Newsletter June 2021

Church Guidelines By Dr. Jack Butterfield

(These were approved by the Administrative Board on Thursday, May 20th.)

Rationale

Based on current information, trends and the information from the CDC and the Governor of the State of Ohio, these have been compiled by Dr. Jack Butterfield, Medical Director, Zanesville Muskingum County Department of Health.  The following guidelines pertain to the fully vaccinated.  The unvaccinated persons have their own reasons for not being vaccinated. I am not here to criticize or judge anyone on that basis.   I respect that the choice to be vaccinated is up to each of us as individuals.  Realize that the virus is not yet gone. We are not yet at herd immunity.  But we are at a place where enough people are vaccinated that the risk of infection is decreasing and case numbers are continuing to fall. And the responsibility for consequences of the choice  to be vaccinated or not is owned entirely be each of us as individuals.

Guidelines approved by the Grace UMC Administrative Board for fully vaccinated persons: Effective immediately:

  1. If you are fully vaccinated, a mask is not required in this building.  If you are not fully vaccinated for whatever the reason may be, you are safer if you wear a mask.  You are not going to be asked to prove anything. So it is your choice to make.  Know that if you are not vaccinated, masking will make you safer.
  2. For now, I would continue to allow for social distancing in the pews as they are set up.
  3. There should be signage that reminds all who enter that if they have been ill or exposed to a COVID positive person in the last two weeks, they should not enter.
  4. Ushering people to and from seats is optional.
  5. Congregating before and after services is permitted.
  6. Offering plates will remain stationary.
  7. The adult choirs can meet without masking and without distancing as long as all participants are fully vaccinated. You will be asked about your vaccination status.
  8. Restrooms no longer need to be sanitized after each use.
  9. Taking names and contact information is no longer necessary.
  10. A picture may be taken during the service, in the event that contact tracing is an issue.
  11. Reintroduce bulletins for services.

After June 2:

  1. In-church performance by our choirs (Chancel and Bell) can resume without social distancing or masking
  2. We can resume other church activities. (If you are not vaccinated, I would strongly suggest that you be masked.)
  3. Continue common sense safety measures, such as sanitizing the church after each use)
  4. Responsive reading and congregational singing can be considered.  Replacing pew bibles and hymnals at that time can also occur.

I am not ready to recommend the resumption of children’s Sunday School.  The entire population of children under 12 are not vaccinated.

These are sound, reasonable, safe, and they are consistent with all current authoritative guidelines.  To recklessly go forward without regard for the dangers of the COVID virus is a dangerous road to travel.

WORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Sundays in June – 10:00am Sanctuary or Facebook Live

6th – Two By Two will lead the music and worship

13th – Pastor’s Mark final service

20th – Rev. Jessica Stonecypher will be preaching

27th – Pastor Karen Montgomery’s first Sunday

IN-PERSON WORSHIP (Sanctuary)

Masks are no longer required for those fully vaccinated. Masks are strongly recommended for those who are not fully vaccinated.

ONLINE WORSHIP (Facebook or YouTube)

Click the link: https://www.facebook.com/GraceUnitedMethodistZanesville/

YouTube channel:  Grace United Methodist, Zanesville

Learning Opportunity

Topic: Sunday Study Group Mysteries of the Messiah by Rabbi Jason Sobel

Time: Sundays in June (6,13,20,27) at 11:15 AM

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83020709896?pwd=Z3ZXY1g4S2lRYlhXNkYvdHJ5ZDZWZz09

Meeting ID: 830 2070 9896

Passcode: 030418

Prayer Opportunities

Prayer Ribbons – COVID-19 Death in US

You are invited to pray for the families of COVID-19 victims.  There is one ribbon for each 1,000 Americans who have lost their lives to COVID-19. As of this week, that is 589 ribbons!! Pray for these families, which include the 10 from Muskingum County.

If you have a request for the Prayer Chain, please send an email to: zvillekats@aol.com

Service Opportunities

If you have a need, please email: pastor@graceumc516.org/

If you would like to be part of a team to help others with their various needs or to reach out with Christ’s love to someone, please email: pastor@graceumc516.org or office@graceumc516.org.

Giving Opportunities

Thank you for your continued financial support of the mission and ministry of Grace UMC. Your gifts are making a difference. If you desire, checks may be sent to, or dropped off at,the church at 516 Shinnick Street, Zanesville, OH 43701.  Or you may donate online using the West Ohio Conference Website: https://www.westohioumc.org/civicrm/contribute/transact?reset=1&id=99

Thank you for your ongoing support!

 MANY THANKS

HOSPITALITY TEAM

Under the leadership of Dana Swope, our Hospitality Team has graciously welcomed, seated and dismissed our worship attenders!  This team keeps everyone safely distanced in their entering, seating and exiting.  Even with the “relaxed” protocols, this team continues to share Christ’s extravagant love and radical hospitality.

 WORSHIP TEAM

We appreciate the excellent leadership of our Worship Leaders (Debbie Belt, Jeff Belt, Sarah Burris, Bill Cochran, Wendy Cochran, Jane Merry, Margaret Merry, Tony Merry, Pam Orians, Christy Swope, Cindi Swope) who continue to meet weekly to rehearse, prepare and lead worship.  These faithful servants continue to share the Word of God. Thank you to these dedicated servants!

TECHNOLOGY TEAM

Many thanks to Craig Hill and Dana C. Swope for their tireless efforts each week in live-streaming and/or recording of multiple worship services each month!

Altar Banners

Thank you to the various donors of these lovely seasonal and liturgical worship banners.  Thank you to Bill Woods for his ingenuity in hanging these banners!

 MCCI Update

Grace UMC continues to move forward with the Missional Church Consultation Initiative plans!

The Signature Ministry of a Music/Choir Academy is in the development and planning stage.

The Sanctuary/Welcome Space Assessment Team proposal has moved to the next phase.  It has been passed on to a Building Committee.  Designs and drawings will be forthcoming.

Children Ministry at Grace

The date has not been set yet, to bring back activities for the children during the worship. In the meantime, there are bags of activities for each family hanging in the entryway.

WHEN it is time to come back, we will offer the following:

Grace Space: Birth – 2 years old may play quietly next to their families in the Grace Space.

Nursery: 2-5 year (Kindergarten) will have easy crafts and play in the nursery.

5 years (Kindergarten) and up will have an easy Bible lesson and some fun in the Creation Room downstairs.

Tony plans to start a children’s choir for 1st grade and up this fall. The tentative plan is to have a short practice right after the morning worship.

AND join us for Play and Pray today June 13 from 4-6. Meet in the parking lot at Grace for a fun walk around downtown Zanesville. Highlights for the day: race through a obstacle course, read a book, draw on the sidewalk, visit the veteran’s memorial statues and just maybe someone will visit from history!! Anyone is welcome to attend!

This just in!! A new pastor will join Grace members on June 27.

Letter introducing our new pastor