by: Erin Forge't-Wells
I hope this note finds you continuing to discover much grace and peace as we continue to faithfully discern God’s call for our lives and congregation for this increasingly momentous time.
I am grateful many UMCPS'ers completed the recent survey about returning to in-person worship following the COVID-19 quarantine. We got a response rate of about 30%, which is really helpful! It gives me a good sense of what our congregation is thinking.
The results of the survey are found here. As you will see, about 20% of respondents are planning to return as soon as possible, with others choosing to wait until some time after that.
I am most heartened that a vast percentage of respondents said they are enjoying the online worship experience. When we do open our doors for in-person worship, please know we will MOST DEFINITELY continue offering the service online.
The question remains, “When will in-person worship begin again at UMCPS”? The Bishop continues to advise caution and a “later-than-sooner” approach. We certainly want to see how reopening businesses, recent justice protests, and increased social interaction does or does not lead to a resurgence of the virus in the Coachella Valley. As we proceed we want to continue to make sure that above everything else we follow John Wesley’s charge to “Do No Harm.”
Our Worship Team is hard at work creating an excellent plan for reopening that must be submitted in writing and approved by the Annual Conference and, in particular, by our District Superintendent, the Rev. Melissa MacKinnon.
As you can probably surmise, when we do resume in-person worship, it will be quite different from the way it was carried out before the quarantine. More about how things will and must be different is coming to you soon. Please know I and all involved in planning UMCPS worship are creating something that will exude our core values of hospitality, spirituality, hope and FUN! And it will intentionally engage both those in the pews and those worshiping at home (wherever in the world “at home” is for you right now!).
Please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions or suggestions, and I look forward to journeying ahead with you on the road ahead that continues to emerge.
Much peace and love in Christ,