Week of June 6-12 News

Some news and announcements for the week of June 6-12

Worship services are NOT open yet. Please read Rev. Michaels article. Link below.

Update on Reopening Worship Services  — by Rev. Michael
Please click here to read full article.

Basic Facts About COVID-19by Greg Fischer
Please click here to read full article.⇓

Click the toggle bars below to read more information

News From the Media Booth - And Request for Volunteers

We hope you have been enjoying your SHUMC worship experiences, whether you are out camping, visiting family, or at home in your jammies. It has been a challenge learning how to stream and obtaining the right equipment to make it all happen. With all of the trial and error, our hopes are that you will agree we have come a long way. Our goal is to bring you as good of an experience as we can with the expertise and budget that we have.

With that said, we need someone that is willing to learn how to build the weekly services in our ProPresenter software program. This is actually the easiest part of the production, as it is done behind the scenes when the room is quiet and unoccupied. ProPresenter is similar to Microsoft’s Power Point and Apple’s Keynote programs but has a library for the hymns and songs we sing as well as scripture from three different bibles. It is mostly a drag and drop process. I picked it up in a couple of weeks but need to be absent for three to four weeks in the very near future. We have other folks that know how to do it, but are not able to participate at this time. If you or you know of someone who would like to learn this segment of the media experience and answer a calling, please let me know. Your time and talent is needed to help further the ministry of SHUMC. Until we meet again (soon, I hope and pray).

God Bless,
Steve Fassler

Use the contact form on the website to send an email for more information or to have Steve give you a call back.

From the Administrative Council

I hope you are fairing well during this crazy time. It has been a long time since we have been able to get together and our hopes and prayers are that we will soon be able to gather again. Please know that your clergy and staff are heavily burdened in trying to figure this all out. We met today at our staff meeting and we are hoping to have a plan put together so that we can resume some type of in person worship by the end of June or the first Sunday in July. Before that can happen, the plan will need to be approved by your SHUMC Administrative Council and sent in to the conference for their approval.

The plan will include sanitation protocols as well as new guidelines for ushers and greeters. How do we do Communion? How do we handle the offerings? All of these details that we have done in the past will need to be rethought in order to comply with the new government guidelines. It will take many additional servant volunteers to step forward so we can implement these plans and move forward with our in-person worship times. If you are interested in being a part of this new frontier, please give the office a call or email and let them know. In the mean time, and even after we return in in-person services, please continue to join us every Sunday morning for the live-stream. Theses streams are also archived on our YouTube channel for viewing at a later date.

God Bless and stay safe ,
Steve Fassler
SHUMC Administrative Council Chair

Don’t forget. . .

View our Worship Services on Our YouTube Channel

Office Hours are
Mon. – Wed. – Fri.
9:00 a.m. to 12 noon

Follow our Facebook page for more bits and pieces.

Basic Facts about Covid -19

A Message From Trustees – Basic Facts about Covid -19

by Greg Fischer

As chairman of the Trustees and as someone with a Master of Science degree in Microbiology, I was asked to provide some Basic Facts about the Covid – 19 virus.  I realize we are bombarded on a daily basis about this current pandemic.  Some of the information being repeated is scientifically accurate and some of the information is misleading at best.  My hope is everyone in the SHUMC family diligently observes safe practices because this virus is extremely virulent (infectious/contagious) and it knows no boundaries.

