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The church building is closed until further notice... we are deployed into the community!
Leave us a message at 304-263-2788
How can church re-open? When will church re-open?
The church building may be closed, but we have never stopped working as the church together! “The church is not a building," as the song goes, and we are learning new ways to connect and worship and hold one another in God's love. These new forms of reaching people in their homes will help us from here on out, long after the pandemic threat has subsided.
Priority One: Strengthening the new connections across our community and helping everyone have access by phone or internet to our St Luke’s UMC circle of compassion and care.
We will continue checking on one another by phone; helping others connect to our worship opportunities, prayer meetings, and Christian Education opportunities. These are all vital connections for growth now, and we must not wait for business as usual to share the good news in these ways.
Many of us are praying about the best practices for re-opening the building for worship at St Luke’s. It will take a special team with gifts of compassion and care to help all those who may want to worship in the church building. For example, minimizing touches for our member and guests with door handles, and offering instruction for all before they enter the buildings will require greeters, ushers, and helpers assisting in new and intentional ways before and after services.
Let us not rush.
Nobody is expected to come worship in the church simply because others may be led to open and serve in this capacity. We will continue to broadcast our worship services each Sunday morning for the community, and I encourage you to take care of your family and the needs of your situation.
Priority Two: Building a willing, trained, and ready team of hosts and helpers for welcoming and guiding neighbors and members who will eventually come back inside the church for worship.
For you that have expressed interest in serving like this, I invite you to continue in prayer for discernment as we learn, listen, and look for best practices moving forward. Is serving like this best for you and your family members? Think about it, pray about it… and begin learning with us in through some the resources listed below: Please contact us in the office and tell us you would like to serve if you are sensing a call to help us host worshipers in the building.
We are especially praying for helpers knowledgable and willing in the gifts of…
Medical and safety wisdom
Greeters/ushering gifts and abilities
Cleaning and sanitizing servants
Worship team members to host others
Check out these valuable team resources:
Other great wisdom and resources:
Our Annual Conference
The BWC's response to the COVID-19 pandemic
Churches within the Baltimore-Washington Conference have been meeting remotely for worship for three weeks. This week, following the mandates of area governmental officials, Bishop LaTrelle Easterling has directed BWC churches to continue to meet off-site through April 26 in order to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
Annual Conference Notes
Due to closures at the Marriott Waterfront Hotel in Baltimore, the 236th Session of the Annual Conference, scheduled for May 27-29, is postponed. A one-day session is being planned for the fall at a location to be determined. Refunds for those already registered will be provided.
The Pre-Conference Briefing, scheduled for April 18 at 9:30 a.m., has been canceled. In its place, a virtual State of the Church meeting will be held online. Information on financial relief for local churches from the Board of Pensions and other information will be presented and a questions and answer session will be held with leaders of the Baltimore-Washington Conference. Register online.
The United Methodist Church
Around the WORLD
The General Conference of The United Methodist Church, scheduled for May 5,15 in Minneapolis, has been canceled. Organizers are making plans for how it might be re-scheduled. The General Council on Finance and Administration has reported the denomination will continue to function under the 2016-2020 budget. Learn more.
All United Methodists are encouraged to continue to practice good stewardship, giving their tithes and offerings electronically. To assist local churches, the Conference Board of Pensions is waiving local church benefit obligations for three months. These benefits include Employer Pension Premiums (CRSP-DB, CRSP-DC, and CPP/UMLife Option) and Employer HealthFlex Premiums ($860/month per participant). Conference leaders will also offer grants and loans to churches experiencing financial difficulties. Learn more.