“… there’s a hard truth to be told. Before spring becomes beautiful, it’s plug-ugly, nothing but mud and muck… Of course, there’s a miracle inside that muddy mess: those fields are a seedbed for rebirth.” (source)
As I sat staring at the images of your church staff on my screen during our weekly staff meeting, I shared the article from which the above quote is taken. Just two weekends ago I utilized one of my vacation Sundays, and I got some mud on my new hiking shoes as I enjoyed the first warm weekend of the spring.
As we continue to move through this pandemic season, it has felt for me as though the proverbial “winter” was long, with every bit of hope quickly dashed by grim statistics and dire predictions. But ushered in with meteorological spring was the hope of “pandemic spring” as vaccines roll-out and numbers begin to trend in the long awaited downward.
But we’ve been through enough Ohio springs to realize that the sharp shock of winter’s reprise is never far from our minds. So it is with the pandemic; we are encouraged, but we remain cautious and careful, which that puts us squarely in the mud. We continue to move forward, but our path is not always clean and clear. And yet! We are hopeful!
In that hope, Administrative Council met on March 23rd to discuss potential plans for reopening to life “in-person” in the next weeks.
Easter and Worship
On Easter Sunday, we invite you to register for our in person, outdoor sunrise worship at 7 a.m. Details for worship will be sent after your registration confirmation.
We believe strongly in our statement of inclusion which states, “Linworth UMC has a rich tradition of being a welcoming place for all people to worship God in a loving community of faith.” In light of that belief, we have made the decision to plan for our first in-person, indoor worship service to be held on May 23rd, Pentecost Sunday, when all for whom the Covid19 vaccine is safe have had the opportunity to receive the status of “fully vaccinated.”
Until May 23rd we will resume (weather-dependent) outdoor worship which utilizes multiple layers of Covid protocols (wearing masks, bringing our own seats/chairs, maintaining social distancing, available sanitizer, limited registration, and more) each Sunday at 8:30 a.m. The registration for those services will be available weekly and will open after Easter.
As for our life together, we will re-open our office for staff to work, but we ask that you continue to make appointments before visiting. I have been encouraged by how much connection has been fostered via Zoom, email, note-writing, and call-making, and I think we can continue to do this just a bit longer.
Ministries and Gatherings
The staff will be contacting those who lead missions and ministries that provide essential services to marginalized populations in our local community. While we will surely see an increase in outdoor gatherings (youth group, MOPs, etc.) on our property, we will still limit indoor gatherings for the time being. We ask that if you or your group would like to meet (either indoors or outdoors on LUMC property) that you call the office so we can fully support your ministry and fellowship.
More details will be shared in the coming weeks. As always, please reach out to your pastors and staff if we can support you or answer any questions.
We encourage you to keep your safety protocols high, receive the vaccine if you and your healthcare providers have deemed it safe to do so, pray without ceasing, and check in on those you love.