  1. COVID-19 stands for “coronavirus disease 2019.” It is caused by a virus called SARS-CoV-2.  The virus first appeared in late 2019 and quickly spread around the world.
  2. The virus that causes COVID-19 mainly spreads from person to person.  This usually happens when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks near other people.  Doctors also think it is possible to get sick if you touch a surface that has the virus on it and then touch your mouth, nose, or eyes.  This is similar to how the flu spreads, but the virus that causes COVID-19 spreads more easily and more aggressively.
  3. A person can be infected, and spread the virus to others, even without having any symptoms.  This is why keeping people at a distance is one of the best ways to slow the spread of the disease to others.
  4. Symptoms usually start 4 or 5 days after a person is infected with the virus.  In some people, it can take up to 2 weeks for symptoms to appear.  Some people never show symptoms at all.
  5. When symptoms do happen, they can include:
    Fever, Cough, Trouble breathing, Feeling tired, Shaking chills, Muscle aches, Headache, Sore throat, Problems with sense of smell or taste. 
  6. Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19.  There are things you can do to reduce your chances of getting the virus and spreading it.  These steps are a good idea for everyone and they are extra important for people age 65 years or older or those who have other health problems.
  7. To help protect yourself and others:
    • Practice “social distancing.”  It’s most important to avoid contact with people who are sick.  But social distancing also means staying away from all people who do not live in your household.  When you come in close contact with an individual, remember you are also coming in contact with everyone they were in close contact with (the circle of possible infection widens).
    • Avoiding crowds is an important part of social distancing.  But even small gatherings can be risky, so it’s best to stay home as much as you can.  When you do need to go out, such as for food or medicine, try your best to stay at least 6 feet away from other people.  Six (6) feet should be considered a minimum.  Virus particles are spread in a wide arc and can be spread over a significant area depending on the force of the sneeze or cough from an infected person.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water often.  This is especially important after being out in public.  Make sure to rub your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds, cleaning your wrists, fingernails, and in between your fingers.  Then rinse your hands and dry them with a paper towel you can throw away.
    • If you are not near a sink, you can use a hand sanitizing gel to clean your hands. The gels with at least 60 percent alcohol work the best.  But it is better to wash with soap and water if you can.
    • Avoid touching your face, especially your mouth, nose, or eyes.  Anyone who’s tried this knows it’s difficult but try to make a conscious effort.
  8.  When experts recommend staying home, it’s important to take this seriously and follow instructions as best you can.  It’s hard having to change your life and habits, and it’s normal to want things to get back to the way they used to be.  If people stop social distancing too soon, more people will get sick.

I realize none of this information is new to most people; however, it seems few people in St. George are taking this seriously due to the low numbers of infected individuals.  Please be diligent, if not for yourself, for your loved ones.

Blessings,
Greg Fischer

Update | Worship Planning June & July, 2020

Both Rev. Tim and I are very grateful for your Livestream attendance! 

These have been interesting days and I cannot thank our media team enough for the work they are accomplishing. It has been a work in progress for all of us, but we have sought to do our best to keep you in the heart of SHUMC worship even as we are apart.

Please note that for June we will continue Livestream as our only worship opportunity. The sanctuary will remain closed to attendance for all of June. Opportunities to be together will open up soon, Lord willing. This Sunday was a momentary exception with the courtyard communion stewards helping us prepare.

We are in the process of constructing a plan for the return to worship; no matter how we decide to reopen, there will be limits upon how we undertake this task. Both state and UM Conference guideline are keeping us at a 50 person occupancy with social distancing practices mandated. We are a congregation that has a sizable at risk population, so our aim is to keep people healthy while also examining the impact of singing, preaching, chair placement just to name a few concerns. The staff and some of the leaders will be spending a good portion of Wednesday morning plotting a strategy for how to gather and be safe. You will be hearing more soon so keep your eyes open and your hands praying for your leaders!

I wanted to thank those who were invited to help prepare the courtyard for our outdoor communion today; they literally scrubbed the area from top to bottom before the 9 am worship! It was a great effort and a special thank you goes out to the Wades, the Coles, Willis Digman, Jean Elmer and Marilyn Fassler. Rev. Buddy, your words were ever encouraging and thank you for leading us in the liturgy! And a thank you to all who came out to enjoy communion in the courtyard; it was great to see so many of you and may the holy meal strengthen you for the days that lie ahead.

Below, you will find our Trustees Chair Greg Fisher’s note on Covid 19 and why it is such a concern. Greg has his Master’s in Microbiology and is in a wonderful position to share some of the science about the pandemic with us. Please take a look and know that we are going to do our best to protect each other as we come back to the place that we so lovingly call our faith community.

