Sunday Worship – 11am at Duffey Church
Tuesday Youth Group – 6:30pm at Duffey Church
As you can see from the below letter from the Administrative Council, many groups and individuals have been working hard to prepare for a return to in-person indoor worship this coming Sunday, July 4. I am pleased and proud to be the pastor of a church with so many willing workers. The biggest single project has been providing better circulation and air filtration in the older (nearly 100-year-old) part of the building. The Family Life Center and the Youth Room were designed with very good circulation, but our original building was not. The trustees have made several changes which will substantially reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19 (or any other virus). With these changes, along with the high vaccination rate among our members, the much-improved numbers in Hardy County, and appropriate distance between families, we believe that we can gather safely for worship in our building.
Do keep in mind, however, that not all of our folks have been vaccinated. We know that none of our young children have been vaccinated. Besides that, we invite the public at large to worship with us, and we will not know whether newcomers have been vaccinated. So, please do your part to keep everyone safe.
Masks are still a good idea, and for most of us they are not a particular hardship. For the time being, I will continue to wear a mask when I am not speaking to the congregation. When I am speaking to the congregation, I will be behind a plexiglass shield. If Hardy County’s numbers continue to be as good as they are now, however, we will not require masks in the sanctuary. If you prefer not to be among those who are without masks, you are invited to sit in the Family Life Center, where you will be able to see a video from the sanctuary. Families with children and others who have not been vaccinated may want to come to the Family Life Center rather than the sanctuary.
We are not forgetting that we had several people who expressed a preference for continuing to gather outdoors. Beginning Sunday, we will try an evening service at 7:30 at Brighton Park, near the park office. If there is adequate interest, we will also provide an audio feed to our church picnic shelter during our Sunday morning services. For those who prefer to stay at home, we will continue to offer our radio program on WELD-FM at 10:30, a live-stream of the service on our Facebook page, and a recording of our service on both our Facebook page and our website.
Please note that a lot of work has gone into reorganizing our Sunday School and preparing adequately ventilated classrooms. I believe that we need to be able to talk with one another about our spiritual lives. It is not enough just to listen to the preacher. Please consider coming at 9:45 Sunday for Sunday School.
I hope to see many of you on Sunday.
Yours in Christ’s service,
Duffey Memorial United Methodist Church
July 4th “Reopening the Building”
Duffey Memorial will open the building on July 4th for indoor worship using the Sanctuary and the Family Life Center. The Trustees, Administrative Council and congregation members have been diligently preparing the church building for opening, upgrading our air handlers to ensure good ventilation, and sprucing up our church building and grounds with some needed maintenance.
Sunday School classes will also be indoors on July 4th, using classrooms that have been cleaned and prepared for use with windows, fans, and air filters to ensure good fresh air circulation.
We will continue to follow the Governor’s guidelines. As of last week, the “mask mandate” is no longer in effect and not a requirement for indoor spaces. We feel that with our improvements to the fresh air supply to the church that masks are no longer necessary while Hardy County is in the current “green” status. Duffey Administrative Council and Trustees will monitor the color coding of Hardy County and adjust accordingly per recommendations from the West Virginia Annual Conference and Health Department.
We encourage everyone in our congregation to take precautions and use respect for others in social distancing and using hand sanitizer while in the building. If anyone is sick, has symptoms of COVID-19 or any other viral illness, please stay home to rest or seek medical attention. Moving forward, we as Christians need to be diligent to think of others and do everything possible to keep our more vulnerable church members safe.
The Duffey Administrative Council and Trustees are trying to accommodate the fact that our congregation “Moving Forward” survey was equally in favor of worship in the park as it was for return to normal services indoors. We will be offering seating in the Family Life Center for those in our congregation who wish to wear a mask and maintain more social distancing. Duffey Trustees are working on a plan to transmit the service between the Sanctuary and Family Life Center for indoor worship. Outdoor worship opportunities will be announced, and Duffey will continue to support radio and online ministries even when we are not in a pandemic. We are reaching more folks than ever throughout the week and look forward to having all ministries working together to spread the Word.
Please come to Duffey on July 4th, or please participate online as you are able. Many in our church have done a tremendous amount to prepare the building, support our Pastor, and continue ministries during a pandemic. Let us celebrate being together in joyful worship. Please pray for our congregation, our ministries, and bring a willing heart to help in all ways that you are called to do so. Bless you.