United Methodist Church
Dear Philadelphia Church Family,
I greet you in the name of our Risen Lord, Jesus Christ.
As we reach another milestone in our decision-making this letter to is offer an update on our plans moving forward. It is no small thing we’ve been facing, seeking to make wise decisions, seeking to care for the most vulnerable among us, and seeking to be faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. After reading the advice of Bishop Holston, the Cabinet of the South Carolina United Methodist Churches and Congregational Specialists, and after gathering with our Philadelphia UMC COVID-19 Task Force (Wes Dover, Helen Lewis, Wayne Sandifer, Tracy Miskelly, Gary Wright and Rev. Emily Sutton) we have made the decision to resume in-person worship for those who are ready to come back to in-person worship on June 14th, 2020 at 9:30am. We will also continue online worship using Facebook Live and posting our services on the church website weekly.
I want to be clear; you have permission to stay home and worship online if that is what is best for you and if that is what you feel most comfortable doing at this time. There is no shame or embarrassment in staying home. We want to care for you and everyone in our community in the best way possible and that is why we will have options for both online and in-person worship beginning on June 14th, 2020 at 9:30am.
For those who choose to come back to in-person worship, things will not go back to what we may think is normal. As we adhere to the social distancing protocols, seek to ensure the safety of all who worship and create a sacred and safe space, things will be different. The COVID-19 Task Force has created a protocol that is detailed on the next page of this document. Please know everything that we have planned has been done with the utmost care and thoughtfulness to ensure we can offer a safe worship environment for our church family and our larger community.
As we enter this new phase it is my sincere prayer that you will be patient with me and our church leadership. Be patient with one another for we are walking in new territory. I pray as we continue to celebrate the gift of the Spirit on Pentecost, God’s Spirit guides us in all we do.
Peace in Christ! Blessings,
Philadelphia UMC COVID-19 Protocol
The Philadelphia UMC COVID-19 Task Force has created a plan for our church to return to in-person worship for this summer includes the following:
We will gather outside on the cemetery side of the church. There is shade on this side of the church and parking for those who do not wish to exit their vehicles.
Masks are encouraged for all attending worship. (We will have masks available for those who may need them)
To prevent the spread of the virus, there will not be a paper bulletin, Bibles, hymnals, or any writing materials provided. We encourage you to bring a Bible, or to use a Bible app on your phone during the service. Each week an electronic bulletin will be emailed to the congregation as well as posted on the church website for the use of those worshiping in-person or online. No paper bulletins will be made available to eliminate contact between individuals.
Rev. Emily Sutton will preach from the back of a flatbed truck with a microphone. Sandra Robbins and other special guests will gather us with special music.
The order of worship will be different as it has been recommended that congregational and choral singing be avoided during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will have some special music and Sandra Robbins, our pianist will play prior to worship and after the worship service.
The traditional offering time will be removed from the order of worship, but we encourage folks to place their tithes and offerings in the box labeled offering as you enter or as you leave worship.
The congregation will be seated from the right to the left of the cemetery maintaining social distancing practices of 6 feet between each family group. We encourage you to sit with those you have quarantined. Please bring your own chairs. If you would like to bring a pop-up tent, we do have space for families to set up tents near the Hash Building/Outside Kitchen. We have created a diagram to explain available seating on the next page. We will have parking attendants available to answer questions on Sunday morning.
The congregation will leave the service from left to right so as to maintain social distancing practices.
For those that do not feel comfortable exiting their vehicles, there will be parking available on the Hash Building/Outside Kitchen side of the church. We will mark off the grass portion of the parking lot for those who wish to remain in their cars. We ask that those wishing to remain in their cars enter the Hash building/Outside Kitchen side of the Church drive and not the main parking lot entrance. Those who plan to exit their vehicles are asked to park in the main parking lot. The Hash Building/Outside Kitchen drive will be blocked for those remaining in their vehicles.
Bathrooms and cleaning supplies will be available for those who utilize the Hash building/Outside Kitchen Building restrooms. Bathrooms should be used for emergencies and children should be accompanied by parents.
Cancelations due to inclement weather will be made via email, Facebook and phone calls.
Other Church Events
Sunday School, Children’s Church, and all other in-person events will be postponed until further notice. We will address the commencement of in-person gatherings other than worship later this summer.
Funeral services will not take place in the Philadelphia UMC sanctuary until further notice. Instead, graveside services will be recommended. In addition, families will be served a meal catered or made by one family in our church rather than a meal provided by the congregation members. This will limit exposure to the family and church members. If members of the church would like to provide a meal or food for a grieving family on their own, that is appropriate but as a church we will offer the family a catered meal.
Click the PDF icon below to see diagrams for our worship set up.
WELCOMING YOU HOME
Philadelphia United Methodist Church is a loving church family who seeks to know, love and serve God and their neighbors. Join us for worship on Sunday mornings at 9:30am where you will meet a welcoming and loving church family! All are welcome at Philadelphia United Methodist Church!
ABOUT OUR CHURCH
We are a small church in between downtown York and McConnells that seeks to know, love and serve God. Even though we may be small we serve a mighty God and we believe together we can do! Join us at Philadelphia!
Children and Youth MINISTRIES
We have ministries for all ages! Children are welcome to join Sing for Joy where children 3-16 learn music and Bible lessons.
4th, 5th and 6th graders are invited to join a group called 456.1 (4th, 5th and 6th graders 1st for Christ). This is a great segue to confirmation and youth.
We also have MYF - Methodist Youth Fellowship. Together we study God's word, serve and have fun!
Worship services are held weekly at 9:30am.
Sunday School is held weekly at 8:45am.
All are welcome!