March  16, 2020
More Questions than Answers Today
It was a difficult Sunday yesterday, strange for those of us used to being in church each Sunday.  We can't make any prediction right now about when we will be able to resume "church as usual."  But in this interim period, we'll stay connected with each other and do everything we can to keep people safe and healthy.
Because we have had people in the church with serious respiratory problems in the past week, we want to make sure the church has been properly disinfected before opening our doors.  As you can imagine, cleaning companies qualified to do that sort of thing are currently overwhelmed.  We are in conversation with them, but don't know when we can obtain their services.  We will keep you posted.
The church building is closed until further notice.  All events through the end of this week are cancelled:  choirs, Bible studies, community breakfast, small groups, youth events, and Downtown Kids.
Jordan and I are working on providing music and worship experiences online for those who have internet.  We will let you know near the end of the week what we can offer.
Allan, our minister of visitation will be doing phone calls to all our older members.  We do not have phone information for some of the people in health care centers and retirement centers.  If you know someone and have that information you can pass on to us, please respond to this email and I'll pass it along.
Dora will be working from home until it is safe for her to get in the church.  
Please keep the following people in your prayers:
Norma Grissamore, Mattoon Health Care, recovering from stroke
Charlotte Upton, Mattoon Health Care, recovering
Family of Ruthie Cole, passed away, neighbor of Joyce Zachow
Family of Loveta Reel, passed away, relative of Joyce Zachow
Tammy Young, bad respiratory bug, currently undiagnosed, fever spiked again today
If you have prayer requests, please send them to me so I can invite the rest of the congregation to join us.

As we go through this period, please join me in keeping our spirits grounded through prayer, kindness, humor, and curiosity.
I'll be in touch tomorrow with further updates and news.
Mike Smith
Pastor, First United Methodist Church, Mattoon