Wednesday, March 11, 2020
Message from Pastor Jess Regarding Coronavirus

In the midst of growing fear as the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic spreads into Monmouth County, we are faced with many questions. How do we continue living faithfully and gathering as a church community, while at the same time keeping ourselves and our loved ones safe from potential exposure to or spread of the virus?

Churches are places where people gather and care for one another. We welcome strangers, sit close to one another, join hands in prayer, give hugs of encouragement, and sometimes even weep together. Because both flu and COVID-19 are in full swing, this is a season when it is important for us to be careful and to develop intentional habits that can prevent the spread of these illnesses.

We are closely monitoring the developing news about the COVID-19 virus and assessing how it may impact our community, as well as our worship services, educational programs, everyday operations, and special events. You may have seen in the news that a 27-year old from Little Silver tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week. Since he has a younger sibling who attends Red Bank Regional (RBR) High School, the school district decided to close RBR on Tuesday and Wednesday for deep cleaning of the building and to provide health officials with time to evaluate the situation.

Just this evening, the Superintendent of the Red Bank School District posted an update that due to a newly discovered “presumptive positive” case of COVID-19 at RBR, after consultation with the Monmouth County Regional Health Commission, RBR has closed. However, “there is no recommendation to close any of the PK-8 sending school districts at this time.”

In order to prevent unnecessary spreading of the contagion, it is my recommendation that if your child or another member of your household attends a school or organization that has closed due to possible exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19), please have all family members refrain from potentially exposing others by remaining home, and avoiding close contact.

For now, most events and programing will continue as scheduled, unless you hear otherwise (there are a few cancellations or postponements listed below). As we gather in small groups and corporate worship, I invite us to use the following guidelines to limit the spread of germs and prevent infection:

  • Stay home when you are sick. Do not come to work or worship.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Practice other good health habits. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray and wipe.
  • Wear a mask if you are sick.
  • Do not wear a mask if you are healthy.

If you know of people who are sick, I invite you to reach out to them over the phone so they don't feel disconnected from the community. If you and your family are staying home from worship, please consider joining in the live feed of our contemporary service at 11:30 am on Sunday mornings found on our Facebook page , or go on our website to listen to sermons when they are posted .

For more basic information about COVID-19 and how our church and homes can remain as healthy as possible, feel free to check out the links below.

May God be our deep peace and calm our fearful hearts today and all days.
God bless, Rev. Jessica Naulty

Youth Group Cancelled Tonight, 3/11

All ages of Youth Group gatherings were cancelled this evening. Because of the "presumptive positive" of COVID-19 at Red Bank Regional (RBR) High School, please note that the Bagels and Faith (youth Sunday school class) is also cancelled for this Sunday. We will asses future gathering dates/times and keep you posted.
Pastor Jess's Bible Study Cancelled Tomorrow, 3/12

Pastor Jess is cancelling her Bible study gathering tomorrow to make the necessary plans for virtual options for both worship and small group opportunities. For tomorrow, please stay home and we will send more information for future weeks.
Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner

Regrettably, but in an abundance of caution because of the nature and spread of the coronavirus, the Scholastic Assistance Committee has made the decision to cancel this year’s Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner fundraiser. Our committee, just as you do, looks forward to this dinner every year because not only do we raise funds to support our scholastic assistance program, but we also provide an evening of great food, fun, and fellowship for our congregation and community.

Many of you have already purchased tickets and have made donations as patrons, and for that we are very grateful. As usual, we have already made our first deposit into the church accounts last Sunday, March 8th. In the near future, we will be able to return your donation to you, if that is your wish. We know that many of you make both large and small donations and become patrons annually without asking for tickets to the dinner and will not want us to return your money. We will be in touch with you individually by phone. If you want us to return your donation, please let us know at that time. 

We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused you and will try our best to continue to provide scholarships to our young people. Thank you for your continued support.

Barbara J. Guenther, Director
Scholastic Assistance Committee
Backpack Crew Gala Postponed

After a long discussion the Backpack Crew Board, we have made the difficult decision of postponing our gala.  With the news of the coronavirus arriving in our area and uncertainty looming ahead - we thought it be best to be proactive and make plans so we aren’t scrambling a week from now.  A new date is being worked on and we will let you know ASAP.  We will be offering everyone who has already purchased tickets full refunds, or a seat at the upcoming gala, whichever is preferred. We thank you for your ongoing support and pray everyone remains healthy and safe.

Suzanne Dice, Director
The Backpack Crew
Pastoral Care
If someone is hospitalized or in need of a pastoral visit 
please contact the church office at
732-747-0446, or office@umcredbank.org

If you have a pastoral emergency, please contact 
Rev. Jessica Naulty at 908-400-2343 or jbnaulty@umcredbank.org.