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Faith UMC Coronavirus Update

People of Faith,

The pastors, staff, and lay leadership at Faith UMC have been paying close attention to the developing Coronavirus pandemic, and developing plans for how we can respond appropriately. We believe that the actions we are taking will help to minimize anxiety, provide care and support for those who need it, and enable us to continue our important work at Faith Church, Roots of Faith, and Fox Hill Preschool. Please see below a summary of our current plans, and do not hesitate to contact pastors and staff with any questions you may have. 

Church-Wide Plans for All Programs:
1. Basic Hygiene: Please wash your hands with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Please cough into a tissue, or into your elbow instead of coughing into your hands. Avoid touching surfaces that others have touched, and avoid touching your face with your hands. 
2. Cleaning: We have increased the frequency of disinfecting door knobs, hand rails, and other hard surfaces at our Church, Preschool, and Roots of Faith facilities. 
3. Stay Home: If you are sick, please stay home - and notify one of the pastors or staff members to let us know that you are staying home.

Worship in Fox Chapel & Sharpsburg:
1. Changes: We are not shaking hands during the passing of the peace, or before or after worship. We will adjust the way we serve communion for improved sanitation. People will place their offering into the offering plate, rather than passing the plate. Additional tissues and hand sanitizer will be available. 
2. Social Distancing: We understand that people may choose to stay home from worship. Please contact Pastor Scott or Pastor Ben to let us know that you are staying home, so that we can reach out in other ways to keep you connected and offer care. 
3. Congregational Care: We are developing intentional systems for keeping people connected who are self-isolating, quarantined, or who become ill. We will utilize phone calls, emails, social media, and pastoral visits as appropriate on a case by case basis. We are planning for the possibility of live-streaming worship for those who cannot attend in-person. However you may be affected, we are here for you to offer support and care.
4. Cancellation: We will follow any guidelines from government agencies should there be a recommendation to cancel worship or other church programs and events. Any cancellation will be announced via email, Facebook, and the church website. 

Roots of Faith Programs:
1. Changes: We are making changes for improved sanitation at Circles, The Neighborhood Table, and other programs, including - individually wrapped plastic ware, bottled drinks instead of communal drink coolers, preparing to-go containers for those who want them, and spreading out the seating.
2. Social Distancing: We understand that people may choose to stay home from Roots of Faith Programs. Please contact Pastor Ben or Kathleen Stanley to let us know that you are staying home, so that we can reach out in other ways to keep you connected and offer care.  
3. Community Care: We will be collecting contact information from those who participate in various Roots of Faith programs, so that we can reach out as needed to offer spiritual, emotional, and practical assistance as needed.
4. Cancellation: We will follow any guidelines from government agencies should there be a recommendation to cancel group gatherings such as Roots of Faith programs. Any cancellation will be announced via email, Facebook, and the church website. 

Fox Hill Preschool:
1. Illness Policy: Families are asked to follow our existing illness policy, which includes staying home when sick, and notifying teachers of illnesses. The full policy is in the Preschool Handbook.
2. Changes: Teachers have increased the frequency of sanitizing tables and other surfaces. We will be closely monitoring children for symptoms of illness and communicating with parents. 
3. Cancellation: Fox Hill Preschool will follow the Fox Chapel Area School District regarding any decision to cancel classes.

Information and Resources:
1. The Centers for Disease Control: www.coronavirus.gov
2. The Pennsylvania Health Department: www.health.pa.gov
3. The Allegheny County Health Department: www.alleghenycounty.us/healthdepartment

Psalm 46:1 says "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear." May God grant us all comfort, peace, and grace in these uncertain times, as we continue the work of building community by reconciling people with God and one another. 

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Scott Shaffer
Copyright © 2020 Faith United Methodist Church, All rights reserved.


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