Dear Aledo UMC Family,
Earlier this week you received an email detailing our efforts to keep each other safe as we gather for worship each Sunday.  In the days since that email, however, the news related to the spread of the COVID-19 virus has developed rapidly and become more alarming.  As are school districts have cancelled classes or extended their Spring Breaks, it has become clear that the virus will indeed continue to spread for the foreseeable future and likely will affect our community or someone we know eventually.  

As not only a family of faith but as a longtime fixture in this community, it is our responsibility to both lead by example and to make every effort to be part of the solution, rather than adding to the problem.  To that end, after consulting with the Church Leadership Team, Aledo UMC will cancel in-person worship services and Sunday school this Sunday, March 15, and next Sunday, March 22.  All church-related events, studies, small groups, etc., are likewise suspended through March 22.   At that point, your Church Leadership Team will evaluate the situation and decide on a plan moving forward. 

The Church office will remain staffed during normal business hours (9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Thursday) so that your calls can be answered.   Please avoid coming into the church building during this time if at all possible.  Your program staff is being encouraged to work remotely to the extent possible. 
 
During this time we will continue to worship together, albeit in a different format.   Beginning this Sunday, March 15, our worship service will move to an online platform.  You can access the online worship at 11 a.m . Sunday either via the Aledo UMC Facebook page or on the church website – aledoumc.org .  It will look a little different, but please plan to join in online for worship.  In these stressful times, it is more important than ever for us to be joined together in worship and prayer.  
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.  You can reach me via my cell phone at 512-705-6663.
It is ironic that as we were wrestling with this decision today, I was continuing to meditate on this week’s Scripture.  Psalm 121 begins, “I lift up my eyes to the hills.  From where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord!”  I can’t think of a more important time to embrace those words and to relish that promise. This is a scary time and a time of great uncertainty that few of us have been through before.  But we will get through it and, if the Psalmist is correct, we will emerge on the other side with the conviction that God has worked us and molded us through that time so that our lives bear fruit for having the experience.

God bless you all.
Pastor Lee