March 13, 2020 – 11:30am
Dear Church Family and Friends,
As you’re all aware, national, state, and local entities are closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19. It is a rapidly changing situation for our community and larger world. In light of this, we are on heightened alert and want to let you know our precautions and policies surrounding this virus.
Our custodians and leaders from all the different ministries that regularly meet in our building are taking extra precautions to clean and sanitize all areas of the church from cleaning door knobs and light switches to wiping down tables and chairs after each use. We’re asking everyone to do their part to try to keep the building as clean as possible.
As of now, we do plan to hold our 11:00am worship service this Sunday for those who feel that they are able to attend. We will be implementing new measures in worship to allow for social distancing … instead of passing offering plates, the plates will be located at the front of the sanctuary for you to place your offering in before or after worship … we will be waving and air high fiving instead of giving hugs and shaking hands … we will be registering attendance differently rather than passing the attendance pads … and many other measures.
If you do not feel comfortable attending, we certainly understand. Our worship service will be available by podcast as usual. To subscribe, you can do a search for Avondale UMC through SoundCloud or Apple Podcasts. You can also link to our podcasts on our website by clicking here.
Please also remember your tithe or donation to the church during this time. You can always donate online by clicking here. Or you can mail your check to the church (500-40th Street South, Birmingham, 35222). While our outreach and ministry may take on new, creative expressions during this time, your ongoing generosity is still needed as we continue to go about the work of God in Avondale. Most importantly, we are currently exploring alternative ways to continue our important ministries that provide food to our homeless friends and our neighbors who are underemployed.
While our intent is to remain calm and keep anxiety low, we are monitoring the situation closely to determine any additional measures we may need to implement related to our worship services, our preschool, and all our church’s ministries. We are listening to recommendations and mandates from government officials, the Alabama Department of Public Health, and the Jefferson County Department of Public Health. I will update you on any changes the church makes with regards to worship and other ministry activities.
In the midst of all that is going on, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and to feel anxious. I encourage you to try to be aware of how you’re feeling at any given moment.
- Spend some time throughout the day taking deep breaths. When you breathe in, focus on breathing in the power of the Holy. When you breathe out, focus on breathing out all the worry, fear, and anxiety.
- Take a break from the 24-hour news cycle when necessary.
- Try reading scripture to re-center yourself and your loved ones. Some of my go-to’s include Psalm 121, Isaiah 41:10, Isaiah 43:1-3, John 14:25-27, Romans 8:26-27.
- Stay in conversation about what you’re feeling with trusted friends and loved ones. Keeping things bottled inside is not healthy.
And now receive this blessing from Numbers 6:24-26: May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you. May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.
Rev. Malinda Weaver