leadership council update

MARCH 24, 2020


The Leadership Council of St. Barnabas met Monday evening, March 23, via Zoom. Here are some of the issues that were discussed.


Feedback on Online Worship

We are working to incorporate contemporary aspects of worship into the 11:00 a.m. online service on Sundays. If you have other feedback on worship that is constructive, please let us know! We are learning how to do this as we go along. Many of you noted the changes that were made between the first and second services. We are striving for excellence.


Easter and Holy Week Worship Online


Palm Sunday, April 5, 11:00 a.m. -- We are hoping the palms that have been ordered will come in. In the event they do, we will determine when and where parents may pick them up. If they do not, we are asking that parents work with their children to “make” palm branches out of construction paper or use tree branches to wave as each parent takes about 30 seconds (no more) of video as the child/children parade down the street. Then, please send the video to Alyssa Lawther. The videos will be compiled into one video so that all may see our children on Palm Sunday.


Maundy Thursday Worship, April 9, 7:00 p.m. -- We will have the opportunity to have Holy Communion on Maundy Thursday. Each family will need to acquire grape juice and bread for their family. Rev. Ginger will lead us through the sacrament of Holy Communion. In the United Methodist Church, one must be licensed (and/or ordained) to preside at the sacraments. Bishop Lowry has allowed this unique form of communion only during this period.


Good Friday Worship, April 10, 7:00 p.m. -- We will have a service of “Tenebrae,” that is, darkness. Each family will need seven (7) candles of a votive size or larger. As we extinguish candles in the Sanctuary, you at home will be able to do the same.


Easter Sunday, April 12, 11:00 a.m. -- We will have Easter worship at 11:00 a.m. We are also seeking to find musicians/ a band for an earlier worship time. Please stay tuned!


Communion

Communion will be on Maundy Thursday at 7:00 p.m. We will not have Communion at our “normal” first-Sunday time for April. We discussed “drive-through” Communion as an option to consider for the future. To be considered further based on feasibility.


Funerals

At this point, we are not able to hold funerals other than by state/county/city lawfulness. We will do all we can to ensure that in the event of a funeral, there is every opportunity to participate. However, we will follow edicts and mandates.


Early Education Center (EEC)

EEC follows the Arlington ISD, as well as the State of Texas Licensed Childcare guidelines. Parents will not be drafted for April. Teachers will be paid their “normal” pay through April 3, and EEC will evaluate as we go along.


Our staff and pastors are doing all we can to help facilitate communication – especially with our vulnerable populations. At the same time, we are working to think of new and creative ways to be in relationship with our congregation and with each other. Please help us by taking a moment to consider who you see on a “normal” Sunday. Then, each day, reach out to a few of those people and check on them.


#WeAreStBarnabas and we are in this together! 


Rev. Ginger Bassford, PhD

Senior Pastor

worship this sunday

MARCH 14, 2020


Thank you for your patience and kindness during this rapidly-changing time. Please know that the health and well-being of our members and community have been first and foremost in our hearts and concerns in making this decision.


That being said, St. Barnabas will still have worship this Sunday! You can watch the service live streaming on the church website beginning at 11:00 a.m. There is a dedicated team that is working to also make worship available to you through Facebook Live. If you have not “liked” the St. Barnabas Facebook page yet, we encourage you to do so. This availability includes some major technological shifts, so please be sure to thank our amazing, volunteer technology team: Dale Ray, Alan Martin, Linda Webb and Jerry Davis. Now, more than ever before, the ability to provide excellent online worship is imperative. Because of this group’s dedication, we will be able to move forward without missing a beat. Thanks to all of you who continue to give your tithes and financial resources which makes this transition possible. We will also be renewing our video presence – soon!


Mr. Mark Husband and Ms. Dana Chavarria will lead the music on Sunday morning. Jim and Tag will bring the message in a dialogue-based format. We will sing, pray, give and hear the Word proclaimed! It will all be a little different, however, it is also going to be good! Please try it out. It is a great way to connect in community.


We had at least four meetings yesterday – all virtual. I cannot tell you how much I deeply admire and appreciate our conscientious staff who are all working to make our community presence strong. The hard work we have done to form a united team paid off today! Please thank these great folks. We will continue our children and youth ministries, as well as deepen our spiritual lives during this time of honoring health and safety standards. Thank you, St. Barnabas.


Rev. Virginia O. (Ginger) Bassford, PhD

important update concerning COVID-19

MARCH 13, 2020


Please know we hold each of you in prayer as we walk through this tumultuous time together. We will respond as the situation continues to unfold, doing the best we can to meet the needs and questions of the moment. Below are numbered points of where we are as of today, March 13, 2020, as of about 2:00 p.m.


