Auburn UMC’s Coronavirus Response

Dear friends,

I give thanks for our Covid-19 Task Force for helping shape our Phase-In Plan. Please read below to discover the 5 Phases.  Also take time to read the FAQ document that supplements our plan. We are currently in Phase 2 and hope to move forward through the phases when the virus decreases in our area. Most importantly, continue to pray for our healthcare workers, first responders, those in our church infected with the virus, and the many in our nation and world who are preparing an effective vaccine for the virus. Thank you for the many ways you continue to “Offer Christ, Nurture Others, and Serve All, transforming the world with the love and grace of Jesus Christ.”

God Bless,

Cory

Phase 1 is the way we began living in mid-March when restaurants, schools, gyms, and churches closed their doors to in-person gatherings. As you recall, this is the phase when we began using terms such as “social distancing” and “flattening the curve.” For most ministries in this phase the key word is “online.” In this phase, we have discovered wonderful technology such as Zoom, Facebook Groups, Vimeo, and other forms of social media. This is also the phase that requires intentional time making phone calls, writing notes, keeping up with neighbors and most importantly, wearing masks and remaining socially distant.

Phase 2 is where we are today! The key part of this phase is that a decline in cases must be occurring locally. Small groups may gather following guidelines as outlined above. The staff will return to the building on a limited basis during this phase

Phase 3 happens when a downward trend in new cases of Covid19 is noticed and widely reported in our local area. As the decline of cases continues over a 14-day trend, gatherings of small groups may expand their numbers to 25 or less. In this phase, Sunday schools may consider meeting offsite. Drive-in worship may happen. More possibilities exist for each area of our church to gather. Phase 3 is designed as the preparation stage for moving to Phase 4

In Phase 4, the building will open for in-person gatherings, and more of the staff will be able to return to work during the week. As we open the doors of the building for worship, we will follow the Alabama-West Florida Guidelines. We pray we will be able to enter this phase in the safest way so we can allow people to see one another and worship again as an in-person congregation. Our online worship will continue for those unable to gather in person.

During Phase 5 we will sing, hug, and embrace our friends for in-person worship. A vaccine will be available and conditions for distancing from others will no longer determine our plans for worship and ministry. Join us in praying daily for an end to the virus and the development of an effective vaccine.