5/31/2020 Update from Pastor Cameron

Greetings! Time for a weekly update!

We have moved into  Phase 3  in the Restore Illinois plan. There may have been some confusion as to what will be allowed with some of the other news that has come up, so I will try to convey what I know.

The Bishop has put forward a plan that we will be following. At this time, we can have up to 10 people gathering for any meeting here at the church building. We cannot have more than 10 people, and we must still wear masks and practice social distancing. We also need to keep track of who is at each gathering so that we have a record in case of contact tracing. We are now allowed to hold outdoor services. With that, we still need to have six-foot social distancing. This would be between households, meaning that each household would need to be six feet apart without contact. I am meeting with the Bishop soon and need to get some clarification about part of the guidance. As I am currently understanding it, part of the guidance is that anyone over 65 should still abstain from any in person gatherings. I will have an update later in the week, after I have the chance to ask the Bishop about this. Because of this, I cannot update when we will have in person gatherings again. Though there is hope for the tail end of June, the guideline for those over 65 is also part of the Phase 4 guidance, and hence why I am needing to ask the Bishop for clarification. Because of this guideline, I am waiting to schedule any in person gatherings of any kind until after I can receive clarification. After I get clarification, we may discuss the option for an outside service if there is interest. However, I will still be doing online video and printouts for anyone who will not be able to attend. So I am asking for grace in how much I can put into my schedule right now. I will be working with the Church Council Chairs this week to put together a meeting, hopefully via computer or phone, to discuss these options with the Church Council. If we do meet in person in a group of ten, I will be able to have my children be in a different part of the church while we conduct business. However, some of that still depends on guidance from the Bishop. I know that we are all eager to see each other again, but I must once again emphasize that we need to do it safely with a great amount of care. I also must remind everyone that I must follow whatever guidance the Bishop gives me. I serve at the pleasure of the Bishop. Please keep that in mind as we discuss what I can and cannot allow in the coming weeks.

In preparation for returning to worship, we do need to begin getting the church ready. In the close future, this would mean cleaning the church building. When we get closer to returning to in person worship inside the church, we will also need to work on how to handle seating arrangements, recording who has come to church, having hand sanitizer available, and other plans. I will be working with each church to be ready for that great day! If you are wanting to help clean and get things ready, please contact me so that we can go over any details that I may need to go over with you beforehand. Depending on the guidelines, we may be able to begin worship within the building at the end of the month.

In other news, Annual Conference has been rescheduled again! This time, the move has been made to make Annual Conference an online only event on Saturday August 15th. This is because we may not be fully in Phase 5 before that date, and to be fully prepared the Conference meeting will now be virtual. In good news, this means that I will be able to attend. Please contact me for more information. General Conference is going to be next year, and I will have more information about that later.

There are copies of the Upper Room available in Greenup in the box. You can also find the current issue online. The new Sunday school quarterly is also in the box for whoever is interested.

I am still looking for pictures and music to share in services. I’m happy to share prayer requests, video, or anything you would like to share. If you would like to use the church to record music for service, please contact me so that I can give the best guidance I can for both social distancing and recording format. I have enjoyed some of the recent music we have had for the Greenup Facebook page!  

As we move into a new phase of recovery in Illinois, please become familiar with the new guidelines. Not all restrictions have been lifted, and if there is a surge, we can go back from Phase 3 into Phase 2 again. This includes social distancing and wearing a mask. We must be aware that we could move into Phase 4 as early as the end of the month, but it could take much longer depending on the number of new cases and the amount of testing done.

I will be continuing to have our worship services online and in print! It is on YouTube and a link can be found on my website as listed below. I am also posting the information on the church Facebook pages. If there is anything you would like to contribute, let me know! There will also be printed materials available at the churches to pick up. Please feel free to contact me for more information. If anyone is interested in doing music for any upcoming service, please let me know. There are many options for doing this. I can also share readings or any other video that you’d like to make part of the service. Participation is welcome! If anyone you know is not getting a copy and would like one mailed, please let me know. I am trying to get them mailed out weekly.

Also, in this time we are still working to keep the bills paid, our missions supported, our apportionments met, and our outreach working. As such, we do need your continued financial support as part of the church. Offerings may be sent to your local treasurer or to the PO Box listed below. I can also arrange to pick them up if I am delivering anything to you. I am personally grateful for all your continued support in this difficult time. I cannot stress enough that the church is still active and we are still together.

If anyone is interested in online groups or interested in how to form one, I am available to help. There are free tools available to be able to still meet online for Sunday School or other meetings. Until I receive further guidance, I cannot allow any Sunday School classes to use the church building at this time. When I know a little bit more, I will offer guidance for anyone who would like to meet in the building.

Please see the CDC website for information on the Coronavirus. If you do go out, please follow all distancing guidelines, and if you can, cover your face. Please let others know, and together we will all see this through safely. This is a very real and very serious pandemic. Please do not share false information about it. It only works to undermine the people doing the dangerous work of trying to keep us all safe. If you have any questions, I am happy to answer them or direct you to a source that can.

Please stay safe. You are all in my prayers. I will keep you updated as best I can. If you have any questions, feel free to contact your Church Council Chair or myself.

Rev. Cameron D St.Michael



(316)530-3182 (call or text)

PO Box 54, Charleston IL 61920

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