Restart Plans

Greetings wonderful people of Americus First UMC! I pray each of you are well and your family is enjoying time together as we all face these strange times. Your church family misses you and we are working on plans to restart our worship and fellowship. While we are all wanting to be back together and enjoy fellowship with each other, I encourage you to continue to pray for the staff and leadership of the church as we discern the best way to move forward. We will move slowly, but purposely, to make sure we do no harm, do good and stay in live with God!


In conversation with Bishop Bryan and the SGA Cabinet, including our District Superintendent, Rev. Steve Patton, and with church leadership, we will be implementing a THREE PHASE APPROACH to restarting our in person activities, all the while maintaining and following CDC and State Health guidelines to keep people safe.


At any time, if you are experiencing symptoms of any type sickness, please stay home to recuperate until you feel better and are showing no symptoms. Also, at any time if you are not comfortable leaving your home to gather with anyone, please feel free to stay home.


These are all projected dates, which may or may not change. Keep connected online for more information from week to week.


Ways to support the ministries and give your tithe to the church:
1) Mail – 200 South Lee Street, Americus, GA. 31709
2) Drop off at church – please call first to confirm someone in the office to receive it,
3) Online Giving – see website for more information americusfirstunitedmethodistchurch.org
4) Auto-draft – forms in church office
5) Set up bank payment from your bank account

PHASE ONE —> ON-LINE WORSHIP only (on campus activities remain suspended)
May 17- June 7 (4 Sundays)


Online worship can be viewed on
Vimeo.com/fumcamericus
Or
Facebook.com/fumcamericus
Or
Americusfirstunitedmethodistchurch.org


Continue to enjoy worship in your home via online worship! Gather your household and enjoy, and discuss, worship. Be creative to engage children in worship. Take pictures of your daily worship and share online.


During phase One, if you are interested in gathering in a small group to watch online worship together, we encourage small groups to gather in homes (Home Church Groups) These groups can consist of 2 or 3 families, but we ask you limit the number to no more than 10-15 people depending on the home you gather, and the size of the space you gather. Opening our homes to small groups will provide meaningful and safe fellowship, community and connection with the Body of Christ.


If you are willing to host a few people as a Home Church Group, let me know, or invite a few of your friends to join you. PLEASE PLAN TO FOLLOW ALL GUIDELINES FROM THE CDC AND STATE HEALTH DEPARTMENT TO MAINTAIN SAFETY PROTOCOLS THAT ALL WILL FEEL SAFE AND SECURE. Please plan on maintaining safe social distancing while you host a small group.


Who can attend a Home Church Group? 
Anyone who feels comfortable gathering with a small group. We ask those who are in vulnerable health categories to consider not meeting in person, even with a small group. If you decide to meet, we ask you take precautions to protect yourself and others. 


*NO ONE EXPERIENCING ANY SIGNS OF ILLNESS (fever, coughing, sneezing, loss of smell/taste, headache, runny nose, etc) should attend a small group meeting.

Home Church Groups could also decide to meet outside in a backyard, weather permitting as long as social distancing protocols are followed and you have access to technology to watch online worship together. Be creative and safe, as you discern ways to gather as a small group until we are able to return to the sanctuary.


HOME CHURCH GROUP HOST – should you be willing to host a small group, these are things you will need to consider:
- Technology – how will you connect to church online worship and display that all will be able to see and participate in a safe environment?
- What are some ways to engage children during the gathering, while encouraging them to stay at a safe distance from each other?
- What items can you provide or ask for others to bring to help with engaging others, especially children? (Crayons, pens, pencil, paper, etc)
- Who do you know that may be interested in gathering in person? Do you already have a small group? People in your community? Neighbors?
- Is your home or yard an appropriate place to meet under CDC and Georgia Health guidelines?
- How can you set up your meeting space to provide a safe environment for your guests?
- What time would you host a group?

- The dynamics of a small group are usually much different than a congregational gathering in the sanctuary. Please prayerfully consider ways you can promote participation, but if there are those who are uncomfortable in sharing or leading prayer, be respectful and encourage all to experience the space as a safe place emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
- Provide seating that adheres to social distancing guidelines.
- Have hand sanitizer or offer a place to wash hands.
- Avoid physical touch (shaking hands, hugging)


IDEAS FOR HOME CHURCH GROUP
Gather
Watch online worship
Prayer
Discussion
Share life updates/concerns/joys
Discuss next weeks gathering (when, where, etc)

Our church staff can help provide information to assist you with leading a group. More details to come. Let us know if you are interested.


PHASE TWO —> IN-PERSON CAMPUS WORSHIP ONLY
June 14- July 26 (7 Sundays)

THIS IS WORSHIP ONLY. 
WE WILL CALL THIS FAMILY WORSHIP, meaning families will sit together for worship.


There will be no Sunday School, small group gatherings, nursery, Children’s church or youth on campus during this phase.


We will also continue our online worship experience for those who are unable or uncomfortable in attending in person worship.


As we begin in person worship, if you do not feel well, please stay home and avoid sharing of anything that may harm anyone else. 

*NO ONE EXPERIENCING ANY SIGNS OF ILLNESS (fever, coughing, sneezing, loss of smell/taste, headache, runny nose, etc) should attend in person worship on campus. Please practice safe protocols for the safety of everyone.

Small groups can still meet in homes and we encourage you to be creative to participate in small groups for reflection and sharing as you fellowship. You can meet in homes or other off campus places to gather.

We will be following strict social distancing guidelines, (household families will be allowed to sit together) but we will spread out in the sanctuary.

- Hand sanitizer will be provided in different places around sanctuary.
- We encourage no handshakes, no hugging, avoiding greeting time, and social distancing
during gathering, worship and exiting the sanctuary.

PHASE THREE -> Restart of all regular church activities
AUGUST 2 – if possible

Sunday School, Children’s Church, and Youth will begin to meet.


We continue to encourage small groups to meet on campus or off campus

We will be starting Wednesday Night Suppers and Growth Groups More information will come regarding the restart of all activities.


*NO ONE EXPERIENCING ANY SIGNS OF ILLNESS (fever, coughing, sneezing, loss of smell/taste, headache, runny nose, etc) should attend in person worship on campus. Please practice safe protocols for the safety of everyone.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at pastordaryl@fumcamericus.com

Remember, we are the church! And you are an important part of the family!


God bless you all!
Pastor Daryl

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