| Dear First Church, After receiving more information about public health concerns and much prayerful consideration, we are making the following decisions about our church gatherings:
1. We will NOT worship in person on either March 15th or 22nd. We WILL live stream worship at 11:00 am on both Sunday mornings. I hope you will tune in and worship with us. The Holy Spirit is much greater than physical proximity. This will allow us to stay connected in new ways during these strange times. You can access the live stream here https://fumclr.org/watch-live/. Due to the extremely high number of churches that will be streaming Sunday, there may be traffic congestion on the streaming servers. If you have connection issues, we will also post a recording of the entire service by 3:00 pm on Sunday on the same web page.
2. All church activities, meetings, and classes will be cancelled for the next week. The only exceptions will be we will still host the Sherman Family Visitation on Friday, March 13 at 5:00 pm, and the funeral service for Bill Sherman at 10:00 am on Saturday, March 14.
3. The church office will remain open throughout the week. However, we are allowing any staff that can to work from home.
4. With so many cancellations and closings, we must remember our neighbors who depend on services for food and other resources. While our Community Café will be closed this week, we will be offering snack bags and other supplies to our neighbors that come by the church Monday afternoon. We are deeply concerned about making sure those who struggle with a scarcity of resources are not further marginalized and don’t endure more suffering because of this. This is weighing very heavily on our pastors and staff.
5. Please remember that part of worship is to offer back a portion of what God has given us. You can give you weekly tithe here – click to give.
These are certainly strange times with a lot of uncertainty. However, there is a Greater Force in this world who offers a Peace that passes all understanding and a Love beyond all measure. This is what we can be certain of. As people who belong to God, we must continue to care for one another. I am grateful for a church whose faith is deeply rooted in loving Jesus through loving our community. We will be seeking ways to love our community and prevent isolation for those who may be disconnected during this time and serve our most vulnerable neighbors. We will keep you updated on opportunities and our future church schedule in the coming days.
Gratefully, Rev. David C. Freeman Senior Pastor