Welcome to autumn,
“They might not need me; but they might. I’ll let my head be just in sight; a smile as small as mine might be precisely their necessity.” – Emily Dickinson
I am deeply grateful to all who are helping UMCA with its drive-in and online services. It takes a small army to make these happen, and that is no less true as we return to ‘in-person’ worship for our early Sunday morning 8:15 am worship service which begins a week from tomorrow, Sunday, September 27th. Communion will not be offered on a weekly basis, but once-a-month for the duration of the pandemic, using the same method which is used at the drive-in service. If you plan to attend this worship opportunity, please consult the ‘COVID Precautions at Worship’ guide which is attached. We don’t want anyone to be surprised or unprepared for the protocols which the Council has approved to make this a safe sanctuary for all who attend. I look forward to seeing you there!
As we gather tomorrow, we will reflect on Jesus’ parable of ‘Workers Hired throughout the Day.’ (Matthew 20:1-16). God’s grace is freely offered not only to those who are faithful from youth, but also to those who open their hearts to God later in life. The Day of Salvation for us is any day we invite the Holy Spirit into our lives! I have attached a Worship Guide for tomorrow’s service (pdf and Word), along with a copy of last week’s message. The church parking lot will open at 9:30 am tomorrow morning for drive-in worship at 10 am. As is our recent practice, the worship service will be live-streamed on the church facebook page and posted to the church website for later viewing (www.auburnmethodist.org).
The church office is open Monday through Friday, 9 am to 12 n. Please wear a face covering whenever you visit. I will be returning to ‘pastor office hours’ on Tuesdays, beginning October 7th, from 9 am to 12 n. As always, you can reach me at h(207) 753-1275.
I am thankful to all the program and administrative committees which have met or are scheduled to meet over the next month to consider how we fulfill the mission of the church during this challenging time. I was reminded this week that though a pandemic may change the world, a Vision or an idea (in harmony with God’s purpose) can change it just as powerfully! Please note on your calendar that our annual UMCA church conference will be held on Sunday, November 8th, 2 pm, via zoom. DS Rev. Karen Munson, Many Waters District, will preside. All members have vote and all who attend have voice. Closer to that time, I will send out an invitation link to the parish list.
May your first day of fall be blessed,
Pastor Steve Bascom
COVID Precautions for 8:15 am Worship
The UMCA Church Council has made arrangements for a third worship option in addition to the 10:00 am drive-in worship and online. On 9/27 at 8:15 am, the early worship service will resume in the sanctuary. In order to protect worshipers’ health and safety, CDC guidelines will be in place. If you plan to attend, please review the following changes and be prepared to put them into practice.
~ Only the entrance near the parking lot will be available.
~ The temperature of all worshipers will be measured with a digital thermometer upon entering the building.
~ Face coverings will be required for all adults and youth.
~ Hand sanitizer will be available near the entrance to remove hand contaminants before accessing materials.
~ Restrooms will be available for one person at a time.
~ Worshipers will maintain a 6’ distance from each other in all areas of the campus.
~ There will be no coffee fellowship. Conversations and socializing will occur outside.
~ In order to maintain 6’ distancing in the sanctuary, worshipers will need to find seating at designated locations. Shared household groups may sit together in one location. Maximum attendance will not exceed 50.
~ Pew seating pads, hymnals, Bibles, etc. have been removed to avoid contamination and facilitate sanitizing. Printed worship guides will be available for pick-up.
~ Although there will be no congregational singing, music will be provided instrumentally, electronically and from the pulpit/lectern. Humming is a safe option.
~ Pastor Steve will wear a face shield.