Copy
          Cutting off on the bottom? View this email in your browser

The Connection

A weekly newsletter from United Methodist Church of Lenox
A NOTE FROM THE PASTOR

Today’s prayer

God who does the making and saving,
guides us in this difficult season. 
Even as we falter and fail, you offer us mercy and love.
Help us to remember we were made for this time. 
Encourage us not to not avoid the struggle,
but to walk toward the hurting places 
where we can ourselves be a blessing as you have blessed us.
Amen.
 

By Beth DiCocco, Conference Director of Communications
Ephesians 2:1-10

 

Fourth Sunday in Lent : UMCOR Sunday


UMCOR Sunday provides major support for immediate assistance in the wake of natural and human-caused disasters and helps support ongoing ministries of food, shelter, health and peace. UMCOR Sunday giving allows 100 percent of designated gifts to be used for the specified disaster response or other ministry. If you want to support this special offering, you may send the offering for UMCOR to the church and we will send them together .


If you visit the link below or dial this number by your phone, you can join the worship at 10:00am.

*Join Zoom Meeting
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/5827712073
 

Meeting ID: 582 771 2073
Password: 298223

*Dial by your location
        +1 646 558 8656 US 

Meeting ID: 582 771 2073 

 

Virtual Coffee Hour

We are starting a Virtual Coffee Hour on Sundays at 9:30am and 11:00am through Zoom Video/Audio Conferencing!
Before and after the worship service, you can join the virtual coffee hour via zoom to check in with folks from church. Let’s catch up with newcomers and friends. Bring your coffee for time to chat and check-in!! From this room, people will be grouped into smaller groups, if we have many folks at once.

 

Christian Education Book Study Group

"Why Easter Matters" has 4 sessions, video and group discussion. Please let Jill Wehry or Pastor know if you want to join. Tuesdays 6:30-7:30, via Zoom. You may find the same number for the worship service above.

March 16th, we will read and discuss chapter 4.

Church Schedule 

* Bible Study - Wed 10am ( Gospel of the Mark )
 

* Office Hours

. Pastor Nami working from home ( Tue-Fri, 9am-5pm and Sat 9am-2pm) - available to reach out phone call (442-6314) or email ( lenoxumc@gmail.com)

 

.Kathy, Administration Assistant working in the church office Tue (11am – 2pm) and Fri (9am – 12pm) Hours are flexible so please call church office (445-5918) or email (umcl@verizon.net) to make sure she is working

 



* Next Sunday Worship Service ( March 21) - Contemporary worship service led by Tom Cairns and worship team.

Last Sunday, Pastor officiated the service of Celebration for the Life of Richard M. Paul at Dwyer Wellington Funeral Home and led a prayer at the graveside service. Thanks for sending all of your prayers to him.





Reopening letter

Our Church Council met last night to discuss re-opening our church with limited in-person worship.  We reviewed the recommendations from the NE Conf Reentry team.  We have invested in additional equipment to provide interactive worship services via Zoom and with that doing outdoor services does not allow us to serve all of our congregants.  We had created a plan and guidelines last fall and re-opened for a few months with 20-25 folks in attendance and others online via zoom.  This worked well with our procedures.  We are planning to re-open on Mar 28 with the same procedures and processes. While we understand that this is not per the recommendations we feel that quite a few of our congregants have been vaccinated and with our previous procedures we are minimizing risk.  Since we will have both in-person and Zoom it will allow anyone not comfortable coming to church to continue to worship from home.  Our cases in Berkshire county have dropped back to single digits daily which is consistent with last Fall.  I have attached our Protocol for Church opening and Covid Commandments as reference. We will continue to monitor cases daily and close in-person if cases rise significantly. 
 

PROTOCOL FOR CHURCH RE-OPENING

DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

 

I.    WORSHIP SERVICE

Prior to Opening

·       Prior to the church re-opening the sanctuary pews will be designated (marked) to accomplish social distancing.

·       All pew cushions and tissue containers will be removed and stored.  

·       The fellowship hall will be arranged with chairs following social distancing guidelines, as needed.

·       Face masks and hand sanitizer will be purchased and be available at entrance to church.

Traffic Flow

·       Entering and seating - Traffic cones will be arranged at the entrance to the church to direct people to the sanctuary. There will also be a designated person to direct attendees into the sanctuary.  When the sanctuary is full then the doors to the sanctuary will be closed and the traffic cones be will arranged to direct people to the fellowship hall.

·       Close of service - At the close of service a procedure will be followed to exit the church in a manner which will minimize contact.

o   The fellowship hall will exit first starting with the row closest to the sanctuary and ending with the row at the back of the hall.

o   The sanctuary will then exit beginning with the last row and ending with the frontmost row.

Worship Service

·       Hand Sanitizer – Hand sanitizer will be dispensed at the entrance.

·       Temperature Checks -Temperatures will be taken of all entering the church.

·       Face masks – Face masks will be required and worn in order to attend service.  Masks will be available for attendees if needed.

·       Social distancing – Social distancing will also be required. 

o   There will be no hand shaking or hugging.

o   Social distancing must also be maintained in the altar area between pastor, the pianist, and any others participating in the worship service. The lecterns will have transparent face shields.

