October 14, 2020
Dear St. Matthews UMC Family and Friends,
I am writing to inform you that someone who attended our 9:30am service at the Browns Lane campus this past Sunday, October 11, tested positive for COVID on Monday. I spoke to this person on the phone yesterday and today and they are feeling well and have been asymptomatic the entire time. I ask you to please join me in praying for the continued health of this person and those they are closest to.
Our COVID-19 Reentry Team felt that it was important to share a few details to make sure everyone understands the situation clearly and to prevent misinformation:
The person who tested positive wore a mask the entire time.
They kept the appropriate social distance and did not have close contact with anyone other than a family member, who tested negative.
This person was asymptomatic and passed our temperature screening before entering the building.
This individual notified the church immediately upon obtaining their positive result.
We are grateful that there was not direct contact in this case and that everyone followed the reentry guidelines we have in place. The purpose of these guidelines is to reduce the risk of exposure to congregants in the event an infected individual would unknowingly attend our services. This positive test emphasizes why we are taking these precautions so seriously.
However, after consulting with our COVID Reentry Team, as well as the Kentucky Annual Conference Reentry Team Chairperson and our District Superintendent, Rev. Dr. John Hatton, out of an abundance of caution, we will be cancelling in-person worship this Sunday, October 18th, for the 9:30am service at the Browns Lane campus. This service will still be livestreamed on Facebook at 9:30am and available on YouTube afterward. This cancellation will not affect in-person services for Tabernaculo de Avivamiento (TDA) or the River City campus. We will monitor this situation closely and if there are no changes, our plan will be to resume this service on Sunday, October 25th.
I understand that some will feel this is an overreaction and others will feel we aren’t doing enough. However, we are committed to doing our best to ensure the safety of our staff and congregation and listening to the guidance of government, medical, and denominational leaders. I deeply believe that our love for one another during times like these, our care for those who are vulnerable and at highest-risk, and our compassion for those who are sick or have suffered loss is a powerful witness to the grace of Jesus at work within us. So, please join me in prayer for the health and safety of everyone involved.
Rev. Adam Sparks & St. Matthews UMC Reentry Team