Bethel United Methodist Church, P. O. Box 341, Oilville, VA 23129
June 12, 2020
Dear Bethel Family,
This letter is to communicate with you regarding what our church is doing related to an eventual reopening of our church for in-person worship services.
As you may know, our in-person worship is governed by our Virginia Conference Bishop, Sharma D. Lewis. In May, Governor Northam announced his Phase 2 Virginia opening. Accordingly, Bishop Lewis, notified our local churches that they would be permitted to open no sooner than June 21, 2020, under her Stage 2 in-worship requirements. One of those requirements is that our church form a Healthy Church Team (HCT), which was discussed at our May Council meeting on May 19, 2020 and approved to be formed. Frank Carney later volunteered to chair that committee and it was formed.
On June 9, 2020 the HCT, after some email communication and discussion, met and made a decision to not open under Stage 2, but to wait for Stage 3 to be announced by our Bishop and then reopen for in-person worship. This decision was made after looking closely at what our requirements are for Stage 2 reopening and determining the requirements were so stringent that it would be better to continue to use only live streaming of our worship services. So, we are still waiting for Stage 3 to be implemented by Bishop Lewis, which will occur no sooner than Governor Northam announcing Virginia’s move to Phase 3 reopening. When we get ready to reopen in Stage 3, we will communicate with you regarding that process. On June 11, 2020, Pastor John had another Zoom Richmond District meeting. In that meeting an informal survey of what churches plan to do was conducted and 11% of churches plan to open June 21, 20% of churches hope to open soon, 70% of churches are not sure when they will open.
We encourage you to participate in our online worship either live or by viewing the service recording both of which are available on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/betheloil). If you need help with viewing our service, please call the church office and we will arrange help for you.
On another note, please remember that we still have expenses that need to be met on an ongoing basis and any offering you can make is greatly appreciated. If you have online banking and it provides a bill pay service that can be used to make a contribution. You may also simply mail a check to the church’s post office box, or drop it by when someone is in the office.
Please let someone know if you have questions about any of this.
If you need any kind of help or support during this Covid-19 pandemic, please reach out to our pastor or one of your church families.
Bless each and every one of you. We pray for all of you often.
Frank Carney, Chairperson, Healthy Church Team