March  17, 2020
St. Patrick's Day Update
Our church building continues to stay closed until we are sure that the surfaces are safe for everyone.  We checked yesterday with KIMA, a cleaning service we have used before, and they have the chemicals to disinfect our building. What they do NOT have at the moment is clearance from their insurance company to do this type of disinfecting.  The use of these chemicals requires hazmat suits and respirator masks. And the expense will be very high.  

If we can get an all clear on our staff, that there is no coronavirus, then we can forgo these more comprehensive measures and will be able to re-open sections of our building and do what is reasonable from there.

In response to yesterday's update, Beth Watson wrote that "Brookstone south and all others are now in complete quarantine in that residents are not to leave their apartments and meals are delivered to each person. No one is allowed inside for at least 14 days. I'm sure it would brighten each person's day to receive a card or short letter."

Tomorrow in the daily update we will begin publishing the names of residents from our church, along with addresses, so we can reach out and stay in touch with them.

Susie Beaumont, chair of our missions committee, also has written to let everyone know that is there are any needs... whatever they may be, that the mission committee is prepared to organize a response.

Tammy wishes to thank everyone for prayers on her behalf.  She is still running a fever today, although she reports that she is feeling much better than she has in several days.

Jordan and I will be meeting tomorrow to work out ways we can put material on our church website so that people who need to stay at home will still be able to receive spiritual nurture from our church.

If you have joys, concerns, or any ideas on ways we can keep connected with each other and keep our church strong, please write back to me, or call me at 217-898-3148.  I will be very glad to hear from you.

I'll be in touch tomorrow with further updates and news.
Mike Smith
Pastor, First United Methodist Church, Mattoon