Dear Community of Faith,
 
The Coronavirus Pandemic response has rapidly increased even in the last 24 hours. This is a very fluid situation. As one of our members shared with me yesterday; “All of us at work say over and over again that this feels like we are living in a movie. It doesn’t feel real.” Most of us have never seen anything like this, but it is indeed real.
 
It is a time of anxiety and worry, a time of fear and uncertainty, and a time of testing for our faith. But our God is good, our God is with us, and our God loves us. Who knows, maybe God can show us something we need to learn.
 
Last night our Bishop issued a statement which reads in part:
“In the best of times, we are stronger together. It is right and good that we worship together, that we pray together, study together, work together, and minister together. But there are times such as these where we are most faithful when we care for each other from a distance… The White House, the Center for Disease Control, our state government and health care officials are asking that we not gather in groups larger than ten members for at least the next two weeks. Some reports are saying we shouldn’t gather in groups of 50 or more for at least eight weeks. Regardless the parameters of the advice, we are in a time of necessary voluntary separation and face-to-face isolation… we are strongly suggesting that we refrain from publicly open worship services minimally until April 5, Palm Sunday. It may mean we need to suspend worship this year through Easter.” 
 
And so, during this unprecedented situation, our highest priority is protecting the health and well-being of our congregation and employees. We recognize we play an important role not only in protecting the health of our congregation, but also preventing the spread of coronavirus in our community. As a precaution, we urge everyone to stay home and take the actions necessary to remain healthy. Of course, we will monitor the situation week by week.
 
What this means for us:
 
*Like the public schools which have shut down, there will be no “in-person” worship services until further notice.
We invite you to worship with us online through our website livestream feature at either 9:00 or 10:30 a.m. on Sundays.
We will also be broadcasting via the Facebook Live feature on our church account in the event that increased traffic on our website causes any problems.
 
*Church activities beyond streamed worship services have been suspended and we encourage you to not come to the building unless it is crucial. The office will have someone present during our posted office hours and all staff are available and can be reached by phone and/or email.
 
*We ask that we find ways to stay connected as a community. You are encouraged to call one another, especially those who may be most susceptible to the feeling of emotional isolation. “The church is not a building, the church is not a steeple, the church is not a resting place, the church is the people!” Let’s continue to be church to, with, and for one another. 
 
Attached HERE is the pastoral prayer from last Sunday that many of you have been asking for. It is our promise that we will continue to do everything we can in all circumstances to protect and promote physical, emotional, and spiritual health here at UMCWFB.
 
With Hope,
Pastor Matt  
United Methodist Church of Whitefish Bay
819 E Silver Spring Drive
Whitefish Bay, WI 53217
414-964-2424
Visit   umcwfb.org   and our Facebook page for more information.