Dear Asbury Family,
During this time of Covid-19 separation, I have found myself saying, “They didn’t teach this class in seminary.” Perhaps, we all feel unprepared for what we have experienced so far and are even more concerned about the future. While thinking about this and our preparation for returning to worshipping together, I was reminded of Luke 10:1-9 and Jesus sending out followers. He sends out seventy to go ahead of him to places he intends to go. He gives them the authority to work with people, sharing peace and healing. This is my prayer for the reopening of church. May it be a sharing of peace and healing not just for us as individuals, but for our community as well.
You may have questions and concerns regarding reopening. Please understand that our plan is submitted to the district superintendent with the intention to follow the guidelines set forth by the conference. In this same spirit of connectionalism, we are partnering with our sister churches to be able to all open together.
Some may wonder about the timeline. There are several things that we have to work on putting in place for us to safely open. Two of these are our sanitizing protocols for in between the services and registering attendance. These will require volunteers to help manage. We are hoping to have 16 volunteers, this will enable persons to serve one week a month. Because of the one hour turn around in between services, this is required for us to be able to open. We also plan to introduce an automated registration system using a kiosk set up for smartphones. We understand that not everyone has a smartphone. That is the reason for the redundant backups, picture taking, and volunteers listing attendees. If you are in one of the at risk categories we encourage you to continue to worship with us online.
We thank you for your continued support of the mission and ministry of Jesus at Asbury. We have been so blessed by your generosity and have been able to continue the benevolence ministry of the church and begin new ministries like our safe shopper program. Some have been able to continue their giving to the church while others have had to adjust their giving. I want to share with you that we find ourselves about $8,000 behind where we were to this point last year, as well as behind to our budget plan. We do expect our expenses to increase as we open up the church under these unprecedented times. The leadership of Asbury hopes that as things open up, people will continue to be able to give to the ministry of the church.
I look forward to seeing you as we are able to safely gather together. Please continue to join me in prayer for our community, our leaders, and our nation. I ask God’s hand to be on you and to hold us each safely as we reopen Asbury. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Blessings and peace,
Rev. Gerald Jones