Are you looking for a place to belong? You’ll receive a warm welcome at Richmond United Methodist Church.
We are a church dedicated to Jesus Christ. We are committed to outreach and to minister in His name.
There is an array of family oriented ministries providing opportunities for children, youth, and adults to grow in faith, to enjoy Christian friendship, and to serve Christ.
There is a place for you at Richmond United Methodist Church.
We are very excited to return to worshipping together. From folks who have missed fellowship to those who have felt isolated and cut off, we are enormously eager to get back to the fundamental character of “church.” Our original goal had been to return to worship on June 14th, but as of the writing of this article, we have now moved that time up to June 7th. Please remain flexible with us, however, because we are seeking to be good, wise, and faithful stewards during this time. We will provide a One-Call alert when we have final confirmation on our exact return.
We must also be aware, however, that there have been very good reasons for our separation – reasons that are still very tangible. As we come back together, therefore, we are required to implement some changes in order to be as safe as possible. Paul defined our approach in 1 Cor. 9:22, “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.” Nothing is perfect, but we are “trying to think of others more highly than ourselves” (paraphrased from Romans 12:3).
First off, however, I must acknowledge the simple truth that gathering in large groups presents an inherent danger of contracting COVID-19. We are doing everything we can think of to minimize exposure, but if you feel uncomfortable being in worship, or if you are at high risk of complications should you get this disease, then God bless you, and please stay home. Furthermore, if you are feeling ill, please stay home and get feeling better. If you have a computer but don’t know how to access the sermons, please contact the office and we will find a way to help you. Please stay safe.
For those who do feel comfortable returning to the church, we must nonetheless change our patterns to facilitate the best practices for reducing the spread of disease. (Let me just take this opportunity to apologize in advance, because everybody is going to be inconvenienced by the changes we are implementing.) The good news is that we are going to continue holding our services at the same times, in the same ways, and with the same spirit. Heck, we’re even adding a service on Saturday night so that we can keep posting on Facebook. Within the services, however, we will need to maintain social distancing from one another, which means no handshakes or hugs. Hand sanitizer will be available at each entrance to the church and we ask everyone to take a squirt. Masks are suggested, and we have a limited supply of disposable masks that will be at the information desk. These are intended for those with respiratory concerns or compromised immune systems who don’t have a mask of their own.
We further ask everybody who can to please enter and exit the church building through the double doors facing Sugar Street. For those with mobility problems who need the elevator, please enter through the door off of the parking lot by the kitchen. We will have a greeter at this door to provide assistance entering the building. Another greeter will be at the information desk at the main entrance to help with direction. Please note: we are asking everybody else to please use only the double-doors by the stairs leading to the rear of the sanctuary.
If you arrive before the first service has dismissed, please do not come upstairs or linger in the parlor. Instead, please enter the Fellowship Hall and stay six feet apart from other families.
The stairwell to the sanctuary on your right (as you enter) is reserved for people with masks. Similarly, the section of the sanctuary in front of the organ and the pulpit (that’s the stand the pastor stands behind during the service) is reserved for those with masks.
Within the service itself, please be flexible and patient. Per the suggestion of the bishop in conjunction with the state government and medical professionals, we are not going to distribute bulletins, pass collection plates, hold Sunday School, “pass the peace,” have a kids’ sermon, or sing. The order of worship will be displayed on the screen. Boxes for offerings and prayer requests are available at each door of the sanctuary. The pastor will collect the prayer cards from these boxes during the opening minutes of worship. Parents are encouraged to bring distractions, entertainment, and snacks for your kids. And everybody is encouraged to hum with the songs.
Folks, I fully understand that these are not minor alterations. In fact, most of these preparations are a pain in the neck – I don’t know of anybody who is glad of these changes. And unfortunately, as the situation dictates we will probably need to do even more things differently – but only in the short term. Please remember that our worship should be an example of our faith. For a short season we are required to endure discomfort, but let us instead focus on God’s grace and provision that has brought us through this time. I don’t like suspending elements of worship that I enjoy, but I love being together in worship far more. We may not be able to be comfortable in our routine, but praise God that we serve a living Savior who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow!
So I am joyful that even with these inconveniences, we will soon be back together in worship. I am glad that we are livestreaming the Bible study on Tuesday nights. I’m elated that we are adding a third worship service on Saturday night (gather at 7:00 pm) to be
livestreamed (starting at 7:30 pm). And I am immensely grateful for the love and compassion of our church family, for the grace you are extending to each other and to me. Thank you for “hangin’ in there,” because the end is in sight!
In Christ, Byron