Statement on Coronavirus
A Letter from Pastor Bri: NO WORSHIP 3/15 or 3/22
After long, careful, prayerful discernment, our church leadership has decided to suspend worship for at least the next two weeks. There will be NO SUNDAY WORSHIP on March 15th or March 22nd. Decisions on future weeks will be made as they approach. All other church groups, meetings, events, meals, concerts, rehearsals, etc. are also being cancelled through the end of the month (none will resume earlier than April 1st).
Online worship will be available on Facebook on Sunday mornings at the usual time – join us for a new and innovative worship experience! Please also keep in touch with our staff through email, mail, phone and (where applicable) text messages. Let us know how you are. Let us know how we can pray for you.
This decision has not been made lightly. As you are likely aware, there are now confirmed cases of COVID-19 (the Coronavirus) in our area. Our area colleges and universities are no longer holding classes except online, and Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor Public Schools have closed through early April.
I have been increasingly convinced that the best and most moral choice is to be proactive in protecting our congregation and guests. The evidence suggests that it can take up to fourteen days for symptoms to reveal your exposure to the illness, and according to our medical professionals, the best way we can protect ourselves and our community is by limiting or eliminating social contact whenever possible. We are cancelling services and events not only to protect ourselves but to protect all of those with whom we come into contact, especially our loved ones and neighbors who are at the highest risk. While it hurts my soul not to be physically present with you on Sundays, I truly do believe that every day matters in this situation, and lives are at stake.
We will continue to evaluate as the situation develops, and will keep you informed through emails, Facebook, the church website, and the outgoing message on the church answering machine (the message you hear when you call in).
While this is a time for an abundance of caution, this is not a time for panic. Fear can lead us to make decisions which actually harm our neighbors, whether through discrimination or by hoarding resources (like food, medicine, face masks, etc.) so that they are unavailable to those in need.
Our church staff and leaders will continue to be in discussion and will work to stay in close contact with you as the situation unfolds.
Holding you in prayer, now and always,
Pastor Bri, in consultation with
the Ypsilanti First UMC Staff & Leaders
Read on to learn more about the COVID-19 “Coronavirus”:
Remember, your church leaders are not medical professionals. Please keep informed of the latest updates from the CDC. Here is some of the basic information that has been provided so far:
Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. These symptoms can be caused by other illnesses, including the flu. If you have symptoms, you should contact your health care provider. Remember that it’s possible to carry the virus even before symptoms occur.
There is no vaccine at this time to protect you from COVID-19; the best approach is prevention. Current prevention recommendations include thorough handwashing (for at least 20 seconds with soap and water; use hand sanitizer only when soap and water are not available), staying away from others when sick, and maintaining “social distancing” (allowing extra space between yourself and others in public settings). If you must cough or sneeze, use a tissue, then throw the tissue away and wash your hands immediately. Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces daily; make sure your disinfectant is approved for use against SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19).
The risk of the disease is greater for older adults, individuals with severe underlying chronic medical conditions (heart disease, lung disease, diabetes), individuals who have recently undergone chemotherapy or have a compromised immune system for any reason.