Dear Friends,

With the number of Covid-19 cases on the rise in the United States, I wanted to address some of the concerns surrounding this virus and some of the things we can do to be proactive here at Christ United Methodist Church.

First, Worship will continue as scheduled until we are advised otherwise by the CDC or the Florida Conference of the UMC. We will however be taking some precautions to keep everyone as safe as possible. These precautions include:

1. Wiping down the pews after each service

2. Avoiding the use of hymnals as much as possible ( this will be your choice)

3. Sanitizing your hands before you enter the sanctuary as long as quantities of hand sanitizer last.

4. Serving bread for communion that has been cut into cubes by individuals wearing gloves and masks.

5. Practicing "the wave" for the Passing of the Peace rather than shaking hands.

6. Practicing social distancing….spreading out in the sanctuary.

Second, we are canceling all non-essential meetings through March 30. If you are a committee chair, and your committee must meet please use methods such as Facebook Live, Skype, Zoom or FaceTime.

Third, take care of yourself. The CDC says that those at a greater risk are those individuals over 60, with those over 80 and those having other health issues such as heart disease, kidney disease , compromised respiratory and immune systems and diabetes being the most vulnerable. With many members of our congregation falling into these two risks groups, I urge you to practice good hygiene, eat a healthy diet and get lots of rest. Be sure you have a few weeks supply of all medications and enough food in the house to last several weeks in the event that you need to be at home for an extended period of time.

In addition the conference has issued a statement saying , " When deciding whether to attend any event, if you feel sick, if you have a compromised immune system because of other underlying health issues, or if you have any concerns about your attendance, please make the wise decision to stay at home."

If you exhibit any signs of the Covid -19, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, or have come in contact with someone who has shown symptoms, self quarantine and call your physician. Find a "buddy" and do a wellness check on each other daily. Notify the church , if you are quarantined or put in isolation. The phone number is 352- 365-0622. In

As your pastor, I want you to know that you do not walk alone in these difficult days. I am praying for you and all those around the world whose lives have been impacted by this virus. I also want those who are unable to physically join us in worship to still feel connected to their brothers and sisters in Christ, while at home. Therefore I will be exploring how I can livestream worship on Facebook or post it to our website. As more details about this emerge, I will be in contact.

In the mean time, stay away from crowds, wash your hands often for 20 seconds (sing Amazing Grace or recite the Lord's Prayer.) and remember God loves you!

1 Peter 5:7 "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."

Blessed to Be Your Pastor,