First UMC is concerned for the safety and health of all our Chambersburg neighbors and friends. We are actively praying, watching reports and working through effective safety measures for the COVID19 virus.
We believe that COVID19 poses a significant threat to the wellbeing of our community, and therefore want to put the best practices in place that will help us all stay healthy.
Here are some things you can do to help keep us all safe:
If you have any symptoms of illness, we ask you to care for yourselves and also others and stay home, seeking medical attention if necessary. Please call the church to let us know you are ill, so we can check in on you and pray for you.
Use hand sanitizer offered in common areas before eating anything, or after coughing or sneezing. We invite everyone to wash or sanitize before joining in a class or worship service. (Jesus makes us all clean! 🙂 ) Medical experts tell us also to refrain from touching your eyes, nose and mouth to limit your exposure to the virus.
If you cough or sneeze, please use your arm or tissue. Please discard your tissue immediately and wash your hands. (We will understand if you need to step out of worship or your group to keep us all safe.)
Please be sensitive that some people are of greater risk than others. Keep a safe distance (6 feet) from others. Our older adults will appreciate and remember a card more than a hug and a potentially dangerous infection. Please remember even younger members care for family members or may have had chemo in the recent past. Send cards, not hugs.
All meeting areas will now have a basket of sanitizing supplies. Please disinfect your classroom/meeting space before your group leaves following the instructions in the basket. This will help us disinfect even more frequently than once a week in prime meeting areas. It also allows us to serve each other.
Please understand if our greeters hold the door rather than shake your hand. They are not unfriendly, they are simply limiting your exposure to germs on the door handles, and serving as gatekeepers for the House of God. Thank them and wave and cheer them on! Remember,”I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of the Lord………”
Keep your sense of humor. It will help your immune system, but also help us be flexible. Thankfully, we rarely experience this kind of threat to our health and wellbeing, so let’s be grateful for our wonderful God and seek creative ways of being church. This is a good time for God to teach us how to do church in ways “that we have never done before.” Let’s use this season as a chance for God to do something good out of difficult circumstances and try new ways of serving others that might actually reach our community and us!
Pray. Pray for your family, and others you know. Pray for medical professionals who will be working the front lines and trying to help all of us while exposing themselves to illness. Pray for those who are most vulnerable, including those with limited resources who cannot afford to buy extra food or have no health care. Pray for First UMC and all churches, and prayerfully consider how to continue to support the church in this season of disruption. Pray for holy imagination for ways we can be the church even if personal contact (and in some cases attending church) are limited.
Most of all, we are in this for the long haul, together. If you or your family’s needs would be better served by playing it safe and staying home, stay home. We are on a journey together, and you are a cherished part of Christ’s body in the building on Second Street or in your home. Wherever you are, you are a member of the Body of Christ.
Psalm 91. Let’s believe that God is greater than the COVID-19 virus, and let God’s goodness consume our thoughts so fear may have no home in us.
God bless you all.