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June 1, 2021

Worship and Watch Invitation

Grace and Peace Friends,

During Holy Week, several of us gathered in the sanctuary to watch worship together on the big screens before we offered outdoor communion and prayer. I was surprised at how moved I was to be worshipping again with people outside of my household and at the impact of sitting in the sanctuary again as worship unfolded. My soul rejoiced, I was thankful and intrigued by the idea that this could be a step toward gathering again. 

You are invited to come to Worship and Watch on Sunday mornings at 9:50am beginning on June 6, 2021. We will open this time with a welcome from one of our Pastors, Bernie will play from our beautiful Letourneau organ both a prelude and a postlude and we close with a blessing. 

Why watch worship and not just have live, in person worship?

This is a step toward re-opening the church. As worship planners, we have dedicated ourselves to offering meaningful online worship during this pandemic. We have learned a great deal and have a desire as we move forward to have a quality online presence and in-person experience. We have spent more than a year away from one another as a gathered body. The messaging and the experience during this time was to protect ourselves, socially distance and live simpler lives that did not include a wide circle of interaction. As we come back together, we need to be gentle with one another and ourselves. We are all over the spectrum as to how ready or not ready we are to return to a full and open church. Some are anxious and know that it will be hard to go back into situations with lots of people, some have been ready for months. Many of us are vaccinated and many are not and will not be anytime soon because of age or ongoing health considerations. As part of loving our neighbor, we need to be considerate and hospitable to the experiences and realities of all. Thus, we move back into re-opening step by step. 

We ask that as you attend on Sunday morning that you wear a mask and sign in at the doors off the parking lot. As you settle into the sanctuary, please keep space from one another. As you exit, please use the Park Street doors and visit in the yard or parking lot. A Sunday morning class will be offered by Zoom and Carol Hodges will teach from the parlor. This would allow folks to gather with her as she also teaches with those online. Alternatively, we invite you to travel home to attend or bring a device and find a place on the first floor to attend. Class will begin at 11:15am for people to transition. 

Ms. Julia, Grandma Joyce or other approved adults will be on the playground for families that would like to bring their children for the fellowship of play. This will allow parents to worship and watch with others in the sanctuary. Of course, children are welcome to the sanctuary as well. 

This is one step toward gathering in person. As we learn more about singing together, we will hope to take further steps toward offering a meaningful in-person and online worship experience. Our Wednesday evening Prayer Service at 7pm offers an opportunity for us to gather to sing and prayer together. Trust that the re-opening of the church is present upon our hearts and minds. Your church staff and leadership are conversing, brainstorming and most importantly, being hopeful and prayerful. Join us in this endeavor of re-opening and re-creating our gathered body of First United Methodist Church of Kalamazoo.

Shalom, 


Pastor Julie Kline

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First United Methodist Church
212 S. Park Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
(269) 381-6340
www.umc-kzo.org

Copyright © 2021 First United Methodist Church, all rights reserved.
First United Methodist Church is a Reconciling Congregation, welcoming ALL!
Questions? Contact Communications Coordinator Bethany Gauthier at bgauthier@umc-kzo.org.
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