The Pastor's Corner - June 2020

The Vision Newsletter: Notes from the Pastor's Desk

Governor Bill Lee announced that Tennessee would start opening up in a cautious “Phase 2” of gatherings. For us in Fayette County we continue to be influenced by Memphis and its more cautious movement to gatherings but the “feel” is different since the days of early May. PHASE 2 maintains many of the same COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines for “Physical Distancing” precautions while allowing a number of businesses to begin reopening. Among the changes is the provision that gatherings are no longer limited to a maximum of 10 persons, but rather a new limit of 25 persons will be in place. Physical distancing of at least 6 feet and the wearing of masks are still required by both employees and clients of all businesses and out of care for one another in the church that should be our practice.

Working from home and virtual meetings are still the recommendation whenever possible.

This means that it will still be a while before we return to anything resembling “normal” operations for Worship, Sunday School, Bible Study, and meetings. SFUMC will be working with a Safety Team formed by representatives of the Trustees, Church Council, and the Administrative Board to develop a plan for transitioning.

Our plan will be a gradual progression, following the Annual Conference and Government guidelines and precautions. Currently the Bishop is looking to June 21 for worship gatherings. For the immediate time, we will continue to offer weekly worship on-line with Facebook and links to our web site and will offer meetings via ZOOM.

As our church leadership makes decisions about best practices for moving forward we will be sharing

updates by email and phone calls with our plans. We are currently deciding how and when we will begin to offer more than just the online worship as opportunities for Sunday mornings.

In all the conversations I have had I am touched by how all of us strive to fulfill the Lord’s command to love our neighbors. We have a unique heritage as United Methodist Christians who live by

three General Rules:

o First, do no harm.

o Second, do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, with

all the people you can, as long as you ever can.

o Third, stay in love with God by keeping the various practices

of faith, such as personal and corporate prayer and worship,

Bible study, generosity, holy conversations, etc.

We will be “Care Full” in looking after one another.

Rev. Brent Porterfield