3/20/20

Dear Sierra Vista Family, 

Because we are not having face-to-face worship this weekend, we wanted to make sure you know how you can worship with us. 

First of all, you can join us online for worship. Our live services will air at the same time as normal worship services: 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and 8:30 & 11:00 a.m. on Sunday. We will broadcast all three weekend services live via the following online options: 

Secondly, if you know of folks who aren’t online, please know that… 

We are also broadcasting

our 11:00 a.m. service on KKSA, 1260AM.

We are so excited about having you join us in worship!


ADDENDUM:
3/14/20, 12:00 PM (CST) 

After much prayer, conversation, and discernment, Sierra Vista UMC will keep its normal worship schedule for this weekend, March 14-15 (Saturday at 5:30 p.m. and Sunday at 8:30 & 11:00 a.m.). The Nursery will be available for childcare. However, Sunday school classes are discouraged from meeting.

Sierra Vista also encourages specific individuals to stay home: 

  • Those who are at higher risk of recovering from the coronavirus because they have one or more of the following conditions:
    • Age 60 or older
    • Diabetes
    • Asthma, COPD, or other lung condition
    • Heart disease
  • Those who have symptoms associated with the coronavirus (fever, cough, shortness of breath)
  • Those who have recently travelled to areas where the COVID-19 has been diagnosed
  • Those who are simply uncomfortable being in groups of people

 Sierra Vista understands and supports the decision of anyone to stay home, and, if you opt to not attend services in person, we invite you to tune into worship via Facebook Live. You can find this opportunity on the Facebook page for Sierra Vista United Methodist Church at established worship times. If you prefer, you can also access the services Monday morning on our YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwryqjyWPAYe5-loHWT61ow?view_as=subscriber) or via audio only on our website (http://sierravista.org/sermons/index). 

For those who do attend services, we will exercise best practices in regards to social distancing:

  •  We will not Pass the Peace.
  • We will not distribute registration pads for signing in.
  • We will not "pass the plate" for the offering; instead, the offering plates will be available at the back of the Sanctuary for tithes and donations. Online giving information will also be made available as an option.
  • We will encourage those in attendance to spread out and offer space to those around them. 

While this is a fluid situation and is changing rapidly, we will continue to monitor the situation and will reassess in the coming days. Most importantly, we will continue to pray for our congregation and our world. 

For additional information, please call the Church Office at 325/944-4041.

3/12/20

In our efforts to be conscientious stewards of the blessings and responsibilities we have been given, Sierra Vista will be continually considering how the spread of COVID-19, also called the coronavirus, will impact our congregation. After initial consideration, we will be adopting the following practices to help ensure the safety and health of our church community. Many of these recommendations are healthy practices we can use throughout the year, especially during cold and flu season; specifically, the simple habit of thorough handwashing can drastically limit the spread of diseases. In the coming weeks, our policies will shift, and the importance of staying informed will be very important for us all.

Church Office 

Unless otherwise instructed by the CDC, State health officials, or the City of San Angelo, the Sierra Vista Office will continue to maintain normal business hours. In response to COVID-19, the Church staff is taking steps to help promote good health:

  • Extra attention is being given to cleaning doorknobs, door handles, handrails, and other public surfaces.
  • Hand sanitizer is available throughout the office.
  • Staff exhibiting signs of illness will be asked to stay home.

 

Worship Services 

Sierra Vista will continue meeting and worshipping together. If a person from our community has a confirmed case of COVID-19, we will follow the recommendation of the CDC, as well as State and City health officials. Further, below are additional changes that will be implemented on our Church campus:

  • Alternative greetings will be offered to our community during the Passing of the Peace and while greeting one another, as well as during the sending forth song, “Go, Now in Peace,” during Sunday services.
  • Janitorial staff will maintain regular cleanings with bleach and other antibacterials and will keep the restrooms stocked with hand soap.
  • Tissues, additional trash receptacles, and hand sanitizers will be made available in all common areas.
  • People will be encouraged to stay at home if they are experiencing symptoms of illness (i.e., fever, cough, shortness of breath, etc.).
  • The Sierra Vista community will be reminded that all sermons are available online by the following Monday morning via both video on our YouTube channel and audio only on our website. These worship alternatives are a wonderful way for individuals to recover from an illness at home while staying connected to the Church.

 

Communion 

  • Communion servers will be limited to those who do NOT appear to have illness symptoms (i.e., fever, cough, shortness of breath, etc.).
  • Communion chalices, cups, trays, cup fillers, and patens (plates) will be washed thoroughly with hot water and dish soap before and after each use. These items will also be stored in a dry, clean place.
  • Those who prepare the communion elements will ready fresh elements with clean hands and will not have any communicable illness, including colds.
  • Communion servers will exit the worship space to wash hands with soap and water at the nearest facility and will all publicly use alcohol-based hand sanitizer prior to handling the elements.
  • Communion servers will give the small, communion cups to each recipient, being careful not to touch the hands of the recipient. The server should not touch any used cups, nor should those receiving communion place the used cups back into the trays.
  • Communion servers will be the only ones to touch the loaves, as the practice of individuals breaking off the bread for themselves greatly increases the risk for contamination.
  • Communion servers will be asked not to touch their faces after washing their hands and using the sanitizer.
  • Holy Communion by intinction (dipping the bread in the communal cup) will be discontinued until the threat of the COVID-19 has lessened.

  

Communication 

  • Our administration will reach out to the groups that use our facility to partner with them to maintain community health.
  • Sierra Vista UMC pledges to its members that it will stay abreast of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak and will keep the congregation informed of the steps the Church is taking in response to COVID-19. 
     

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