Greetings in Christ to you and yours!
SCHEDULE NOTE: Our 8:45 Sunday morning worship service is canceled again for this Sunday, January 17 -- again due to covid carefulness regarding key band personnel. Please join us for our 11:00 service which will be meeting this Sunday. Our sanctuary sanitization is unaffected by the early service cancellation, and we continue to observe our mask and distance rules.
Please lift our nation in prayer during these contentious days of political transition. We are grateful that our citizens of various persuasions care deeply about the American vision and about our historic and ongoing national experiment in self-government; however, we continue to lament, denounce and oppose illegal and violent expressions of that passion, including this latest riot at our nation’s Capitol building this week. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
In faith, hope and love,
FUMC DFS Covid-19 Worship Guidelines
August, 2020 Update
1. Having begun on June 28, we continue with one worship service at 9:00 AM. Though the service is now nearly an hour, we place the sermon at the very end of the service so people can enjoy a variety of meaningful music, prayers, Scripture, etc for about 35 minutes, and then slip out at any time during the sermon as needed in order to reduce their public exposure time if desired. We can safely seat 55-60 people in the sanctuary. We usually have a few tables, chairs, umbrellas and outdoor loudspeakers on our front plaza toward the lake for additional/alternative seating. Beyond the sanctuary and the front plaza, additional attendees will unfortunately continue to be turned away for the time being. We will look forward to returning to our early and late Sunday morning services schedule when local new Covid-19 case trends reverse.
2. CDC/EPA-recommended disinfecting agents are used appropriately during the week by our custodian prior to each Sunday service, including wiping and spraying each available pew and frequently-touched surfaces. Pew cushions will be removed for at least the first couple of Sundays of reopening since soft fabric is more difficult to disinfect. Disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer are readily available as you arrive.
3. We will not have nursery, choir, full band, Sunday school, refreshments, or Wednesday suppers until declining case number trends allow. Likewise, we continue to discourage congregational singing for now in order to minimize unhealthy "personal moisture propulsion." Nursery-age children, however, are extremely welcome in the worship service.
4. By entering any part of the FUMC DFS building, you are declaring yourself to be asymptomatic in regard to Covid-19 especially in regard to a dry cough and/or fever, to be lacking a positive Covid-19 diagnostic test result, and not to have been in direct contact with anyone with such symptoms or test results. Furthermore, by entering any part of our facility you are acknowledging that being in public exposes you to the risk of possible Covid-19 infection and that FUMC DFS, having taken reasonable, well-informed precautions, is not responsible for anyone contracting Covid-19 or any other disease.
5. Masks are required to be worn by all in attendance. By entering the building on Sunday morning, you are agreeing to wear a mask, not a scarf, that covers your mouth and nose. Those unwilling to do so will be kindly invited to leave out of respect and love for all. If the person will not leave or comply with our safety measures, we will be compelled to end the service at that point.
6. Masks, disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer will be available to every person who enters the building.
7. Safe social (physical) distancing should be practiced in all seating. Only those from the same household (or “common germs group”) may sit less than six feet apart. Seating will be marked as available/unavailable.
8. All doors will be propped open to limit the number of times they are touched.
9. There will be no physical bulletins and no offering plates will be passed from person to person. There will be a place at the exits to safely drop our offering into a container.
11. By attending, you are agreeing to greet one another without physically touching. We will not have a greeting time as a part of the actual service.
12. By attending, we are agreeing to be dismissed at the end of the service in a systematic way through our three exits to ensure there is social (physical) distancing as we leave.
13. Only one person should be in a restroom at one time except in cases of family members or caregivers providing aid. There will be sanitizing products available in the restrooms.
14. We will disinfect repeatedly-touched surfaces after every use, including door knobs/handles, handrails, and light switches.
15. If someone tests positive within 14 days before attending FUMC DFS, or if anyone has been directly exposed to someone with symptoms or positive test result, has traveled on a plane or ship, or has been in a crowd or area in which several positive Covid-19 test results have occurred, he or she is required to wait 14 days or secure two separate negative Covid-19 diagnostic tests before attending FUMC.
16. If anyone tests positive within 14 days after attending FUMC DFS, the church office or pastor should be notified as soon as possible. That person will be required to refrain from attending FUMC for 14 days or until he or she receives two separate negative Covid-19 diagnostic test results. While striving to maintain confidentiality, every effort will be made to contact and make all who attended with that person aware that an undisclosed person who attended when they did has tested positive for Covid-19.
17. A couple of photographs of the seated congregation will be taken from the front for tracing and notification purposes in the event that someone who attended tests positive for Covid-19. (While sign-in procedures would be helpful in this regard, they would also cause everyone to touch the same sign-in items, thus increasing the chance of infection.)
18. It is hoped and believed that all will know that they are loved and that these precautions communicate that love to one another. Let us carefully and patiently enjoy our in-person worship gatherings as we feel led and comfortable to do so. Thanks be to God!
In these days of social distancing, we wanted to take a moment to provide you with a link to our many FUMC videos that will bless and encourage you. Feel free to share any of these video messages and songs with your friends and family, and also to share them on Facebook if you like.
Link to our Youtube church page:
First United Methodist Church DeFuniak Springs
Link to our Facebook page:
First United Methodist Church DeFuniak Springs, FL