Coronavirus and Taylorville UMC
I know we're all anxiously awaiting the day when we can return to in-person worship, and that's a good and holy feeling -- regardless of how things develop over the next few weeks, hold on to that! It shows that you care deeply about participating in a community that's designed for more than just isolated viewing from a distance. I'm blessed to be a part of a church that is so faithful and so committed to being together.
I wanted to give you a quick update on our plans and what the near future is going to look like for Taylorville UMC. My goal here is not only to lay out the plans the church council and I have made, but to be fully transparent and up-front with the reasoning behind these decisions. As always, if you want to discuss any of this, please get in touch!
When will in-person worship resume?
The quick and simple answer is Sunday, July 12.
First, we're prepared to have a safe and high quality worship service for those who do return.
In order to ensure safety, we have disposable masks and hand sanitizer available. We've also taken steps to gather reusable cloth masks for our members and regular attendees, so that we can save the disposable masks for those who are visiting. Our Sunday services will be in the gym at 10AM, which provides adequate space for social distancing, and we'll be seating families in groups away from one another. Basically, if you're already living together, we won't separate you -- but you'll be sitting together separate from the other families in worship.
There won't be a time for greeting, a Sunday school hour, or a time for socializing in the church afterwards, nor will we have the usual coffee or snacks available. Things will be more normal than they have been, but they still won't actually be normal -- yet we recognize the importance of physically worshiping together, which is why we're doing everything we can to make that possible without endangering you or your family.
Second, we will continue providing an edifying and high quality worship service for those who do not return yet.
Several of us involved in leading worship have spent many hours organizing and developing our online services over the past two months, and I like to think we've reached a point where the result is good. I personally have spent many hours editing audio and video to make sure every Sunday service continues to be conducive to actually worshipping without being distracted by technical difficulties or poor-quality videos. The challenge we're facing once we resume in-person worship, however, is that it is much harder to live-stream than it is to pre-record as we have been. Recognizing that most of you will not be returning for in-person worship right away, we want to be fully prepared to continue providing a good online worship experience even when we're meeting in person.
Thankfully, we've been able to gather all the necessary tools and equipment to livestream our worship services for those who will not be able to return quite yet.
We're still one church, united by the Spirit.
We're still called to be the Body of Christ, and we're looking for any ways we can fulfill that mission! Our usual weekly ministries will continue to be online, with worship provided both in-person and live-streamed:
Worship - Sunday mornings, 10AM, live in the gym or streamed on Facebook and YouTube
Pastor's Bible Study - Wednesday nights, 6PM on Zoom
In addition, Pastor Zac is streaming a daily devotional on Facebook Live every weekday at noon. We are also in the early stages of launching digital small groups, which you can learn about here.
But that's not all! Sunday sermons can be found here on our website or on our YouTube channel. We also upload all of our daily devotionals and select songs from Sunday worship services to YouTube and Instagram (@taylorvillemethodist), and are encouraging anyone who wants to get more connected with the others in our community to join our Facebook Group.