Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It has been quite a journey the past few months! In the past four months, as a church, we have pivoted to take all of our ministries online, and we are so proud of the creativity and resilience you all have demonstrated! Almost all of our Sunday School classes and small groups are now meeting weekly to grow in faith together. We have reached people across the United States and world through online worship, and we have participated in several mission opportunities, including Project Transformation, Feed Our Kids, and Helping Hands. Thanks to God’s generosity and yours, we have been able to hold steady financially.
That being said, we acknowledge the past few months of not worshiping in person, meeting with groups online only, and doing pastoral care solely through phone calls has been exceedingly difficult for all of us. We, pastor, and the staff know you are hurting, grieving, frustrated, and overwhelmed, and that you are seeking connections that remind you of the love and hope found in Christ. We all want to return to on-campus worship, small groups, and activities that we miss.
However, because of the real threat to human life, the decisions of our Task Force and Executive Board were driven by data rather than desire. The numbers of new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in Texas are reaching alarming rates. The recent mandate from Governor Abbott requiring masks and no outdoor or indoor gatherings above 10 people affirmed our leadership teams’ recognition of the need to proceed with caution in regards to how and when to resume in-person worship and gatherings.
Our Task Force spent the last six weeks developing a detailed phased reopen plan. The plan has been approved by our Executive Board and our District Superintendent. In fact, our District Superintendent said, “This is one of the best protocols I’ve seen.” Below you will see a few highlights from the plan including: 1) Outline of the phased reopening; 2) Our guiding principles for reopening; 3) Brief overview of the remainder of the plan. Please remember that this plan is a living document, and it is subject to change if the need arises.
Our hope is to resume in-person church gatherings in a way that does no harm and loves God and neighbor well. Thank you for your continued support, grace, and patience, and thank you for sharing God’s love!
Grace and Peace,
Pastor Mike and Katie
FUMC Colleyville Reopen Plan Summary
The gradual re-entry into our FUMC Colleyville campus will occur in five phases with incremental engagement and access to our campus. Online worship and ministry will continue through each phase. Each phase includes the previous additions from earlier phases.
The outline below highlights the current state of the campus reentry actions and plans:
- Phase 1: All ministries online.
- Phase 2a: Internal adult and youth groups allowed to meet outside on church grounds, with strict safety guidelines, and an online option. The maximum number will be determined by government mandate.
- Phase 2b: Internal adult and youth groups allowed to meet inside church in groups of 10 people or less, with strict safety guidelines, and an online option.
- Phase 3: Worship on campus with strict safety guidelines, in addition to online worship. Adult and youth groups can meet inside the church building, with the maximum number determined by government mandate.
- Phase 4: External groups can begin to meet at the church.
- Phase 5: Children’s ministry programming resumes in the church building.
What are our church’s guiding principles for reopening?
Your health and safety are critically important to us. Therefore, our re-entry will be guided by our mission statement, the United Methodist Church, Central Texas Conference directives, government mandates, and Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations. As a church, we want to be data driven, not driven by our desires. We recognize the need to monitor cases in both Tarrant and Dallas counties, given Colleyville’s proximity to the county line. We will use Dallas Public Health’s system of four levels of risk (see image below) to as our determining factor for a phased reopening.
Phase 2a will go into effect after a 14-day decline of documented new cases in Tarrant and Dallas counties. Phase 2b will go into effect when risk level moves from Red to Orange. Phase 3 will go into effect once the risk level moves Orange to Yellow. The timeline for additional phases is TBD. At this time, we are using the Dallas Public Health levels of risk as our guide; however, this is subject to change if the need arises.
The full reopen plan includes more specific details regarding hygiene, hospitality, in-person worship, and groups. Once we move to Phase 2, each person participating in an in-person church gathering must adhere to the “Loving Agreement for Reopening,” and each group meeting on-campus must agree to FUMCC Small Group Gathering Guidelines. To view the full reopen plan and the Loving Agreement, click here.