April 28, 2021

Masking Guidelines for Individuals & Groups

We continue to update our guidelines to reflect the CDC guidelines and increased availability of covid-19 vaccinations. 

1. Groups, especially those who are all vaccinated, may determine if they would like to go mask free in their gathering room. This includes Sunday School classes, organizations using the rooms, volunteers, and FUMC staff.

2. Individuals may choose to be mask free when alone in a room and serving in a volunteer or staff capacity.

3. Masking in the sanctuary for worship services will be required until we are in condition green, when the daily infection rate is less than 1/100,00 per day.

4. Masking in the building will be required in all public areas (hallways, restrooms, elevator, rooms not reserved for gatherings) until we are in condition green.

April 19, 2021

Condition Orange: In-Person Worship available

Based on the number of cases in Lamar County, we are in condition orange. During condition orange, we limit the size of gatherings so that groups are six feet apart. This is about 50 people in the sanctuary and 15 in the Fellowship Hall.

Following Easter, we are testing a new "no reservation" system, with ushers seating persons as they arrive. Overflow seating is in the Fellowship Hall. 

Read the latest Health and Wellness reports.

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Why do we wear masks and social distance?

We commit to protecting one another. This is about more than each individual's willingness to take on risk for themselves. The larger the gathering, and the more closely seated together, the greater the risk created for others present.

Many of those who volunteer or are church employees do not have access to the vaccine and/or have family members who do not have access to the vaccine. Limiting attendance and spread out seating lowers the risk for those without this protection.

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What about people who are vaccinated?

We know those vaccinated are greatly protected. However the CDC states there is much we do not know about their impact on others. As recently as February 9, 2021, the CDC updated their guidance for those vaccinated:

Although COVID-19 vaccines are effective at keeping you from getting sick, scientists are still learning how well vaccines prevent you from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to others, even if you do not get sick.

If you are vaccinated against COVID-19, you may still be exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. After exposure, people can be infected with or “carry” the virus that causes COVID-19 but not feel sick or have any symptoms. Experts call this “asymptomatic infection.”

For this reason, even after vaccination, we need to continue using all the tools available to help stop this pandemic as we learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work in real-world conditions.

March 2, 2021

Sherry Farr

Sherry Farr, Director of the Lamar County Health Department, gives an update at a recent vaccination drive-through. What health precautions are needed now that vaccinations are available? Click on her picture or click here to watch the video.

Click on the map for Lamar County data

How Does The Health and Wellness Team Decide on Gathering Inside?

Rather than being shaped by the news cycle or responding to activity in other parts of the state, we are applying Lamar County guidelines available here.

  • Green: No restrictions
  • Yellow: Gather indoors with precautions
  • Orange: Outside gatherings. Inside worship limited to worship leaders and a few participants (10 in sanctuary, 5 in Fellowship Hall).
  • Red: No inside or outside gatherings.

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Sunday, Sunday!

Thank you to Jeanie Enyart who is helping us to get ready for Sunday with this creative and fun video

Our precautions are serious, requiring everyone to wear masks, make reservations, and remain six feet apart. Every precaution is an act of love and taken with great joy!

July 19, 2020

Interview of Sean Parker

Sean Parker is a member of Barnesville First UMC and a health care professional working in Upson County. Watch and share the video here.

Sean describes the current conditions related to Covid-19 in our area, and how this has impacted him and family members. He even gives a few tips for those who have a hard time wearing a mask (9:10).

Thank you Sean Parker for your insights, and for serving on the Health and Wellness Team.

July 2, 2020

Live streaming begins July 12

The church will begin live streaming worship from the sanctuary on July 12 at 10:00 am on YouTube (available to watch in progress and afterwards) and Zoom (10:00 only).

For the first two services, July 12 and 19, the sanctuary will be limited to the worship and production leaders.

Read the full newsletter article here.

June 24, 2020

Survey Results: Part 2

Read the full report here, with how we are addressing your suggestions and questions:

  • Does the air conditioning system present a risk? Do we need to have an air purifier? 
  • Should disinfectant wipes also be available at the entrance to the sanctuary?
  • Will there be bulletins?
  • Temp checks & ushers to ask leave if high.
  • No removal of mask. If to blow nose, leave. Ushers to ask leave if multiple sneezing, sniffling, coughing.
  • Mask must cover nose & mouth.

June 18, 2020

Survey Results - Part 1

You have shared many concerns in the survey and ideas for how the Health and Wellness Team can address these. A summary of your responses is here.

Using your input, we have set a target worship service in mid-July, assuming that conditions in Lamar County are conducive to gathering in person.

June 2, 2020

Church survey

The Health and Wellness Team invites your participation in a survey of the congregation. The survey is in this week's mailed Steeple Chimes and call also be accessed here where then link is available.

May 28, 2020

Health & Wellness Team

The Health and Wellness Committee shapes and then guides the process for in-person ministry at Barnesville First United Methodist Church. Thank you to our team:

  • Leesa Woodall (chair), 
  • Jim Ozier, Head Usher
  • Wayne Cook, Worship Committee Chair
  • Dr. Lee Woodall,
  • Sean Parker, medical practitioner in Upson County.
  • Kris Thomas, Trustee

In addition to their experience and skills, every one of them has great love for God and for the people of our church and community. Please be in prayer for them and our church.

Read more in the May 28 newsletter.

April 22, 2020

Guidance from the Conference

Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson and our Conference Cabinet have consulted with experts in public health and the medical field on how churches might prepare to offer in-person worship again. 

They continue to add resources to the guidelines (read here).

Following Easter, we are testing no-reservation worship.

Children are invited to attend with parents, with younger children leaving after the children's sermon for age appropriate worship.

Should we return to requiring reservations, please make a reservation before Wednesday at 3 pm. There's also a place at the bottom (optional) for providing feedback on last week's service.

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