Covid-19 Response

June 9, 2020

Friends,

I am very happy to announce that we will be opening the Sanctuary and Great Hall for worship this Sunday morning, June 14th. I have been reminded that you have seen me every week for the last several months and now it is my turn to finally have the chance to see some of you.

This season has been a trial for all of us in uncountable ways and we are still not to the other side. Yet, as Texas opens, and our Bishop has guided us with his suggestions for opening church, it is time for some of us to make our way back to church while some of us will continue to worship online.

One of our church members shared a great metaphor with me a few weeks ago. She said, “We are all in the same storm but in different boats.” Your boat may have a member of your family who is at risk and keeps you from coming back this Sunday. You may be immuno-compromised yourself and unable to come. You might still be concerned about getting Covid-19, or the possibility of unknowingly spreading it to others. Any of those are good reasons for you to stay home until you are able to join us.

I hope you hear me say, as simply and powerfully as possible, that anywhere you worship with us, whether on your couch or in person, you are a part of our Church Family. Wherever you may find yourself singing hymns and reflecting on scripture passages with your Church you remain a part of its body. These are strange and trying times. God is still good and we, God’s people, have not lost hope.

If you are coming back to worship this week there will be a few changes. We will be sitting in family groups 6-feet apart. We will be entering church directly into the Sanctuary and Great Hall and, for the safety of others, we will all be wearing masks.

I know that each of you has a deep love for the people of our church. We will continue to monitor the conditions of Brazos County and each week we will adapt to these ever-changing circumstances. I am thankful for each of you and your commitment to keeping our community safe.

We are praying for each of you in the weeks to come. As this unique year continues please know that we want to do everything in our power to keep you connected to each other, growing in Christ, and striving for a deeper faith. My promise to you is that our love for you has not diminished, our creativity is not finished, and our commitment to God‘s story of hope is stronger than ever. Thank you for being the people God has called you to be.

Grace and Peace,

Preston

June 5, 2020

Dear Church, Here is a message from our Senior Pastor, Rev. Preston Greenwaldt, with the latest updates on reopening our worship spaces on Sunday mornings. Please fill out the survey below after watching the video. Surveys are due by midnight on Saturday, June 6th. More information about our guidelines for in-person worship will be available on Monday, June 8th.

May 14, 2020

Friends,

I wanted you to know that we are praying for you deeply. I know that each of you has had a different journey through quarantine. While I know my own hardships, I cannot begin to imagine what a trial this has been for you.

For the last four years I have been overwhelmed by the love that I and thousands of people have found at A&M UMC. That love has not been quarantined. In fact, I believe that it is stronger today than it has ever been in the last 100 years of our church life. We are confident of why we are here, and we are certain of the hope of Jesus Christ.

This has been a long road and we have further to go. While we are not certain of what is ahead, we have been working hard to prepare the church to be reopened. We have been meeting consistently with the leadership of our church and staff to evaluate what the road may look like. We have purchased hand sanitizers and new cleaning systems to get ready for a restart within the church.

Our Bishop, the State of Texas, and Brazos County have all released guidelines of what they want to see as churches begin to reopen. Our Church leaders are putting together a plan of protocols that follow the released guidelines for how to help keep our congregation safe upon reopening.

I hope to have a date for reopening our great Church soon. In the meantime, we will continue to offer online church. God is working in our lives, the Love of Jesus is being shared, and hope is not lost. For God is good. All the time, even in this time.

Grace and Peace,

Preston

March 13, 2020

Dear A&M United Methodist Church Family,

Howdy! In recent weeks through our “Letting Go” Lenten Sermon Series, we have been exploring how to let go of control and fear. It is obvious that God has been preparing us for the challenges we are facing today. We want to care for our congregation in all respects, including the physical well-being of our community.

As our plan of action, we are changing the way that we meet together and invite you to join us online for worship this Sunday by watching and interacting on our live-stream services. We will not be meeting in-person this week. All activities at the church for this week have been postponed until further notice. Our staff will be available by phone and email. To that end, we are asking you, our congregants, to take precautions to keep yourself and others safe, especially in light of recent developments with the coronavirus (COVID-19).

By now your life has been disrupted in major ways as our community gatherings have been canceled. In a conference call today with the CEO of the Methodist Hospital System, we learned that one of the foundational reasons for these actions is that there is real evidence that rapid, aggressive action on the part of the community is very effective in “flattening the curve” of cases. In other words, if we all do our part, there is evidence that we can reduce the impact of this virus on our healthcare system and, in turn, our community.

Here is what we need you to do to keep our church community connected and growing:
We will be connecting and engaging with you through our social network platforms such as our YouTube page, Facebook, and Instagram. You can watch our worship services every Sunday, as well as view other content that we will be pushing out for bible studies on all of these platforms.
Let our church staff know how we can pray for you and your family during this time. You can fill out this prayer request form that goes directly to our staff.
Download the AMUMC App and turn-on push notifications so you can have the most up-to-date info about closures, gatherings, and news from our pastors.
Stay at home when you or a family member are sick.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
Cover your sneeze or cough with a tissue or your arm.
Get in the habit of NOT touching your face so often.
Forgo shaking hands at church for a wave or a friendly smile.
If you or someone you know tests positive for COVID-19, please let us know so we can find a way to help, pray for everyone involved and take any necessary precautions here at A&M UMC.

Christ calls us to live life in community, that we are a connected body of Christ. He also teaches that we have a responsibility to the most vulnerable in our communities. Most of the time we live this out by visiting the sick, gathering together in worship, prayer, and service. Therefore, it is very odd to consider that, during this unprecedented moment, being faithful in community actually calls us to NOT do these things. It feels very backwards. However, we have an opportunity to be a part of positive change. With so many things happening that are out of our control, it is nice to be able to act together to help the broader community.

The uncertainty of this outbreak is creating anxiety in our workplaces, schools, and day-to-day activities. Yet we remain certain of God’s steadfast presence and careful attention to all that is happening. Please join us in praying for those who are affected by this illness, as well as their caregivers and those who are working around the clock to minimize the impact of this virus.

In Psalm 46, we are reminded that it is God who is our refuge and strength, and our ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, let us not fear, but with confidence use this opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus through our prayers and our care for others.

Grace & Peace,

Rev. Preston Greenwaldt & Rev. Katy Haislet