Asbury’s primary goal continues to be the safety of our congregation and community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As Asbury United Methodist Church continues to be challenged and equipped to grow more disciples for Jesus Christ by practicing radical hospitality, passionate worship, intentional faith development, risk-taking mission and service, and extravagant generosity, we must also recognize and honor our Wesleyan heritage by, above all, seeking to do no harm among our congregation and our community. Our desire to return to in-person worship must be measured, focused, and safe to ensure our actions do not harm those we seek to serve.
Asbury has developed “Preparing for What’s Next: Guidance for Resuming In-Person Worship” to serve as a guide to ensure we are protecting and serving our community in the most loving and compassionate way possible. This guide is a living document and the proposed phases and information contained are subject to change based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, State of Alabama, and local government; or a significant increase in COVID-19 cases in our community.
In addition to this guide, different ministry areas have developed guidance for their specific groups. Those plans are available below.
Quick Facts and Frequently Asked Questions
Asbury United Methodist Church cares deeply for our congregation and community. Our desire to return to in-person worship must first be measured, focused, and safe to ensure our actions do not harm those we seek to serve.
With the State of Alabama’s Safer at Home order currently in effect and the significant increase in cases and hospitalizations we are seeing in our community, we feel it is important for a church our size to wait until we can open as safely as possible. As soon as we feel we can resume in-person worship, you will be the first person to know!
At this time, the best research available tells us that wearing a mask, regularly washing hands, and maintaining distance from those outside of your household are the easiest ways to slow and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Wearing a mask not only protects you, but also those around you. Additionally, the State of Alabama is currently under a mandatory mask ordinance and Asbury is committed to following this order from the Governor. For these reasons, anyone entering the church will be required to wear a mask while attending worship, meetings, or events on-campus.
We know you are eager to see your church family, but not everyone is ready for a handshake or hug. We want to help create an environment that is comfortable for the majority, so that means limiting personal contact as much as possible for the time being. By being courteous, even if we do not agree, we can show that our love for one another is more than just a handshake or a hug.
The task force and church staff will continue to review recommendations from the CDC and government agencies to determine the appropriate capacity in worship. As we move towards resuming in-person worship, detailed information will be sent out to help facilitate the process, including how an RSVP system will be used to ensure as many can worship in-person as we can safely accommodate.
Studies show that the chances of transmission of the virus do increase significantly with singing, chanting, and congregational response. At this time, Asbury does not plan to resume congregational singing when we resume in-person worship during Phase 3. Church staff are working to find ways to continue offering a meaningful worship experience, including music when we do resume in-person worship.
During this time while the building is closed, our facilities staff worked tirelessly to clean and sanitize the building, perform preventative maintenance on all equipment, and are ensuring that everything is performing at optimal levels. All HVAC systems have been serviced and filters replaced. We will ensure continuous air circulation while the building is occupied. We are following CDC recommendations for cleaning, hand sanitizer will be available, and high contact points will be thoroughly sanitized before, during, and after each worship service or gathering in the building.
While we are doing everything we can to keep things clean, we know that it is up to each individual to choose whether it is in their best interest to attend services or events and that you do so at your own risk.
For the time being, the church building will remain closed until we enter Phase 3 as outlined above. We encourage you to mail in your tithes and offerings by mail or give online using our safe and secure giving link at asburyonline.org/give. If you need to deliver your gift in person, please contact a staff member for assistance.
While the building is closed, our church family continues to do important mission work in our community and your continued financial support is vital to these ongoing works and we thank you for your faithful giving.
Asbury church staff members are here to help in any way we can during this time. You can reach any staff member by email. Visit asburyonline.org/staff for a listing of our staff and their contact information. If you have questions about Asbury's reopening plan, contact David Miller, Asbury's 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 recommedns information from the following sources: