Church leadership at the local, state and global level have been monitoring the rapid developments related to the COVID-19 virus. At the local level, our Church leadership and staff have been implementing recommended practices for mitigating risk of community transmission. However, earlier today, Governor Eric Holcomb announced additional steps the state will take including limiting non-essential gatherings to no more than 250 people.
Beginning this coming Sunday March 15th, services of the Santa Claus United Methodist Church will be suspended including all Sunday school and children’s ministry activities. This suspension of services will also apply to Wednesday evening bible study and TGIW activities. In lieu of traditional services, the Church will offer one worship service via live internet streaming at 9:00 AM CDT each Sunday, as well as, by delayed broadcast on YouTube. Details and instructions for accessing these video worship services remotely will be provided by separate email and made available on the Church website.
Pastor of Worship and Creative Arts, Clayton Ahlemeyer, will coordinate a somewhat limited Praise Team for Sunday video worship. The Praise Team will hold rehearsal beginning at 7:45 AM Sunday as planned in our revised Sunday worship schedule which was to have launched this Sunday. Members of the Praise Team will be contacted by Clayton in the near future to coordinate participation.
The planned roll-out of our new Sunday worship service format for Grounded (9:00 AM) and Rooted (10:15 AM) will be postponed until a future date when normal gatherings resume. In the meantime, Sunday video worship will draw from both service formats and worship leaders.
We are blessed by efforts of our Church’s Technology Team which had prepared to roll-out new high definition video streaming this coming Sunday! The Lord was at work in their efforts as we will now come to depend on their work more than we could have imagined. In addition, our new Church website has been launched and will also prove beneficial through this period of challenge to our Church family. The web address remains www.santaclausumc.org.
This situation is without precedent and calls for the coordinated community voice of our Church family in prayer. While there is certainty that this health challenge will pass in time, the uncertainty of the near term is unsettling to all of us. Our Governor’s statement also called for individuals over 60 years of age and/or with an underlying health issue to limit public exposure. As a Church family we need to rise to this occasion to provide extra support and encouragement to those most in need.
We anticipate that in-person worship services will remain suspended through the month of March. We remain hopeful we can return to standard worship after that time. Please also prayerfully consider continuing to tithe through this disruption as the needs of the Church and those it supports continue regardless of our worship schedule.
Tithing can be accomplished in either of the following ways: 1) You may physically mail your donations to the church at 351 N. Holiday Blvd., Santa Claus, IN 47579. 2) On our website, you will find a "Donate" button in the top right corner which will allow you to give electronically.
Finally, please know that the church staff will still be working throughout this situation, and all pastoral work will continue. If you have a need, please do not hesitate to contact Pastor Tim at (812) 708-0532 and firstname.lastname@example.org, or Pastor Clayton at (812) 704-2435 and email@example.com.
We love you, and we love God.
God is good all the time; all the time, God is good!
SCUMC Church Staff and Laity Leadership