July 24, 2020
Dear St. Matthews UMC Family and Friends,
Last night Bishop Leonard Fairley issued a call for churches to respond to the rising trajectory of COVID-19 cases in our state by considering not holding in-person worship services for the next two Sundays: July 26th and August 2nd. The Bishop’s request (see below) comes after Governor Andy Beshear made this recommendation to the Kentucky Council of Churches on Wednesday.
After prayerful consideration by our church’s COVID-19 Reentry Team, we have made the decision to honor this request made by the Governor and our Bishop. From the beginning of this pandemic, the number one priority of our church’s reentry team has been the safety of our staff and congregation. We also want to do everything we can to bless our community and protect the most vulnerable among us. Therefore, we will not be holding indoor, in-person worship for the next two Sundays. Our reentry team will continue to assess the situation and will make decisions about future in-person opportunities based on the guidance of our conference, as well as, government and health officials.
For the next two Sundays, we will observe the following schedule for worship:
9:00am, Church on the Lawn at the River City Campus--All are welcome and songs will be hymns and contemporary. Please bring a chair and mask! Temp checks, masks and social distancing rules in place.
9:30am, Facebook Live, St. Matthews Campus combined Traditional and Canvas Service. Please note that we are going to begin emailing a link to this service shortly before it begins so that it is accessible, even by those without a Facebook account.
10:45am, Facebook Live, River City Campus
12:30pm, Facebook Live, Tabernaculo de Avivamiento (TDA)
I want to thank you in advance for your understanding, flexibility, and commitment during these challenging times. I am amazed by how we continue to discover new ways to be the church and make disciples even when we can’t gather in person.
Please continue to pray for our church, our community, and our world and its leaders.
Pastors Adam, Derek, and Maikel and
the COVID-19 Reentry Team
Read the Statement from Bishop Leonard Fairley:
As the trajectory of COVID-19 cases has risen over the past 14 days, Gov. Andy Beshear has requested that all churches in Kentucky suspend in-person worship services for the next two Sundays — July 26 and Aug. 2.
This request was presented to the Kentucky Council of Churches during the Governor’s weekly check-in with judicatory leadership of the council on Wednesday.
As Bishop of the Kentucky Annual Conference, I am prayerfully asking each of you to consider honoring the Governor’s request.
Please know that I trust the clergy and lay leadership of our Annual Conference to make wise decisions with the protection of life always at the forefront of your decisions. If you should decide to remain open, please follow the Conference guidelines even more stringently, if possible, than you have.
You can find the guidelines on the Kentucky Conference website at:
Please know you are always in my prayers in this rapidly changing atmosphere. You have throughout this season of challenge and change been faithfully resilient in discovering new ways to present the gospel – whether through online worship, outdoor services, or drive-in services. For that I am grateful and ask that you continue to discover new ways God is calling us to be the church and even though this request comes with short notice, I know we can successfully carry out the Governor’s request.
Gathering for other events
I am urging churches to continue to follow the guidelines set out by the state for weddings and funerals. At present, there has been no new guidance around those activities.
Please remember that we are all in this together and things can change rapidly. However, some things are still consistent: Please avoid large crowds when you can and if you are feeling under the weather, please worship virtually.
As things continue to change, we will continue to give you the most up-to-date information we have and ask you to follow the most recent guidelines we have available.
If there are questions concerning this request or any of the guidelines put forth, please contact the conference re-entry team, email@example.com.
Bishop Leonard E. Fairley