since we have been back together we have seen the true unpredictable nature of the pandemic: surges, times of low transmissions, new variants, and a lot of unknowns.  As a church and community we have done our part to stay safe and to keep others safe. 

At our current point in time case numbers in Fulton County are very low, as are the infection rates and positivity rates.  Praise God for this!  Most people have been able to get vaccinated and boosted, and because of safe practices we are in a good place as a community.  We do, however, still have some in our community that have not yet had the ability to be vaccinated, that group being primarily those who are under the age of five.  This is also the group that has the most trouble wearing face masks.  Since children are highly valued by our community we do want to continue to keep this group safe while also following local guidelines and recommendations.

Therefore, after much discussion and prayer, our health and wellness team has decided that we will change the mask policy at St. Paul UMC from “Masks required” to “Masks Recommended.”  This means that if you prefer to take your mask off while worshipping with us you are free to do so.  We will still require anyone working with our children and youth to continue wearing masks.  Then, at the time what the vaccine becomes available for all, we will change our policy to “Masks Optional.”  We will be sure to send out communication when this takes place.   We will also continue to monitor numbers in our community and should the need for requiring masks take place again we will communicate that as well. 

We thank all of you for doing your best to “Do no harm, to do good, and to live by the ordinances of God”. I am proud of this community and the ways that we work together for the common good.  Thank you and God Bless. 

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!