Yesterday we shared with you that all non-worship activities at FUMC, Sheridan would be suspended until further notice. Today we learned that the Sheridan Public Schools (along with all public schools in Grant, Saline, Jefferson, and Pulaski Counties) are closed until March 30, by order of Governor Hutchinson.
Throughout the day, news continued to be reported on COVID-19. Indeed, reports seemed to come at us in waves that multiplied exponentially. Perhaps this is due to the virus reaching an exponential multiplication stage in our country and community. We have also received advice (though not orders) from Bishop Mueller and from our District Superintendent, Rev. Mark Norman. Pastor Todd-Paul and church leadership have been communicating throughout the day. We have received information from physicians and health care officials.
Beginning tomorrow, March 13, all activities of First UMC, Sheridan will be closed until at least March 20. In addition to Wednesday night activities and youth, it includes all Bible studies, Sunday School, and most importantly, worship on Sunday morning. The church office will also be closed.
We did not make this decision lightly. It is our firm desire to be gathered with one another. Gathering in groups at this time, in these circumstances, is dangerous to individuals and our community. It is not only in the best interest of our own congregation that we not gather together, but in the interest of public health.
As next week progresses, we will monitor the situation and determine what we will do
moving forward. In the meantime, we are going to (attempt to) have worship on Facebook Live on Sunday morning at 10am. We hope that you will join us then! You can also continue with your Christian learning through CouRSe, the Arkansas Annual Conference's online learning academy. Follow this link: https://arumc.org/our-resources/course/ sign up, and find what interests you.
In case of pastoral emergency, please contact Pastor Todd-Paul at 501-786-3184. Please follow all recommendations from the Department of Health and CDC.
Most importantly, please pray with us. Pray for one another, pray for our community, country, and world. Pray for those who have the illness, those who have been (or may have been) exposed and are worried. Pray for health care workers. Pray for those who are afraid. Pray for those who must go to work and for those who cannot work. Pray.
We believe that God loves us, that Jesus died and rose again for us, and that the Holy Spirit is active in our world and in our lives. This Good News is more relevant now than it has ever been. When we do gather again as a congregation, we look forward to celebrating that Good News.