·       Worship service program - All those seated in the sanctuary and fellowship hall can follow the worship service program via the overhead projection. 

·       Offering – The offering will not be collected during worship service, instead, an offering plate will be placed on the table outside the sanctuary into which offerings may be made. Those tallying the offering must wear face masks and gloves.

·       Children’s time – There will be no children’s time nor Sunday school.

·       Music -To maintain social distancing in the altar area with the pastor, organist, liturgist, and audio/visual person there will be no choir in the initial re-opening.

Special music can be part of the service if it is performed by a single person who comes to the altar only to perform.  There must a minimum of 17 feet between the performer and the first row of congregation.

Congregational singing is not encouraged per guidelines.

·       Liturgist and reader - The liturgist will also be the reader.

·       Communion – There will be no communion during the initial re-opening.

Following Service

·       Fellowship time – There will be no coffee service or fellowship time following worship service during the initial re-opening.

·       Offering Deposit – The offering collection will be counted in the fellowship hall.  Two 8’ banquet tables will be placed in the fellowship hall on the windowed side. The tables will be 10’ apart and each table will have 1 chair at either end to maintain social distancing.

General Information

·       Cleaning and disinfecting - All public restrooms will be disinfected following the service. All pews will be disinfected following the service. 

·       Space usage - To minimize the potential for contamination throughout the church and to minimize the cleaning and disinfecting process, only the sanctuary, fellowship hall, and restrooms will be available for use on Sundays. It is recommended that any space should be used only once per day if possible. If  it is necessary to use a space twice in the same day then a period of 4 hours between meetings should be maintained to provide sufficient time for disinfecting as needed.

·       On-Line services – Worship services will continue to be offered on-line for those who choose not to attend in person.

 

II.   Use of Ancillary Spaces 

Ancillary spaces include the choir room, youth room, library, classrooms, nursery, and kitchen.

To minimize the need for special cleaning and disinfecting during the covid-19 pandemic the use of ancillary spaces will be limited. 

The only gatherings that will be allowed at this time are internal committee meetings and bible studies.  Until further notice the fellowship hall will be the only space used for the meetings and bible studies.

·       Attendance – Attendance is limited to no more than 25 people.

·       Face coverings – Face coverings must be worn at all times.

·       Social distancing – Social distancing is mandatory.

·       Cleaning and disinfecting – It is the responsibility of the meeting coordinator to assure that all areas and surfaces that have been used and all touch points, ie door knobs, etc. will be disinfected after each meeting and before leaving the building.  This includes the entry and foyer area.  Cleaning products will be available within the hall. 

·       Scheduling – It is the responsibility of the activity coordinator to assure there is no more than one gathering scheduled at a time and that there is adequate time between meetings for the area to be disinfected.

 

III. Church Offices

Cleaning products will be placed in the pastor’s office and the administrative assistant’s office for disinfecting following the use of the offices.

 

IV.  Food Pantry

This community effort will continue to function on Saturdays from 10am – 11am.  We encourage minimal foot traffic within the building.

·       Face coverings – Face coverings must be worn at all times.

·       Social distancing – Social distancing is mandatory.

·       Cleaning and disinfecting – The foyer area, entry, and restrooms will be cleaned and disinfected after the food pantry is closed each Saturday.

We discourage any use or entry into the church any time after the Saturday cleaning and disinfecting as it has been readied for Sunday morning worship service.

 

Church Re-opening

Due to the Corona Virus we are changing how in-person services will be conducted.  These are being called the Covid Commandments.

COVID Commandments

1)    Thou shall wear a mask while on church grounds and inside church.  Only exception will be people in the altar area.

2)   Thou shall have a temperature check before entering church for service.  Anyone with elevated temp greater than 100.4 will be sent home.

3)    Thou shall maintain social distancing while entering/exiting and during service.  Minimum6ft apart from others.

4)    Thou shall be provided hand sanitizer upon entry to church.

5)    Thou shall sit where the usher escorts you to. Social distancing can be maintained by sitting in marked spots.

6)    Thou shall not sing but enjoy the person at altar singing.

7)    No communion will be performed until the pandemic is over.

8)    The offertory will be set up to collect contributions when entering/exiting church.

9)     There will be no children’s moment, Sunday school, or babysitting.

10)        Thou shall not shake hands or hug our brothers/sisters in Christ.  

 

 

These safety measures are required to keep everyone safe at church.  Hopefully we can return to normal sometime in the future but we thank you for your cooperation during this time. People not comfortable attending in person will be able to continue to partake in on-line services currently offered.



m.

Visit our Website! Visit our Website!
Contact Us! Contact Us!
Share on Facebook Share on Facebook
Tweet Tweet
Forward to a Friend Forward to a Friend
Copyright © 2019 United Methodist Church of Lenox
                           All rights reserved.


Our mailing address is:
United Methodist Church of Lenox, 6 Holmes Road, Lenox, MA 01240, 413-445-5918
Opt-in Explanation
Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Do you have an event to share?  Email details to box1655@yahoo.com; deadline is
Tuesday at 5 p.m.






This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
United Methodist Church of Lenox · 6 Holmes Road · Lenox, MA 01240 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp