Dear Cumming First Family,
Like Paul wrote in his letter to the Philippians, ‘God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus’. Your pastors and church staff continue to lift you up in prayer even as we yearn to be together.
I wanted to give you an update regarding worship at Cumming First UMC.
We received word yesterday (March 30th, 2020) from the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church that “In order to live out John Wesley’s first general rule to “do no harm,” the Bishop and Cabinet strongly recommend and expect that all church buildings and properties remain closed until April 30th, 2020.”
While this news is disappointing and difficult, it is wise and understandable, given all of the current information surrounding the Coronavirus.
Cumming First UMC will adhere to these guidelines, and the buildings and properties will remain closed at least until April 30th, 2020. This date may be extended based on future communications. While we had been contemplating hosting service in the parking lot on Easter morning, this on-site service will not be held. All services will continue to be held virtually for the foreseeable future.
While you may hear of other churches hosting parking lot services, it has also been reported that many participants fail to stay in their cars, which goes against the ‘do no harm’ motto. Outbreaks of the Coronavirus have previously been linked back to church events, and again, we as Cumming First UMC will strive to ‘do no harm’ and keep people as safe as possible. As keeping people fed is essential, we will continue to provide food through the drive-thru Food Pantry.
I know this is disappointing. We are all disappointed, but we are alive and loved with an everlasting love. During these trying times, I share with you John 16:33, where Jesus says: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Let us pray for that peace to be experienced by the people worldwide, in our nation, in our state, in our county who have been impacted by the Coronavirus. Let us pray for the health care workers. Let us pray for the people who are unemployed because of the various actions taken to combat the virus.
I want to encourage you in these days to stay the course and follow the recommended guidelines provided by the CDC and our local, state, and federal government. I also want to encourage you to continue to stay connected with others through phone calls, texts, snap chats, smoke signals, emails, posts, videos, live-streams, carrier pigeons, and more.
If you need any help with anything, please feel free to call the Church Office @ 770-887-2900 (daytime). This number is forwarded to Kristy Thompson, our Church Administrator, who is working from home.
You can call Kathie Stasko at 678-613-3522 if you should need assistance in the evening hours.
Stay Safe, and Be Encouraged Today – the Lord is Near