Coronavirus Updates

March 22, 2020 Update
Across the country, we are facing uncertainty and unforeseen challenges due to the rapid spread of the Coronavirus. What remains clear, however, is that we are committed to doing what is best for the health and safety of our congregation. Leadership has decided to do our part to help slow the spread of the virus by canceling all activities at the FUMC campus until further notice. This decision did not come easy, but it was necessary to help protect the well-being of not only our congregation but the community as a whole. We will continue to worship on Facebook Live Sunday mornings at 10 AM and connect with each other through Zoom meetings and phone calls. 
 
This has also put a kink in the largest worship we do each year, Easter. The staff is working to come up with an Easter worship service and services for Holy Week. We do not know right now what that will look like, but we do know that we WILL celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ! We will update you on that service once we have it finalized. 
 
We understand this has disrupted the way we move through our daily routines. We are doing our best to adapt to this new “norm” - working to be creative on how we worship each week and still be connected as members of the church. We have seen you all come together to adapt with us. Some of you have been forced into a world of technology and are taking it like a champ! We have heard stories of members checking on others to make sure they are doing well. And the overwhelming number of you who have offered to do whatever we needed has been astounding. The Holy Spirit is alive and well at FUMC – Lufkin, and we have to remember that we blessed beyond measure! Church is not canceled… it is just a little different.
 
We are continuing to do ministry, and your donations to the church are more important than ever. Here are some ways to give electronically:
 
  • Through our website at www.lufkinfirst.com
  • On the Venmo App - our username is @FirstUMC-Lufkin
  • By texting FUMCLufkin to 73258
  • By mailing your check to FUMC, 805 E. Denman Ave. Lufkin, TX 75901
 
"Cast your burden on the Lord—he will support you!
God will never let the righteous be shaken!”
Psalms 55:22 (CEB)

March 15, 2020 Update

Today, leadership met to discuss how we move forward during this time of a lot of unknowns. The decision was made to cancel all events, Sunday school classes, and worship services at the FUMC - Lufkin campus for the next two weeks. We will continue to monitor the situation and make decisions about reopening accordingly.
 
We will have an ONLINE worship service for March 22 and 29 at 10 AM on Facebook Live. You can watch on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/fumclufkin. If you do not have a Facebook account, we will send out a link to the recorded service on Sunday afternoons. If you missed our worship service this morning, March 15, you may watch it below.
 
We are continuing to do ministry, and your donations to the church are more important than ever. Here are some ways to give electronically:
 
  • Through our website at www.lufkinfirst.com
  • On the Venmo App - our username is @FirstUMC-Lufkin
  • By texting FUMCLufkin to 73258
  • By mailing your check to FUMC, 805 E. Denman Ave. Lufkin, TX 75901
 
The church office will also be closed for the next two weeks but staff will be working remotely. A list of staff emails are below if you need to contact them. If you need to reach Pastor Jerome for special assistance, you may email him at or call (936) 639-3141 and leave a message.
 
 
"We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you." --Psalms 33:20-22 NIV

March 14, 2020 Update
 
Yesterday, doctors from Houston Methodist Hospital and Bishop Scott Jones held a conference call for clergy to address some of the issues and questions surrounding the Coronavirus. Information was provided that will help us in making decisions that will need to be made over the next couple of days on how we will proceed with activities and worship at FUMC-Lufkin.
 
As such, we have decided to make the difficult decision to cancel all in-person activities at the church for Sunday, March 15. This includes Sunday School classes, youth activities, music practices, and both worship services.
 
We will have worship services ONLINE ONLY. We will be streaming live on Facebook Live at 9 AM and 11 AM at www.facebook.com/fumclufkin.
 
You may mark your attendance tomorrow by checking-in on our FUMC App. A copy of the Sunday bulletin may also be found on the app. If you do not have the FUMC App, you can download it free from iTunes or the Google Play Store.
 
We are continuing to do ministry, and your donations to the church are more important than ever. Here are some ways to give electronically:
 
  • Through our website at www.lufkinfirst.com
  • On the Venmo App - our username is @FirstUMC-Lufkin
  • By texting FUMCLufkin to 73258
  • By mailing your check to FUMC, 805 E. Denman Ave. Lufkin, TX 75901
 
If you would like to listen to yesterday's conference call with Houston Methodist Hospital and Bishop Jones, please click here. Use passcode: Bishop2020. NOTE: The first 3 minutes is silence - skip to 3:10 to begin the call.
 
Leadership will be meeting tomorrow afternoon (March 15) on how to proceed with worship and activities for the next several weeks. Please look for updates through email, our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/fumclufkin, and on our website, www.lufkinfirst.com/co19.
 
 
We understand this is a difficult time and the unknowns may cause anxiety and stress. We are going to get through this together. It is more important than ever to love our neighbors by doing our part. Remember to "Shine, Not Whine!"
 
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.””
Psalms 46:1-3, 10 NIV

March 12, 2020 Update
 
Knowing that there is growing concern over the spread of the Coronavirus (COVD-19), we have been discussing the first steps in FUMC’s preparedness plan. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and respond as necessary relying upon information provided by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), our local government agencies, and our Annual Conference.
 
For now, the best advice is common sense. Please stay home if you are sick (it is still flu season). Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you are traveling, please check the State Department’s travel and CDC guidelines. 
 
Effective immediately, for worship services, we recommend bringing your own hand sanitizer. The church currently has a limited supply. We will also be suspending passing offering plates during service. We instead will place offering baskets at the front and back of the worship spaces. Remember, you can always give electronically. 
If you don’t feel comfortable shaking hands, an elbow bump or simply wave is just as acceptable.
 
Sunday School classrooms and worship spaces will be sanitized each week before services. Extra cleanings will be provided in bathrooms and common gathering area such as the Fellowship Hall. Commonly touched areas such as light switches, door handles, and desks will also be sanitized weekly.  
 
As of today, Thursday, March 12, 2020, all worship services will continue as normal. Musslewhite and Second Mile Fellowship Sunday School classes have been canceled for the next two weeks. Their plan is to resume classes on Sunday, March 29, but will monitor the situation to make further decisions.
 
Should we need to cancel meetings or worship services, in order to limit the risk of group gatherings, we will communicate through email and social media. 
 
Our primary concern is that we communicate clearly and support the health of our congregation, particularly those who might be in a vulnerable population. Please know that we are taking this seriously and are remaining calm in the anxiety that surrounds us. As we pray for those around the world who are ill, and for those who are in quarantine and for those who are anxious or frightened, let us be challenged to reach out to those we know in other ways – maybe phone an older neighbor, or email a friend, or text a family member or church member who comes to mind.
 
Let us remember the words of comfort found in Philippians 4: 6-7 (CEB): “Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks. Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus.”
 
 
Links For More Information about Coronavirus (COVD-19)
 
 

© 2020 Lufkin First UMC   |   805 E Denman, Lufkin, TX US 75901