April 22, 2020 at 1:39 pm
Comments Off on COVID-19 Closure Update
You may have seen recent news reports about Colleyville Mayor Richard Newton signing an executive order to reopen churches. The executive order, as it relates to houses of worship, states: “Religious services conducted in churches, congregations, and houses of worship are no longer prohibited by the declaration; provided that physical distancing still applies and such services should, whenever possible be conducted through remote audio, visual, or teleconference means.”
First United Methodist Church of Colleyville will continue gathering online only for worship and ministries until further notice. Our bishop stated that Governor Abbott’s executive orders issued on April 17, 2020 do not change the state’s policies under the Guidelines for Houses of Worship during the COVID-19 Crisis. As such, Bishop Lowry and the cabinet declared that in-person worship and meetings for Central Texas Conference churches remain suspended, with services and ministries being held online only.
Additionally, in a phone call Pastor Mike and Pastor Katie had with the mayor on Tuesday April 21, Mayor Newton recommended churches continue to gather online only for the next few weeks.
We know that many of you are anxious to gather in person for worship, and we are too! However, the health and safety of our congregation is of utmost priority. CDC guidelines acknowledge that people with compromised immune systems and those 65 and over are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 and need to avoid large gatherings. That means more than half our congregation would be put at risk by coming to church.
We would also have to enforce strict social distancing measures, which would be a hardship for many of our members. While we all want to go back to Sunday morning as usual, hosts greeting us at the doors in face masks and gloves, no bulletins, coffee, or donuts(!), no choir in the choir loft/smaller band in the Event Center, sitting in pews six feet apart, and no Sunday school classes in enclosed rooms, is not Sunday morning as usual. Therefore, we will continue to gather remotely until it is deemed safe for ALL of us to gather in person by our health officials, government, and bishop.
In the meantime, please know we are praying for you, and we are here for you. Please let us know if there is any way that we can support you and your family.
Grace and Peace,
Pastor Mike and Pastor Katie