COVID-19 Update–Letter from Pastor Ann
Dear friends and family of SUMC,
Blessings and peace to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I am sure you have heard that Gov. Ducey has lifted the restrictions intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19. I am troubled by this news because the pandemic is not over and the risks to life are not gone. We are finally getting ahead of this pandemic and so I do not believe that this is the time to throw caution to the wind and eliminate preventive measures as simple as mask wearing when in public.
The majority of people in our community have not yet been vaccinated–indeed many have not even been eligible to receive the vaccine until this week, and appointments are filled within minutes of when they open. Even those who have been vaccinated (which does not yet include me, by the way), should not be eager to put at risk those who are not vaccinated. I am troubled by the rush to eliminate the measures that have helped to reverse the dramatic and deadly increase in COVID infections that followed the Thanksgiving/Christmas holidays.
I am mindful that our most important Christian holiday is fast approaching with Palm Sunday and then Holy Week. It would be truly tragic if our celebration of the Lord’s resurrection caused anyone to catch COVID with its potential for life-threatening complications. Accordingly, we have planned beautiful and meaning worship experiences designed to be experienced outdoors or online, or in the case of Good Friday with staggered start times, and we will move forward with our plans.
On April 11, we will worship with our entire conference in an on-line worship experience. On that Sunday, there will be no physical gathering on campus.
Then on April 18, provided the COVID numbers continue to decline as they have been, we may be ready to move into Phase 2 of our plan to reopen the sanctuary. You will receive more information in the coming days about what that means, what preparations we are making, and how you can help us move forward.
I hope to see a full parking lot and many online to celebrate and worship on Palm Sunday.
Rev. Ann Lyter
Worship in the time of COVID-19
We have never faced a situation like this before. In unprecedented times, we have to try unprecedented things. We are now worshiping online. Our worship services are on YouTube.com and Facebook. We go “Live” at 9:30 am on Sunday mornings. To watch on YouTube.com simply click our Channel.
Second Sunday of Easter, April 11—Desert Southwest Worship (No services on campus)
SUMC will be joining with the other churches of the Desert Southwest Conference for worship on April 11, the second Sunday of the Easter season. This worship will be offered as an online worship only—there will be no services on campus this day.
To enjoy our online worship services, you can find a link on our webpage, www.scottsdaleumc.org, on our Facebook page, and on our YouTube channel.
1A “social bubble” is a group of people, not necessarily in a single household, but who spend so much time together that it makes sense to treat them as a single household. People in a social bubble should covenant with each other about the care they will take in avoiding exposure to COVID—they all agree not to eat out at restaurants, to always wear a mask when outside their home, etc. A social bubble is a way for single people to have some social interaction while minimizing their risk. It can be quite effective if carefully put together and if everyone honors their promises about avoiding exposure.