First United Methodist Church
of Longview
Be sure to "like" and "follow" us on social media!
The Voice
April 28, 2021
The COVID-19 Transition Team met on April 19th. Michelle Crum, who chairs the team and is a virologist in Public Health, provided an extensive presentation on the current status of COVID-19 on a global, national, state, and local level. Threats still exist, and concerns remain in the emergence of variant strains of the virus, increased cases reported in Michigan and a widening portion of our country, the slowing of vaccination rates (including the recent pause in Johnson & Johnson vaccine administration and continued vaccination hesitancy), and widespread isolation fatigue. On the other hand, there is also a climbing level of fully vaccinated adults, promising trials for child vaccinations, active booster development for new variants, reduced death, hospitalization rates, and loosening restrictions. The transition team has weighed all of this information.

Additionally, we have inquired with our most vulnerable members of our church family. They have indicated increasing comfort and confidence due to increased numbers of fully vaccinated among them. While we have had significant support for our current protocols, particularly among our leadership, we have also witnessed increased levels of frustration shared about masking and roping of the Sanctuary, despite the lift of state mandates and low case numbers locally.

On April 26th, the SFLC began operating under some less restrictive procedures from the state agencies. They are now allowing parents (with required masking) in the building to drop off and pick up children and are not requiring the extensive screening processes previously in place. Concurrently, our nursery will be making similar adjustments in screening and other transition procedures. During regular SFLC operation hours, masking in the hallways remains mandatory and highly encouraged.

Balancing these factors and input, the COVID-19 Transition Team has arrived at the following recommendations and timing should the current indices remain relatively stable or improve. Effective May 23rd (Pentecost Sunday), we will make the following changes:
  • Eliminate roped-off areas in the Sanctuary while continuing to encourage social distancing.
  • Encourage masking in common areas and during movements, but allow masks to be removed once seated if desired.
  • Continue to encourage hand sanitization and proper handwashing.

We encourage continued vigilance in hand sanitization, masking, and social distancing, particularly in transition areas of closer proximity. While we encourage masking in classrooms, we leave this determination to each class as they feel comfortable with protections in place. We hope to explore additional protocol changes as things evolve but are limiting the changes at this time to those outlined above. We will continue to monitor community levels of spread and further review the local, statewide, and national information. This will guide the COVID-19 Transition Team as we adopt the best strategies to reduce the spread of COVID-19 at FUMC, especially if another surge occurs. As FUMC faces these challenges together, we appreciate your willingness to continue to honor the protocols in place to show the love of Christ to everyone in our community of faith.

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Jay
Where are you connected?
We are excited to announce the addition of the Confirmation Class of 2021 as official members of FUMC! The following confirmands were confirmed this past Sunday during Beacon Worship:

Claire Crenshaw Goolsby
Kelland Bruce Guillory
Olivia Clair Hardee
Olaedo Comfort Ibeh
Benjamin David Milam
John Robert Northcutt
Brooke Eleanor Pevey
Faith Nicole Ree
Phillip Joseph Shore
John Carsey Wilson
Our Youth ministry is seeking host homes with pools or on a lake for our summer Wednesday night gatherings! You may host once or multiple times. We typically have around 20 students and leaders at these weekly devotionals from 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM. We will bring all materials and food and will clean up. You do not have to have a student currently in youth to volunteer!

The dates available for hosting are June 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30 and July 7, 14, 21, and 28. If you'd like to host or have questions, click the button below or contact Janice at janice@lvfumc.org or 903-918-7801.
The School for Little Children needs loving, caring teachers!
SFLC is currently accepting applications for summer and substitute teachers to work various days and hours. Please prayerfully consider becoming a part of this important ministry to children.

If you are interested, please contact Dallas Lemmon at 903-753-3121 or dallasl@longviewsflc.org
Vacation Bible School 2021 Volunteers

We are looking for adults that are available to volunteer with children as group leaders, station leaders (music, arts and crafts, games, bible story, etc), and volunteers to take care of lunch decorations and setup.

Please scan the QR code to sign up or contact Loren at loren@lvfumc.org.
Bach's Lunch Concert in Sanctuary - Friday, May 7
Join us for this special lunchtime concert on Friday, May 7. Featuring percussionist, Anthony Robinson, the concert will start at 12:00 PM and end at 12:45 PM. Admission is free!
Please enter via the main entrance to the Sanctuary on Fredonia.
The event will also be broadcast live on the Longview Symphony Facebook page.
Life Together at FUMC Longview
Lawson Luther Stacy was born on April 24, 2021, to Sean and Kennedy Stacy.

Congrats to the Stacy family!
Join us for our spring sermon series through the month of May! Resurrection People: Living into the Realities of Easter will challenge us to think about what it looks like to live on the other side of Easter as we seek to be a people who abide in Christ and share his love with all.
If you or someone you know is sick or hospitalized and is unable to attend worship with us, please let us know!

Contact the church office at 903-753-4463 or email us at fumc@longviewfumc.org
To submit an article for The Voice, please email Megan Hopper at megan@lvfumc.org. Info must be submitted by Friday at
5 PM in order to be in next week's edition of The Voice.
First United Methodist Church of Longview
400 N. Fredonia St. Longview, Texas 75601
Tel: (903) 753.4463
Fax: (903) 236.7608