We will be having In-Person Worship Services this Thursday, October 22, 2020 – 6:30 pm and Sunday, October 25, 2020 – 10:00 am.
We resumed our Disciple Bible Study (Luke/Acts) on Wednesday, September 23, at 6:30pm in the Fellowship Hall. The course will run for 10 weeks. See the What’s Happening Page for more information.
We will be back inside the Sanctuary for our In-Person Worship Services this Thursday, August 6, at 6:30pm and Sunday, August 9, at 10:00am. We want to thank you for your amazing flexibility to be outside these past two Sunday mornings. We were blessed with good weather and a wonderful spirit as we shared in these services together.
Again, as we come back inside, we will continue to practice all of our Covid19 safety guidelines including wearing masks and social distancing. We will be sharing in Holy Communion at this week’s services. We invite you to come and share in-person as we worship the Lord together. For those needing to be at home, please join us online via our church web-site at ferncreekumc.org, on our phone app, or on our FaceBook page.
Also, if you have any needs, please call me at 270-582-2289 or call the church office at 502-239-8405 to speak with Kathy Goodman.
In light of recent recommendations coming from Bishop Fairley, the KY Annual Conference Covid19 Task Force, and Governor Beshear concerning in-person worship services over the next two weeks, FCUMC will be having outdoor worship services for August 2, at 10am. In addition, we will only have the worship team and video crew present on Thursday, July 30, to videotape the full service. The on-line service will be provided as usual for those who need to be home at this time. Once again, we encourage those with high-risk conditions to watch on-line. You may view the online services at our website: ferncreekumc.org, on our FaceBook page, or on the phone app.
We have been in consultation with our Public Health Department and our District Superintendent, John Hatton, in making this decision.
Once again, for those who need to stay home during this time of the Covid19 virus, we encourage you to do so and to join us in worshiping online at ferncreekumc.org or by viewing the services on our phone app or FaceBook page.
Pastor Jim spoke with a representative of the Covid19 Task Force from our Annual Conference. Phase III has been drafted and is undergoing final approval. We look forward to receiving this document soon. This will provide our churches a further guideline for re-starting Sunday School, small groups, and other activities. Stay tuned for further updates.
A few reminders about preparing for coming to worship and arriving to worship:
- We do encourage all of you to take your temperature before coming to worship. If you have a fever, stay home and join in worship via the videotape.
- We encourage you to bring your own mask to wear. We will have masks available if you forget yours or do not have one. We will wear our masks throughout the service.
- There are masks available if you need one near both entrances.
- Only the worship leaders will pull down our masks when speaking or singing.
- By the way, we discovered during last week’s service that you can sing quite well with a mask on.
- We will only have parking in the rear parking area.
- We will have the main glass doors to the Narthex/Sanctuary open as well as the door near the church office that leads to the handicap accessible ramp/hallway.
- Again, there are masks available if you need one near both entrances.
- Touchless hand sanitizers will also be available.
- When you arrive we ask that you move fairly quickly through the narthex area and make your way to the sanctuary.
- Due to our need to practice social distancing, our ushers will help seat you in the sanctuary. We will be seating persons from the front of the church to the rear.
- Family members from the same household can sit side-by-side.
- Our children and youth will remain with their families during the service. We are unable to offer our nursery services or children’s worship during this phase of the re-entry into services. We will update you when this will become available.
- We thank you for your flexibility in the sense that you might not be sitting in your normal area or row. In fact, half of the pews have been marked unavailable in order that we can maintain a safe distance.
- The offering plate will be located in the narthex. It is well-marked. You can leave your offering in the plate as you exit from the service. You can also use our online giving or mail in your offering. Again, thank you for your faithfulness.
- Our bathroom facilities near the sanctuary will be open, but we ask that there be just one person at a time.
- After the service, we will dismiss you row by row.
We know that this sounds like a lot, but we desire to provide the safest worship experience possible. We want to thank you again for your extreme flexibility and adaptability! We look forward to worshipping with you this week!
FCUMC Re-entry to In-person Worship
Please see Pastor Jim’s message on the home page regarding the process, needs, and other information regarding our eventual return to in-person services. This information as well as a survey can also be found on the church APP.
