With the World Health Organization announcing that COVID-19 is now a pandemic, the first confirmation of a case of COVID-19 in Arkansas, and the Arkansas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church cancelling all events, out of an abundance of caution, we have made the decision to suspend all non-worship activities at First United Methodist Church of Sheridan at this time, BEGINNING THURSDAY, MARCH 12. The church office will remain open during regular hours (unless otherwise advised), Rev. Taulbee is available for pastoral care, and we plan to continue to worship on Sunday mornings.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a new situation for almost all of us. There is much that we do not know. We do know the following: the best defense(s) are washing your hands, self-quarantining if you are ill, and using "social isolation" practices to help slow the spread. We also know that persons with respiratory illnesses, compromised immune systems, and older persons are most at risk. Therefore, please wash your hands! and we'll continue to provide hand sanitizer. If you feel ill, please stay home. We really want to see you, but we don't want to put our at-risk members and guests at risk.
Finally, a word on the impact of this on our understanding of who we are and whose we are: as Christians, we have been assured by our Lord that perfect love casts out all fear. I would urge us not to panic! I would urge us to (even if we are "stuck" at home) to be in prayer for one another, our community, and world. Jesus also said that we are to be wise as serpents, but gentle as doves. The best wisdom at this time appears to be helping our community by observing the practices recommended by the CDC and WHO.
Be not afraid. Wash your hands. We'll be back to regular scheduling soon!