Advent Worship Plan

Since the last Ad Board meeting where we decided we hoped to get back inside for Advent, we have received a couple of new pieces of guidance from state leadership. Governor Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health released a new wave of restrictions on public gathering spaces and new recommendations. Alongside those new guidelines, our Bishop also released a statement giving guidance to the United Methodist churches of Michigan on what we should do for the Advent and Christmas season.
…(continue reading for full update)
Taking the Bishop and Governor’s recommendations seriously, the Ad Boards of Hopkins and South Monterey have come to the tough decision to remain virtual through the end of December. This means that Advent through Christmas will be held on Zoom. This is disappointing for all of us. I know how much we would all love to be back to normal inside worshiping like we are used to. Zoom worship is not the same and does not spark the same joy and comfort, but we are working to bring some joy, cheer, and advent feelings to you at home and during our Zoom services. We will try some new things and find Christ’s peace in new and important ways during this year of ongoing upheaval.

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Worship Update: In-Person Gatherings cancelled, worshiping virtually

Due to rising numbers and risk levels in Allegan county and the whole state, along with a few active cases within our church family (no known direct contact at church), the Ad Board has decided that it is time, again, to put a pause on gathering in-person and have closed our buildings to all activities except the Food Pantry until further notice. As such, we are back to virtual worship starting Sunday, November 1. Zoom connection information below!

I pray that we will feel the movement of the Spirit amongst us even though we will be spread farther apart than usual. May we continue to use our worship muscles and feel God’s presence in new ways. I pray that God will help us to create sacred space wherever we are when we need to connect to you.

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Fall Worship Plan

The Ad Board has decided that we will return to worship inside. We hope for this to stick for the whole Fall season, but it is subject to change if the virus conditions change.

Starting October 4th we will return to our usual Fall schedule and split to the two services at the separate buildings, 9:30am at South Monterey and 11am at Hopkins.

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Summer Worship Plan

The Hopkins UMC Ad-Board met on July 13 to discuss our worship plan for the rest of the summer. We considered the most recent updates on COVID-19 (numbers and safety recommendations) as well as our location options, capabilities of sanitation and distancing, the risk of our congregants, and the comfort level of those we had heard from. The decision is at follows
… (click continue reading for more on how we came to these decisions)

Summary

Plan A (Good weather)
10am – Worship at Common Ground
6:30pm – Online Fellowship (Zoom)
7pm – Zoom Worship

Plan B (Bad weather)
10am – Zoom Worship for everyone
After service – Fellowship time

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In-Person Gatherings Suspended

Following the advice of public health officials and Bishop Bard’s recommendation, Hopkins and South Monterey UMCs will suspend in-person worship services and other gatherings for the rest of March, and perhaps longer. We take this step as a way of doing our part to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

We are not canceling church-we are being flexible about the way we gather together.

In addition to suspending public worship, Senior Meals, Ladies Rejoice, Book Study, and Adult Sunday School will not meet until further notice.

Our Food Pantry will continue to operate Wednesdays from 10-12 and 5-7 but with additional precautions and procedures to limit physical interaction.

Even in this season where we are called to social distancing, we will find ways to be the people of God gathered together; we will hold weekly worship Sundays at 10am on the Zoom platform. If you would like information on joining our Zoom worship, please contact Pastor Andrew at aphillips@nccumc.org or 919.259.4681.

This will be a challenging season, Beloved. We are being called to be church in a new way in the midst of new fears and challenges. Yet Jesus Christ remains the same, and it is in his words to us, his disciples, that we trust—Be not afraid.

Let us pray to the God who calls us to be church in this day:

God of the present moment,
God who, in Jesus, stills the storm
and soothes the frantic heart;
bring hope and courage to us all
who wait or work in uncertainty.
Bring hope that you will make us the equal
of whatever lies ahead.
Bring courage to endure what cannot be avoided,
for your will is health and wholeness;
you are God, and we need you
.

Yours, in Christ,
Andrew+

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