Dates and Guidelines for Re-Entry for In-person Worship
Be sure to watch the video from Pastor Jim above. Included here is the information highlighted by Pastor Jim in his video.
FCUMC’s Re-Entry Plan follows very closely the guidelines set forth by Bishop Fairley’s Covid19 TaskForce’sRe-Entry Plan for UMC Churches of the Kentucky Annual Conference and guidelines set forth by the state of Kentucky. The first two phases of this 3-phase process provide details to prepare for and provide for the re-entry into our church for Worship Services only. At this point we can have no other types of gatherings until we get the go-ahead from Bishop Fairley and the Kentucky Annual Conference in Phase 3.
As we were developing this plan, we were keeping in mind our congregation. We realize that a good percentage of our church family are persons that are the most susceptible and at risk to the Covid19 virus:
- Individuals over 65.
- Individuals with serious underlying health conditions, including high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, obesity and asthma.
- Individuals whose immune system is compromised (Cancer, chemo, radiation…).
We actually fully anticipate for you to continue to worship on-line even beyond our re-entry dates. We will be providing a complete video-taped service on Sunday morning as we have been.
PHASE 1–PREPARING THE FACILITIES FOR RE-ENTRY AND APPEAL FOR VOLUNTEERS
- Over the past month, we have amassed our cleaning supplies–disinfectant, sanitizers, hand sanitizer, and touch-less hand sanitizer dispensers (being shipped now). We have also ordered masks and are having masks made for those who might show up to worship without their own.
- On Monday, June 1, we will be doing a Deep Clean of the church area that we will be using to facilitate our worship services.
- We are also putting together Cleaning Teams to clean (disinfect and sanitize) after each worship service. We need volunteers to clean after our Thursday night and/or Sunday morning worship times.
- If you would like to volunteer to help do the Deep Clean or to serve on a Cleaning Team, please call or text Cheryl Giltner at 502-727-6531.
- We also need volunteers to serve as Ushers and Greeters. Due to the fact that some of our current volunteers will need to be home longer, we need others to help.
- You can volunteer to serve at either the Thursday evening or Sunday morning worship service.
- To volunteer to be an Usher, call or text Sylvia Culler at 502-523-3211.
- To volunteer to be a Greeter, call or text Stephanie Culver at 502-836-2213.
PHASE 2–RE-ENTRY FOR WORSHIP SERIVCES
DATES TO BEGIN IN-PERSON WORSHIP SERVICES
Thursday, June 4 (6:30pm)
Sunday, June 7 (10:00am)
- The two services will be nearly identical–a semi-blended service offering elements of both the Contemporary and Traditional Services.
- It is in our heart to provide some preferred elements of worship for all within the congregation.
- We are thankful for your graciousness and flexibility during this time. Again, this is just for a temporary time period.
MASKS—All persons attending in-person worship will have to wear a mask throughout the service. (Exception: it is recommended that children 2 and under do not wear a mask.)
- We strongly encourage you to bring your own mask.
- We will have masks available in case you need one.
SOCIAL DISTANCING IN SANCTUARIES, FACILITIES AND OTHER DETAILS
- We will need to maintain 6 feet of social distancing…inside and outside the church.
- Sanctuary—Every other pew will be open to sit in.
- We will also have to space appropriately upon each pew. Ushers will be assisting.
- Members from the same household can sit side-by-side and are highly encouraged to.
- Children and Youth will remain in the sanctuary for the entire service.
- We will have a “Children’s Moment” in the sanctuary but will not have Children’s Worship.
- Children’s Worship will be available during a future phase.
- Unfortunately, we will not be able to do our hugs, handshakes, or to pass out items.
- We will have the offering plates on stands in the Narthex of the church. As you exit the sanctuary, you may place your offering in one of the plates.
- We also encourage you to give on-line, on the church app, or mail in your offering. Thank you for your faithfulness and generosity.
- The bathroom facilities will be limited to one person at a time. A cleaning volunteer will be posted outside to enter to clean after one exits the bathroom.
We are asking all of staff and those leading or volunteering to take their temperature before coming. This is actually requested for all to do. If you are sick, please stay home and watch the service on-line.
As you come to the service, we will only have our back parking lot open.
