• Grace Ruston

Newsletter and Update on Re-entry

Staying the Course

In conversation with our Worship Committee, Trustees, and Church Council, and in consideration of the recommendation of our Bishop and in compliance with our Governor’s Executive Order for Phase One, Grace UMC will begin congregational worship on May 31, Pentecost Sunday at 10:45 AM.

In general, we will be following guidelines from the State Fire Marshal and our Louisiana Conference of The United Methodist Church. Livestreaming worship will continue via our Grace UMC Ruston Facebook page and posting of worship services will continue on our Grace Methodist Ruston YouTube channel.

If you are not feeling well, or have a cough or fever, please remain at home, and worship via our FB livestream. Additionally, if you are at higher risk for complications associated with COVID-19 (hypertension, obesity, and diabetes) or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, please remain at home at this time.

If you plan to attend congregational worship in the sanctuary, here's what you need to know:

• Worship capacity for Phase 1 is approximately 64 people. We will offer a potential over-flow opportunity in the Fellowship Hall, should we exceed capacity in the sanctuary. • Social distancing is required in Phase One, so we ask that non-family members maintain a 6-foot separation from others. To facilitate physical distancing, every other pew will be marked off. Please sit only in marked, designated areas and only with your immediate family. • Our staff, worship leadership, greeters, and ushers will be wearing masks and masks will be provided if you forget yours. • Congregational singing will be limited to softer hymns and choruses, with the congregants remaining seated. Special music will be limited to soloists and instrumentals. • Handshaking, hugs, and greetings involving physical contact is strongly discouraged during this phase. • Please enter and exit the sanctuary maintaining a safe, 6-foot physical distance. • Visiting should be done outdoors, with adequate physical distancing. Gathering in other areas is discouraged at this time.

Regarding activities other than Sunday worship: • Onsite Sunday School and other activities will begin at a later date. Leadership will be monitoring guidelines as they are released by our Conference Office, Governor’s Office, and the CDC. • The Church Office will be staffed from 9 to noon, Monday through Thursday, to limit exposure to office personnel during this phase. On Pentecost Sunday we read that the disciples were “all together in one place” (Acts 2:1). This is a significant day historically in the life of the Church and we trust that God’s Spirit will move upon us in fresh and powerful ways, as we come together to worship. We thank everyone for their patience and grace as we continue to pursue God’s purposes at and through Grace, Ruston. Our Church Council will continue to monitor official sources to follow the best practices in the weeks ahead.

Remember, God Loves You. We Love You. Stay the Course. Seeking Our Savior’s Spirit, Rev. Bob Deich

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