Updated Friday, December 4, 2020:
Like all of you, Asbury is watching the significant uptick in COVID-19 numbers with great concern. Each day brings different challenges and unique obstacles we have never faced as a church. Asbury’s leadership continues to prayerfully work through these challenges and continues to find ways to keep the Asbury Family and our community engaged and connected with one another.
We have received questions regarding Asbury’s plan moving forward in light of the increase in cases and hospitalizations in our local area along with the Hoover City Schools moving back to a staggered schedule. At this time, Asbury United Methodist Church will continue in-person worship on Sunday morning and limited small group Bible studies during the week.
Our commitment to “do no harm” remains a top priority and we will continue to follow all safety and cleaning protocols, including wearing a mask while inside the church building, reduced capacity for worship, online worship registration, limited common touch items, and increased cleaning and sanitation measures before and after each group meeting or worship experience.
However, we know things change rapidly and we are committed to continuing to monitor numbers, guidance from the Alabama Department of Public Health, and hospitalization rates. We urge you to follow best practices such as limiting group interactions, wearing a face mask, and social distancing. If numbers continue to rise or guidance from local agencies changes, we will reevaluate at that time.
Pastor Kip announced last week that we will not hold in-person Christmas Eve worship services but will instead gather together virtually. We encourage you to visit asburyonline.org/Christmas to learn more about what Asbury is doing to prepare for Christmas, sign up for a Christmas Eve bag so your family can participate in Christmas Eve communion and candlelight service, and watch daily Advent devotionals from our staff.
As we continue to move towards 2021, our staff and ministry leaders are working to restart the church’s vital ministries like nursery care, children’s church, small group and Sunday school meetings, and mid-week activities. We are committed to providing these important opportunities for spiritual development but must ensure we are doing everything possible to keep our congregation and community safe.
We ask that you continue to pray for those affected by COVID and the frontline workers who are giving so much to help keep our community healthy. We ask for your prayers and support of Asbury United Methodist Church, its members, and its leaders as we all make difficult decisions in this challenging time.
Asbury UMC COVID-19 Task Force
North Alabama Conference Do No Harm Guidance
Bishop Deborah Wallace-Padgett and the Cabinet released guidance regarding reopening church buildings in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic on May 26, 2020. The “Do No Harm” guidance includes a phased-in approach, basing reopening decisions on data in each church’s context, and consulting with local health officials. Asbury UMC will use this document to guide our plans to safely reopen our church and resume in-person worship when we can do so in a focused, measured, and safe way. To view the entire Do No Harm document, including recent updates and revisions, click the button below.
Asbury COVID-19 Task Force
The following church leaders will serve as the Asbury COVID-19 Task Force, charged with providing recommendations and guidance on timing, safety, and planning regarding resuming worship and activities on campus.
Rev. Dr. Kip Laxson, Senior Pastor
Rev. Robert Mercer, Pastor of Discipleship
W. David Miller, Church Coordinator
Terry Sides, Church Council Chairperson
Lee Benson, Trustees Committee Chairperson
Frank O’Neil, Finance Committee Chairperson
Melanie Nichols, Staff-Parish Relations Committee Chairperson
Lee Ann Daniels, Lay Leader
Jim Griffin, Security Team Leader
Angie Gongwer, Director of Family Ministries
Carolyn Ealy, Director of CASA
Nancy Beard, Director of Music Ministry
If you have questions regarding the Asbury COVID-19 Task Force, email David Miller, Church Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where can I learn more about COVID-19?
With the vast amount of information and sources regarding COVID-19 available online, Asbury will be considering data and information from the following sources:
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
- State of Alabama COVID-19 Data Hub
- Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH)
- Alabama COVID-19 Case Tracking (bamatracker.com)
How Can I Help?
We as a community of faith have the important job of caring for one another when things are difficult. While we may not be physically together right now, we will continue to be the church God has called us to be. We know each family has unique needs during this time and we are here to help. Click here to let us know how we can help serve your family or others you may know about during this time. Click here if you are able to help those in our community by delivering groceries/medication, offering childcare, or providing prayer.
We encourage you to continue to be in prayer for those affected by this illness and those treating them, for those in the community impacted by closures and reduced services, and the broader community as we face new challenges and situations each day. We also encourage you to continue supporting Asbury’s missions and ministries during this time by giving online at asburyonline.org/give or mailing in your tithes and offerings.
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