- We will also only have two entry points which are the main set of glass doors and the double doors by the office to access the ramp for those in need of this.
- We ask you not to mingle in the narthex (greeting area) but to move fairly quickly into the sanctuary.
If you have the phone app, there are three survey questions that you can answer. Go to the phone app homepage. Hit the person figure at the top right and this will take you to the next page. Scroll down and you will see these three individual surveys:
- Open Response feedback to church
- Volunteer question
- Return to service question
If you do not have the phone app, you can answer the question concerning “Return to service question” by emailing the church office with your response to the following:
After watching the information (or reading) from Pastor Jim what is your decision about attending services:
- Attend Thursday night services at 6:30pm starting June 4
- Attend Sunday morning services at 10:00am starting June 7.
- Continue watching services online from home.
You may also volunteer to be part of a Cleaning Team or serve as an usher or greeter by calling or texting:
- Deep Clean and/or Cleaning Team: Cheryl Giltner 502-727-6531
- Ushers: Sylvia Culler 502-523-3211
- Greeters: Stephanie Culver 502-836-2213
We know that these things are a major adjustments for all of us. Thank you all for your wonderful attitude and spirit as we start back in-person worship in a limited degree. Also, we will remain flexible and adaptable during this time of the Covid19 virus.
For other details or questions concerning the FCUMC Plan for Re-Entry for In-person Worship Services, please feel free to call Pastor Jim at 270-585-2289 or email him. Thank you again for “Being the Church!”
Check out our What’s Happening Page to see current announcements related to Church and local community activities and updates.
Stay up-to-date with the pandemic by visiting the State’s site for the most recent news regarding Kentucky’s response to the COVID 19 virus. https://govstatus.egov.com/kycovid19
Be safe and while at home during this time, take time to read the Bible, devotionals and other uplifting materials. Being in the Word as Christians, we know God has a plan for all of this and we are covered by Him. When going out, take precautions from the CDC and follow the safety measures to help prevent exposure. Please check out the following for safety measures: So as we practice social distancing, as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends
Concerning the matter of having an online meeting, our youth leaders are currently providing a Google Hangout so the Youth Group can continue to have online meetings and Bible studies!
We also give thanks for your faithful giving to God during this time. In lieu of not being able to physically place your offering in the plates at church, we encourage you to go to our church web-site and click on “giving,” or mail in your offerings to the church. Thank you for your faithfulness!
During these days, we encourage our FCUMC family to take time to pray more fervently, to study His Word, and to reach out to one another and your neighbors through phone calls, sending cards, texts, and other means like these. Let us “Be the Church” for such a time as this. Once again, we encourage anyone who has a need for supplies, food, or any other necessities to please call us at the church at 502-239-8405 or Jim Kingry at 270-585-2289.
We want to thank the Fern Creek UMC Family for your wonderful spirit of cooperation in this time. We thank you for all the phone calls and texts offering your help. Continue to stay tuned for other announcements as the situation remains very fluid and changing. All glory and praise to God!
Personal Reflections from Pastor Jim
As your pastor, I want you to know that my heart breaks over the entire situation—this very aggressive and deadly virus, the loss of life and health, of not having services, the concern for the most vulnerable, and also the concern for those who don’t know Jesus. I have struggled to sleep in grappling and praying over this situation (which Shelia can attest to). As the Bishop says, we are the church regardless if we are in a building or not. May this be a time that we can share the Gospel and the love of Christ in new and different ways. Personally, I have already made many more phone calls than usual checking on our shut-ins, the sick, and offering various ways that we might help.
One other constant thought that I have had over these past few days, is that with the shut-down of all major sports (the NCAA tournament, the High School Sweet 16)–which I dearly love to watch and follow and spend hours doing so has freed up a good chunk of time for me–time that can be spent diving deeper into the Word and interceding in prayer. What if all of us used this extra time in the evening/day to spend more time with God–to not only pray for others but to pray for revival and awakening in our community? Perhaps sometimes God just has to make us “be still and know that He is God.” I for one, want to use these troublesome, crazy times to draw closer to Him. I encourage you to take advantage of this time and seek Him more deeply as well. I love each of you dearly! Let us love Him and serve Him like we have never before!