*** If you need to meet or talk with Pastor Luke please call the church office to set up an appointment."      |      We are open for Sunday morning services starting at 9:00 am or continue to watch us on our Facebook page.      |      NEW - Online "Giving" is now available. "Giving" button located in the upper right corner of the website. See the "News" section for more information.      |      Listen to Online Sunday Service by your phone. See "News" for more information and directions.      |      "News" page (updated daily & weekly) with Bible App for Kids, Lesson Activities & Resources for Children's Sunday School, activities for everyone, learning resources, and much more.      |      Extra pews FREE and free kid-size chairs. More information is available under the "News" section of the website. ***
First United Methodist Church

Re-Opening Information

  Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020 @ 3:03 pm

With our state reopening portions of society, our board has to discuss what our timeline and procedures for re-gathering in our sanctuaries would look like. Before we enter into the details of when and how this will look, it is important to approach this from a common perspective.

Our reasons for suspending, as well as resume, in-person activities have always been and will always be rooted within the love of God and love for neighbor. Whether you are following Wesley’s three general rules (do no harm, do good, stay in the presence of God) or Martin Luther’s (one of the founders of Protestantism) exhortation during his own pandemic of, “do not tempt God,” with carelessness, for the Christian our response should not come from fear or a sense of our own entitlements and rights, but rather from a place of deep of love and concern for the at-risk, the disadvantaged, and those that may not readily come to mind. This mirrors the own attitude of Christ, who gave himself up for the good of others, and is the attitude and spirit that will bring about the kingdom of God. Ours is the confidence that God, no matter the circumstances and no matter our lot, is turning all things towards good despite the situation; those who love Him will experience this sense of peace and courage regardless of what might be happening (or not happening), and it is from this position of trust that we walk with God through faith.

So, from a place of love and care, your AdministrativeBoard has decided to invite those that feel comfortable to re-gather for worship in our sanctuaries to do so. This decision while not unanimous, was made while taking into consideration the current COVID-19infection and transmission rates within Fremont and Page counties, the emotional and spiritual wear from being dispersed, and recommendations from our own governing denominational bodies. What this does not means that you are required to worship with us in person; we will continue to stream our worship services so that those who are at-risk, uncomfortable, or unable to attend in person will still have the opportunity to worship with us. This is an individual choice and there will be no blame or judgment from me or our leadership if people decide to worship from home; the important thing is that you find a way to worship, regardless if that is in-person, online, or by TV or radio.

Let me repeat what I’ve just said. If you are at-risk or frequently around people who are, we encourage you to worship with us from home. You are not required to worship in the sanctuary to still be able to sit within the Presence of God.

Ifyou have decided to worship with us in person, there are a few changes that we will be making to continue to show our love and concern for those around us.

• You will be welcomed by two sets of greeters as you enter that will be helping direct traffic.

• We will be maintaining at least six feet apart in the pews, meaning that only every third pew will be available. One family per row, and if there is only a single person in a row, another single person may sit on the opposite end of the pew. The ushers will assist you if you are unsure of what is available.

• Masks will not be required, but are highly encouraged. If you do not have a mask there will be some that will be provided at the door by our greeters.

• Singing is allowed, however not encouraged. I invite you to join with me in clapping, humming, swaying to the music while tapping your fingers/toes to the rhythm, etc. as better, alternative ways to engage during worship.

• The offering box will be in the back for you to deposit your tithes on the way out after service.

• There will be no bulletins for service, however, the liturgy, responses, and order will be put up on the screen. We are suggesting that you also refrain from using hymnals during the service.

• The Sacraments (communion) will be suspended until a way to honor their integrity while minimizing risk is discerned. We will let you know as soon as we will be resuming them.

• The church will not be providing coffee fellowship before or after church at this time.

Friends,thank you for your patience in all of this. There has been a great deal of change over these past few months and there will continue to change that will have to be made, but the core of our message and identity will remain the same. We are an Easter people, full of the hope of Christ and the possibility of the Holy Spirit. Ours is a message of love and forgiveness, of invitation and grace, and we will continue to honor our Creator and love His creation, especially those who bear the image of God. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me, but know that whether you worship from home or gathered in person that my heart and my prayers go with you and that God is present in the midst of all of this. Go with God, and we’ll see you soon.

PastorLuke Fillmore


Welcome Center (Coffee & Conversation): 8:30-9:00 a.m.
Worship Service: 9:00-10:00 a.m.
Fellowship: 10:00-10:30 a.m.
Sunday School: 10:30-11:30 a.m.(only during school year)

P.O. Box 394


Shenandoah, IA 51601