COVID 19 UPDATES
UPDATE: December 11, 2020
Good evening everyone. I wanted to let you know that in light of the state's new restrictions and the significant rise of COVID cases in our area, beginning on Sunday, December 13th the Kittanning Free Methodist Church will be going to virtual worship on Sunday mornings. This will be the case through Sunday, January 3rd.
The decision to make this move wasn't made lightly. Our aim is to love our neighbors and to do our very best to care for them. We hope to keep everyone as safe as possible. We have a number of vulnerable people in our congregation and in our community.
We also know that this is hard for a number of folks as we continue through Advent and the Christmas season. We are all accustomed to being together and worshipping together this time of year. It is hard to be apart from one another. Now more than ever, we need to make sure that we are looking out for one another. Make sure to check on your friends and fellow congregants. Write a letter, give a call, or send a text. Let us continue to be the church, even when we can't meet together as we would prefer.
Most of all, let us all pray for each other. Prayer is a powerful tool that we have at our disposal to carry one another's burdens. If you need anything, please reach out and let us know.
So, the plan moving forward is for virtual worship services to continue at 9:30 am Sunday mornings. You can watch them on Facebook live and then on Youtube or on our website Sunday afternoon. We will also plan on having a virtual Christmas Eve service as well. As always, we will continue to post content on the website and on our Facebook page in the coming weeks.
Blessing to you all,
UPDATE: November /19/2020
In light of the spike in the COVID - 19 virus, new state mandates regarding masking and travel, and direction from our conference, our church will be moving to require masks to be worn at all times while in the building. I know this may not be popular for some of you, but here are the reasons we are going in this direction.
1. We love our neighbor. This is an opportunity to help protect our friends, family, and congregation. We have vulnerable people in our congregation. Masks are certainly no guarantee of protection from the virus, but when coupled with hand washing and social distancing, they can help reduce the chance of spreading the virus.
2. We are doing this so that we can continue to keep the doors open. If a case is confirmed within the congregation and there was contact with other folks within the congregation, we would have to go back to a totally virtual worship service until it was determined it was safe to return.
3. We are doing this to protect the church. The Conference Superintendent has informed us that if we are not in compliance with the local and state mandates we open the church up to potential liability issues.
So what does this mean? Everyone who enters the church must wear a mask at all times. This includes all ministries (Bibe Studies, youth group, kids club, and worship services) regardless of age. The only exception given to us right now is the pastor while on the stage. When he comes off the stage, he will wear a mask as well. It is also possible that restrictions will grow tighter if the local or state government puts out more mandates. The situation will continue to be fluid as we continue to get direction from government officials and from the conference.
If you don't feel comfortable wearing a mask or if you are feeling ill or suspect you have symptoms of COVID -19 we encourage you to stay home and participate in worship virtually. You can watch the service live on our Facebook page, or on our youtube channel, or on our website later on Sunday afternoon. You can also listen to the sermon on our podcast.
Thank you all so much for begin patient and for your co-operation. Please be in prayer for the church, for the community, and for protection from the virus for all. If you have any questions please let me know. We will continue to update you as new information is available.
UPDATE: July 17. 2020
Good morning everyone. With new restrictions implemented by Governor Wolf regarding the size of gatherings, we wanted to make sure that it was clear what will be happening at church this Sunday, July 19th.
1. Churches are exempt from the limit of 25 people gathered indoors. If you would like to read more about the exemption you can do so here.
2. We will plan on meeting this Sunday as we have been over the last several weeks. You will be allowed to enter the church from the front entrance where masks will be required upon entry and hand sanitizer will be at the door. If you need a mask one will be provided at the front door of the church. The sanctuary is set up for social distancing during the service. We also continue to recommend you wash your hands frequently.
3. If you are not feeling well, struggle with wearing a mask, or are unable to attend for any reason we would like to invite you to watch our service live on our Facebook page at 9:30 am. You can also watch the service on our website starting on Sunday afternoon by clicking here.
4. Please understand that the situation is fluid. we understand that people have different perspectives on the right thing to do, but our main goal right now is to keep everyone as safe as possible. That means if we begin to see a spike in cases of COVID 19 in the coming weeks in our area we might need to make some different choices. But, for now, we will continue to follow our plan approved by our conference and will continue to monitor the situation and follow recommendations made us by the conference.
5. If there are changes to our current way of doing things or there is a needed update of information, we will do our best to update you as quickly as possible. We will do so by posting those updates here not the Facebook Page and on our website or on this page.
Thank you all for your patience and grace as we continue to navigate a difficult time in the life of the church and in our community. Please remember to reach out to those that might be feeling isolated or alone in the safest way possible.
UPDATE July 13, 2020
COVID 19 has changed a lot for churches in a very short period of time. There are a lot of things that all of us are learning how to navigate together. It is sometimes difficult for leaders to know the right course of action. With that in mind, the Kittanning Free Methodist Church is adhering to the Harvest Conference's guidelines for the reopening and continued ministries of the church. You can read more from the Harvest Conference and its response here.
This means that upon entering the church for worship and other ministries, masks must be worn and social distancing adhered to. The sanctuary is arranged to make sure that there is enough space for social distancing during the worship service. The church will provide hand sanitizer and masks if you don't have one at the front entrance of the building. We also encourage everyone to wash their hands regularly to help mitigate the spread of the virus. We ask that if you aren't feeling well or unable to come that you stay home and worship with us on our Facebook Page or here on the website under the worship services heading.
Right now, we aren't certain exactly how this will affect our other church ministries. We hope to get back to ministries like the Church brunch and God's Choice, but will only do so when can figure out how to do it safely for all of those involved. In the meantime, we are working to supplement the lack of in-person ministries by developing a stronger online presence. On the website and through the Facebook page you will have access to worship services, blog articles, podcasts, and a few other ideas that we have in the works. As we incorporate new opportunities will announce them on the website, on the Facebook Page, and in the worship service.
We understand that this is a difficult time for many and that there are a variety of different opinions on how best to handle reopening the church and its ministries. We askt hat you be in prayer for our pastor and the Board of Administration as they seek to navigate the best ways to move forward. As we already stated we will continue to adhere to the directions of our conference and the lead of our Council of Bishops