Peace to all, and I know I will see you soon!
Rev. Michael

A Message From Trustees – Basic Facts about Covid -19

by Greg Fischer

As chairman of the Trustees and as someone with a Master of Science degree in Microbiology, I was asked to provide some Basic Facts about the Covid – 19 virus.  I realize we are bombarded on a daily basis about this current pandemic.  Some of the information being repeated is scientifically accurate and some of the information is misleading at best.  My hope is everyone in the SHUMC family diligently observes safe practices because this virus is extremely virulent (infectious/contagious) and it knows no boundaries.

  1. COVID-19 stands for “coronavirus disease 2019.” It is caused by a virus called SARS-CoV-2.  The virus first appeared in late 2019 and quickly spread around the world.
  2. The virus that causes COVID-19 mainly spreads from person to person.  This usually happens when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks near other people.  Doctors also think it is possible to get sick if you touch a surface that has the virus on it and then touch your mouth, nose, or eyes.  This is similar to how the flu spreads, but the virus that causes COVID-19 spreads more easily and more aggressively.
  3. A person can be infected, and spread the virus to others, even without having any symptoms.  This is why keeping people at a distance is one of the best ways to slow the spread of the disease to others.
  4. Symptoms usually start 4 or 5 days after a person is infected with the virus.  In some people, it can take up to 2 weeks for symptoms to appear.  Some people never show symptoms at all.
  5. When symptoms do happen, they can include:
    Fever, Cough, Trouble breathing, Feeling tired, Shaking chills, Muscle aches, Headache, Sore throat, Problems with sense of smell or taste. 
  6. Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19.  There are things you can do to reduce your chances of getting the virus and spreading it.  These steps are a good idea for everyone and they are extra important for people age 65 years or older or those who have other health problems.
  7. To help protect yourself and others:
    • Practice “social distancing.”  It’s most important to avoid contact with people who are sick.  But social distancing also means staying away from all people who do not live in your household.  When you come in close contact with an individual, remember you are also coming in contact with everyone they were in close contact with (the circle of possible infection widens).
    • Avoiding crowds is an important part of social distancing.  But even small gatherings can be risky, so it’s best to stay home as much as you can.  When you do need to go out, such as for food or medicine, try your best to stay at least 6 feet away from other people.  Six (6) feet should be considered a minimum.  Virus particles are spread in a wide arc and can be spread over a significant area depending on the force of the sneeze or cough from an infected person.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water often.  This is especially important after being out in public.  Make sure to rub your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds, cleaning your wrists, fingernails, and in between your fingers.  Then rinse your hands and dry them with a paper towel you can throw away.
    • If you are not near a sink, you can use a hand sanitizing gel to clean your hands. The gels with at least 60 percent alcohol work the best.  But it is better to wash with soap and water if you can.
    • Avoid touching your face, especially your mouth, nose, or eyes.  Anyone who’s tried this knows it’s difficult but try to make a conscious effort.
  8.  When experts recommend staying home, it’s important to take this seriously and follow instructions as best you can.  It’s hard having to change your life and habits, and it’s normal to want things to get back to the way they used to be.  If people stop social distancing too soon, more people will get sick.

I realize none of this information is new to most people; however, it seems few people in St. George are taking this seriously due to the low numbers of infected individuals.  Please be diligent, if not for yourself, for your loved ones.

Blessings,
Greg Fischer

When Our Confidence is Shaken

When Our Confidence is Shaken

“When our confidence is shaken in beliefs once thought secure
When the spirit in its sickness seeks but cannot find a cure
God is there active in a faith not yet mature.”
— When Our Confidence is Shaken, UMH 505

The United Methodist Hymnal is full of some wonderful, well known songs that lift the spirit and evoke everything from smiles to tears for those who sing them. But there are many hymns we rarely use, Like the one above, that are filled with unusual and sometime obscure ideas that can lead us to the truth of God and shine a light on our human condition. These are challenging days, and I do pray that you are social distancing and isolating as you feel necessary. SHUMC is still, albeit minimally and as safely as possible, still ministering in every way we possibly can. I wanted to share with you some of the ways in which we are still attempting to serve you in Christ’s name.

