Hello Good People of First UMC of Newcastle,
I know that you are anxious to return to worship again; I share in your feelings.
On May 8, 2020 Weston County Variance 2020-2 was instituted. In one of its exceptions on the Orders, it allows for restricted gathering for religious organizations.
There are 16 different requirements outlined in this document. I would encourage you to read pages three (3) and four (4) of the document to understand these restrictions. Included in this email is a link to this document.
On May 8, 2020, the Newsletter Journal published this statement from State Health Officer Alexia Harrist who said “It’s important for people to realize that these new modified orders aren’t “turning back the clock” to the way things were before the pandemic.” That, I’m afraid is the truth of the matter.
Returning to worship under these restrictions will not be like old times. We will not be able to sing. We will not be able to have coffee hour together, or hug or greet one another in our usual ways. It will not be the same quality of worship experience we would typically enjoy on a Sunday. You will, essentially, listen to me and go home.
Therefore, until the Governor’s Office and the State Health Officer ease some of these restrictions, we will continue to stay-in-place for worship. Mike is happy to bring online worship to you and we will continue to mail the bulletins for everyone’s participation in prayers and music. Again, we would not be able to pray out loud or sing under these restrictions. I believe, under these restrictions, we would feel sad if we did gather.
There will be more communication as information is made available to us.
God bless each one of you,
Rev. Brenda M. Torrie