Covid19 Update March 4, 2021

First, it is with great joy we announce that on Sunday, March 7 @ 10:15 a.m, we will resume our in-person worship service, “Fresh Air”. The COVID-19 statistics and record hospitalizations have dramatically moved down, returning from a “high” in mid-January to numbers lower than October 2020. This is largely due to good social distancing practices, people getting vaccines, and those who have had COVID and now have antibodies. We are thankful for this positive movement, but we must continue to be vigilant and responsible.

Nearly one year ago, on March 14, 2020, we were mandated to close our in-person worship services due to the COVID-19 outbreak. At that time, we began online streaming of our worship service at Aldersgate. In September 2020 we resumed in-person worship outside with the “Fresh Air” service while still offering the 9 a.m. online worship service.

Due to weather, we moved our outdoor service inside for Advent Worship. Then, with increased hospitalizations, deaths, and outbreaks of COVID among staff, families, and our community at large, we made the disappointing decision to cease inside in-person worship. We were able to host Christmas Eve service online, and provide an in-person outdoor Christmas Eve service. In January we remained online only with the “First Light” service at 9am.

Please realize we have made all these decisions based on data, CDC advice, and in consultation with our Bishop. We take all of these matters seriously and we prayerfully make these tough decisions to protect you and others.

With improving numbers coupled with the number of church and community members receiving vaccines, we are ready to resume the in-person OUTDOOR “Fresh Air” worship service. We resume Fresh Air worship because we believe we can do so responsibly and safely. I want you to know that our decisions are in no way political, or disrespectful of Governor Abbot. In yesterday’s statement, the Governor said,

“To be clear, COVID has not suddenly disappeared,” and that “removing state mandates does not end personal responsibility and caring for your family members, friends and others in your community. Instead, it is a reminder that each person has a role to play in their own personal safety and the safety of others.”

Therefore, Aldersgate UMC will continue to follow the safety protocols that have been in place since last spring. (Masks Required, Social Distancing enforced, self screening encouraged, etc). These safety measures will only work if those of us who gather follow them and adhere to the socially distancing guidelines; just as we all did so successfully last fall.

If you have any questions please contact Pastor Rodney or Charles Finklea our chair of Trustees.

Rodney Whitfield
Senior Pastor
Aldersgate UMC