Update on COVID-19 Response
March 19th, 2020
Grace and peace friends,
I hope you are doing well and experiencing peace during this time of disruption and upheaval. I wanted to update you all on the current situation with the coronavirus and our congregation. In line with the orders of the CDC, the MN Department of Health, and the recommendation from the Bishop and the MN Annual Conference, I am suspending worship at Gethsemane UMC until May 17th, 2020. This is my decision in light of their recommendation to suspend gatherings of 50+ people for 8 weeks. I hope and pray that we can have a momentous, glory-filled worship on Sunday, May 17th!
That being said, we are working on creative ways for us to stay connected and in relationship through this time of uncertainty. So please, stay tuned to our Facebook page and gum.church as we work on offering you new ways to worship from the comfort of your own home!
Another important point is to remain informed. There are so many stories and misinformation being spread to create fear in people, here are some resources that offer reliable information:
- https://www.npr.org/podcasts/510355/coronavirusdaily – This is a 10 minute podcast that updates in the afternoon.
- https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html – The CDC’s official website, if there are best practices for understanding symptoms, they would be posted here.
- https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html – MN Department of Health’s website where they monitor and update the situation in our home state. There are also resources here.
- https://www.minnesotaumc.org/covid-19-preparedness – This is the United Methodist Church of Minnesota’s official page for updating our churches on the virus and best practices.
- This video also helps explain the current situation and why the quarantine measures we’ve seen put in place are so important: What This Chart Actually Means for COVID-19
Friends, these are unprecedented times. I am doing my best to protect and support our community. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns; please reach out. I am here for you. I also ask that you be there for each other. Check in with your friends, ask them how they are feeling, give them the space to express their frustrations.
I’ve been asking three simple things in my conversations with people:
- Share a high and a low (or ask, “Where have you seen God lately?”)
- Share a prayer request
- Tell me about your experience
Please continue to keep our country and our world in prayer as we live into trhe resurrection this Lenten season.
Pastor David Hodd