"FUMC DFS, along with our AL-W.FL Conference and United Methodist denomination, reiterate and recommit to our belief that each church of Jesus Christ is open to people of all races. We reject discrimination in church and society based on skin color and prayerfully strive for equal opportunity for all."
This Sunday we plan to again have worship in our sanctuary! Of course, we want to do so so in certain ways in order to be able to faithfully meet together without causing an unhealthy situation for our community.
Those who have no Covid-19 symptoms or positive diagnostic test results are invited to join us in that July 12th 9:00 a.m. combined worship sanctuary service as we practice social (physical) distancing, wear face masks and utilize available hand sanitizers and wipes while having worship time together for about 40 minutes. It'll be great to enjoy organ and piano duets as well as the Gloria Patri and Doxology and our contemporary trio's anthem medley.
Guidelines for Reopening FUMC DFS:
1. We plan to begin on June 28 with one worship service at 9:00 AM for about 40 minutes. We can safely seat about 55 people in the sanctuary. We hope to have a few tables, chairs and umbrellas on our front plaza toward the lake for alternative seating. Additional attendees will unfortunately be turned away for at least the first couple of weeks. We will likely return to our early and late Sunday morning services schedule a few weeks later.
2. CDC/EPA-recommended disinfecting agents are used appropriately during the week by our custodian prior to each Sunday service, including wiping and spraying each available pew and frequently-touched surfaces. Pew cushions will be removed for at least the first couple of Sundays of reopening since soft fabric is more difficult to disinfect. Disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer are readily available as you arrive.
3. As we begin reopening, we will be able to enjoy our pipe organ (!), but we will not have nursery, choir, full band, Sunday school, refreshments, or Wednesday suppers for a couple/few weeks. The first thing to add will probably be the nursery within a week or two. There will be no congregational singing in our first week back in order to minimize unhealthy "personal moisture propulsion." As congregational singing is re-introduced in the near future, it will be so at a low volume first, then unrestricted soon afterward.
4. By entering any part of the FUMC DFS building, you are declaring yourself to be asymptomatic in regard to Covid-19 especially in regard to a dry cough and/or fever, and to be lacking a positive Covid-19 diagnostic test result. Furthermore, by entering any part of our facility you are acknowledging that being in public exposes you to the risk of possible Covid-19 infection and that FUMC DFS, having taken reasonable, well-informed precautions, is not responsible for anyone contracting Covid-19 or any other disease.
5. Masks are required to be worn by all in attendance. By entering the building on Sunday morning, you are agreeing to wear a mask, not a scarf, that covers your mouth and nose. Those unwilling to do so will be kindly invited to leave out of respect and love for all. If the person will not leave or comply with our safety measures, we will be compelled to end the service at that point.
6. Masks, disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer will be available to every person who enters the building.
7. Safe social (physical) distancing should be practiced in all seating. Only those from the same household (or “common germs group”) may sit less than six feet apart. Seating will be marked as available/unavailable.
8. All doors will be propped open to limit the number of times they are touched.
9. There will be no physical bulletins and no offering plates will be passed from person to person. There will be a place at the exits to safely drop our offering into a container.
11. By attending, you are agreeing to greet one another without physically touching. We will not have a greeting time as a part of the actual service.
12. By attending, we are agreeing to be dismissed at the end of the service in a systematic way through our three exits to ensure there is social (physical) distancing as we leave.
13. Only one person should be in a restroom at one time except in cases of family members or caregivers providing aid. There will be sanitizing products available in the restrooms.
14. We will disinfect repeatedly-touched surfaces after every use, including door knobs/handles, handrails, and light switches.
15. If someone tests positive within 14 days before attending FUMC DFS, or if anyone has traveled on a plane or ship, or has been in a crowd or area in which several positive Covid-19 test results have occurred, he or she is required to wait 14 days or secure two separate negative Covid-19 diagnostic tests before attending FUMC.
16. If anyone tests positive within 14 days after attending FUMC DFS, the church office or pastor should be notified as soon as possible. That person will be required to refrain from attending FUMC for 14 days or until he or she receives two separate negative Covid-19 diagnostic test results. While striving to maintain confidentiality, every effort will be made to contact and make all who attended with that person aware that an undisclosed person who attended when they did has tested positive for Covid-19.
17. A couple of photographs of the seated congregation will be taken from the front for tracing and notification purposes in the event that someone who attended tests positive for Covid-19. (While sign-in procedures would be helpful in this regard, they would also cause everyone to touch the same sign-in items, thus increasing the chance of infection.)
18. It is hoped and believed that all will know that they are loved and that these precautions communicate that love to one another. Let us carefully and patiently enjoy our first in-person worship gatherings since March 15 as we feel led and comfortable to do so. Thanks be to God!
In these days of social distancing, we wanted to take a moment to provide you with a link to 60 different FUMC videos that will bless and encourage you. Feel free to share any of these video messages and songs with your friends and family, and also to share them on Facebook if you like.
Link to our Youtube church page:
First United Methodist Church DeFuniak Springs
Link to our Facebook page:
First United Methodist Church DeFuniak Springs, FL