March 13, 2020 Dear St. Andrew Church Family & Friends:
As we are all aware of the spread of coronavirus, we wanted to take the opportunity to address the issue as a community of faith so we can continue to gather in a safe and healthy environment.
What is most important to us is that we, as Christ-followers, are engaging with these concerns in a Christ-like way. While it is crucial to be informed, sensitive and wise in the way we approach this outbreak, it is equally crucial that we conduct ourselves in a way that reflects our confidence and trust in a God who offers hope regardless of circumstance. We encourage you to take this as an opportunity to display peace rather than panic, prayer rather than fear.
Our team is working diligently to keep high-contact surfaces clean and disinfected. We have multiple hand-sanitizing stations throughout our facilities. We are encouraging any volunteers and staff members to stay home if they are feeling unwell. However, no one is reporting being ill at this time. That being said, we appreciate your grace for any lower staffing or volunteer coverage that may occur.
When you greet others, opt for a smile and a wave rather than a handshake.
Our hospitality ministries are using gloves, disposables, and taking extra precautions. The Soup Kitchen will be providing take out packages instead of in-house dining.
If you or a family member have a weakened immune system, health concerns, or are feeling unwell, we encourage you to stay home and take advantage of our live streams available through Facebook or on our website. (see below) We are always grateful for your support of our ministries which are on-going and remind you that you may give on-line through InFellowship or though the mail.
If you would like more information about the virus and proper prevention measures, we recommend visiting the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website .
We hope you will join us in prayer and sensitivity for those affected or at risk during this time. Thank you for your understanding and support, and thank you for continuing to extend love and hope into our community.
Blessings, Pastors Neil Yongue, Daniel Burbage & Frank Lybrand
On January 4, 2020, Bishop L. Jonathan Holston, resident bishop of the South Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church, released a statement regarding the announcement of a proposal to split the United Methodist Church.
Click here… to read his message as well as to find links to the actual proposal and FAQs.
Click here… for a link to an article by United Methodist Communications.
Click here… for an article on Youth Worker Collective entitled Did the UMC just Split?
Click here… to go to UMCOM’s site for a comparison of all plans being offered at General Conference 2020
Click here… for an archived live stream of a discussion that took place on Monday, January 13 with a panel of those who worked together to create the “protocol” proposal.
The 2019 meeting of the United Methodist General Conference concluded Feb. 26 in St. Louis. The purpose of this special called session was to make a choice as to how the United Methodist Church would relate to matters of full inclusion for members of the LGBTQ community in the life and ministry of our fellowship.
Despite the best efforts of well-meaning leaders on several sides
of this issue, the discussion, particularly on the final day, was
tense, tearful and sometimes acrimonious. To quote the book of Acts
regarding a similar church conference early in our history: “there was
no small discussion.”
The decision to support the
Traditional Plan, which maintains prohibitions for marriage and
ordination of homosexuals, left some deeply disappointed and others
jubilant. There is still much to learn regarding how this decision
will effect the life of the church. There will be ongoing discussions
as to how the United Methodist denomination will incorporate the spirit
of this choice, including a review of some of the aspects of this plan
by our church courts.
As pastor of St. Andrew By-The-Sea, I
simply want us to be reminded of the opening words of our local
church’s mission statement. “We are an open, nurturing body of
Christian believers…” There is room in our church for people of
every age, color, and orientation. No matter who we are, where we are
from, what we’ve done, we all stand in need of the grace and mercy that
God alone can supply. I can promise you that it is my intention at
every meeting, in every prayer, in every mission effort and every
worship service and sermon to make that love as real and available as
possible. I would also say that your church needs you now more than
ever before as we pursue the calling of Christ throughout the low
country and the world.
I do not know where the Spirit might lead in this matter, but I am firmly convinced we will be a church for all people and that within the arms of our fellowship, people will find true acceptance and love. Your family will be waiting to see you this Sunday.