We are trying our best to keep the online worship filled with songs and spirit. We are following all national guidelines for social distancing and sanitization, so the few people who are gathering to create a worship experience are armed with all the required safety precautions to keep people healthy and virus free. Should the virus numbers increase in the state or if we are asked by our leaders to stay in place, we will do exactly that and the Sunday worship will be simply a sermon and devotion. We hope to do something on livestream every Sunday at 9 am as long as we can, but health will be our priority.

If you need Rev. Michael for an emergency, please call our home phone and leave a message. Anne and I receive a ton of spam/robo calls, so we do screen our calls. If you leave a message, we will get back to you as soon as we possibly can and with social distancing guidelines, help in any way we can.

Office hours, for the sake of exposure, will be shortened for the immediate future. Sandi will be checking phones regularly, so again, leave a message, but if you do need us someone will be available Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9:00 a.m. to noon.

Your gifts and offerings are very important at this time. Thank you, thank you thank you to all who are sending in you gifts by mail and through the EFT program! Our intent is to continue paying the staff during this time, and our reserves will last through about June. If you need any guidance on how to get your offerings to us, we will be happy to answer your questions during office hours.

Worship for Easter and Holy week is still “under construction”, but this Sunday we will take communion from home. I will post a video on the social media sites about this and in a few days I will send out an email explaining the experience. Keep some bread and grape juice handy!

We are in a fog of crisis, and not always seeing with eyes of confidence and clarity. I am working as diligently as I can to keep our eyes on the prize of Christ, but along the way many voices find their way into the conversation. We will continue to responsibly and actively bring ministry to you, so please pray for us as we stumble toward the Lord’s Kingdom. Be safe, social distance and catch some joy today as the Lord speaks in a time of trial and reliance.
Keep serving, spend some time in prayer and may our lives draw from the Spirit so that we may live fully into the future that is before us!!

In one peace,
Rev. Michael

Palm Sunday Worship and Communion 2020

Palm Sunday Worship and Communion 2020

Covid 19 has made our capacity to gather in groups unfeasible, but the need for liturgical comfort has been acknowledged by the United Methodist Church. Recently the Council of Bishops approved a temporary process for taking Communion at home. This week is Palm Sunday and we will be consecrating the elements during the 9:00 a.m. worship while we livestream. For all that would like to join us, please tune in! For those who wish to take communion with us as a community, whether watching the livestream or not, here is the process for partaking with us as a community.

You will need some bread and grape juice; just a small cup and a roll, a pita or even a water cracker will work just fine. I will be sharing the words of Institution at 9:30, so if you are not on the livestream, you can say a prayer of gratitude and grace, take the bread and remember the words we share when the bread is broken “This is my body, given for you. So often as you partake, do so in remembrance of me.”

Then take the cup, and then proclaim “This is my blood, shed for you and for the sins of many. So often as you drink, do so in remembrance of me.” Once we have finished, the opportunity to once again give thanks is before you and perhaps you might close with a verse of your favorite hymn (Amazing Grace perhaps!?)

We will try our best to bring worship to you via the livestream and the website for Holy Week, but should the virus increase in Southern Utah, we will minimize contact and make sure all are protected from exposure.

Current schedule live steam:
Sunday, April 5th, 9:00 a.m. Worship with communion.
Friday, April 10th, 7:00 p.m. Good Friday with Rev. Joe Doherty of New Promise
Easter April 12th, 9:00 a.m. Worship

We will be under the Government mandated 10 people gatherings at all events, but if the worst case, I will present only some prayer, a homily and maybe Rev. Michael’s guitar (unless I can get Anne to sing!). Should our area take a dramatic turn for the worse, the livestream will be suspended, and I will post a prerecorded video from home.

The Staff and I are taking into account every circumstance and possibility during this pandemic. We are diligently sanitizing, social distancing and will seek the welfare of every person involved as a priority. Continue to pray for us, to join us and I thank you for your continued support by your prayers, presence and offerings. Our community is alive, the Kingdom is coming and each one of us is light of God’s grace in this struggling world! Keep Calm and keep the faith!

We are Jesus’ people, and I know we will be together again, sharing the songs, the laughter, the hugs and handshakes of a people born of the greatest love of all.

In His love,
Rev. Michael