Updated COVID Protocols & Invitation to Lent

Dear friends and members of Franklin United Methodist Church,

It has been exactly two years since news began circulating about the rapid spread of a novel coronavirus.  In response to this news, the Franklin United Methodist Church immediately adopted sanitation protocols and would eventually suspend in-person worship and ministry for over a year.  When we finally were able to come back together for worship in May 2021, many protocols such as social distancing and masking remained in effect.  Over the last 10 months, we have slowly and cautiously lifted our COVID protocols as vaccine and treatment options became more readily available.

I am writing to inform you that the Church Council met this past Sunday, February 27, and unanimously voted to cease all remaining COVID protocols.  In practice, this means that masks are no longer mandatory in our facility and, if we so choose, we can eat together.  For a variety of reasons, some people may choose to continue masking in our facility.  Each of us should respect and support that decision.  It is also important to note that the Church Council reserves the right to re-enact mandatory masking and other such protocols if the Council deems such actions necessary.

The lifting of these protocols is timely as we begin the season of Lent.  The season of Lent is a time set apart for reflection and anticipation as we prepare for the celebration of Easter.  Over the next six weeks, we will remember our humanity and seek refreshment from the fountain of God’s grace.  We will begin a new discussion series entitled “Drink from the Fountain of Grace” in worship on Sunday (10am) with discussion on Wednesday evenings (7pm).  Details about this new series, including themes and scripture verses for each week can be found here. Aside from being able to meet in-person in the sanctuary this Easter (the first time since 2019!), I’d like to note that we intend to bring back “coffee hour” after worship on Palm Sunday (April 10) and Easter Sunday (April 17).  And, as part of our Maundy/Holy Thursday worship on April 14 we will share in a potluck dinner together.

Things are slowly returning to some sense of “normal.”  As we move into this season of Lent, I hope and pray you will make worship a normal practice.  You can join us on Sunday morning at 10 a.m. in-person in the sanctuary and in-person virtually using Google Meet. You can also watch live or stream the service at another time via YouTube.

However you decide to participate, I look forward to worshipping with you this Sunday as we begin our Lenten journey together.

Pastor Jacob