ALL OF ST. BARNABAS

  1. Please be in prayer for those families directly affected by COVID-19. Please also pray for those families who are impacted by the virus, who are hourly wage earners and who barely get by on their income as it is.
  2. DO NOT be in public if you feel ill, have an elevated temperature or have a cough. Please CLEANSE YOUR HANDS upon entering and leaving the St. Barnabas UMC building.
  3. Cover your cough.
  4. We have a moral obligation to respect the health and well-being of others. Think of others first.

CURRENT CLOSURES TO BE RE-EVALUATED ON MARCH 25 FOR MARCH 29 AND BEYOND:

  1. Effective immediately, the St. Barnabas UMC campus is closed for all meetings, gatherings and assemblies through March 28, including worship in our Sanctuary and Family Life Center (see information below about online worship). On March 25, we will re-evaluate for March 29 going forward.
  2. If there is an URGENT need to enter the any of our buildings, be sure you know the alarm code. Also bring disinfectant wipes with you, and wipe all surfaces you touch, including, but not limited to, doorknobs, desktops and light switches.

EARLY EDUCATION CENTER (EEC)

  1. The leadership and staff of St. Barnabas UMC are choosing to exercise an abundance of caution. All EEC classes and before and after school care are canceled immediately until Monday, March 30. The COVID-19 situation will be re-evaluated on Thursday, March 25, before 5:30 p.m.
  2. The EEC is following AISD and Public Health Department recommendations as was discussed in the previous letter.
  3. We regret that, at this time, we are unable to refund tuition that has been paid. In a good faith effort to retain our excellent teachers; teachers will continue to be paid at least until March 30.
  4. EEC Sunday on March 29 is postponed. The Open House, previously scheduled for Thursday, April 2, is postponed.

ST. BARNABAS CONGREGATION

  1. We have the capacity to conduct meetings virtually through Go-to-Meeting. If your committee, team or small group has a need to meet, please contact your staff-liaison person to set up this meeting.
       a. Staff "Huddle" will continue on Monday mornings at 11:00 a.m.
       b. Our Children and Youth ministries will also be able to continue virtually. Stay tuned for more information.
  2. Last week we began putting a means for online worship into place that will allow us to participate in worship from home. The plan for this type of worship is still being worked out. Please watch for future communication with the subject heading of "WORSHIP." This communication will inform you of the who-what-where-when-how of virtual worship.
  3. St. Barnabas staff are working remotely when possible. If it is not possible, we will be going to the church campus and will wipe down surfaces as described above.
  4. We will still distribute a weekly newsletter. A new part of that newsletter will be an FAQ section (Frequently Asked Questions) in which we will attempt to respond to questions that come to us regarding the COVID-19 situation and its impact on St. Barnabas.
  5. In the meantime, we will do our best to contact our active church membership. Please know the staff will be praying through the active membership roster.

Finally, dear friends, EASTER WILL COME! We believe in a GREAT GOD of RESURRECTION! This obstacle to the "way we've always done it" also has opportunity. Families can take advantage of this time by being in meaningful conversations with each other. We can slow down our lives a little and "reset" our fast pace. Easter worship may never have held so much celebration and promise as that of 2020!

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to call or email. We will respond as quickly as we are able.

Blessings in Christ,


Rev. Virginia O. (Ginger) Bassford, PhD

Senior Pastor, St. Barnabas UMC


Ms. Julie Fletcher, EEC Director

Ms. Angela Johnson, EEC Director



working to minimize the risk of covid-19

MARCH 12, 2020

As you are aware, the COVID-19 has made its appearance, and we are living into the challenges it presents. The purpose of this note is to put some actions in place that will help us do all we can to minimize the risk of this virus.

 

CONCERNING ALL

  1. Please notice that there are hand sanitizing stations placed at each main entrance to the building. Use these stations to clean your hands each time you enter and leave the building. Hand sanitizer with 60-90% alcohol is now scarce and expensive. We would appreciate the use of appropriate amounts, but not wasteful. Please allow your hands to dry for at least 10 seconds after application.
  2. We have changed to anti-bacterial hand soap in the restrooms. Please wash your hands.
  3. Perhaps this would be a good time for us to learn from those cultures within our congregation who greet one another with a respectful bow rather than a handshake. Something of which to be mindful!
  4. Kleenex and wastebaskets are placed throughout the building. Please use them!
  5. Please cover all coughs and sneezes -- the crease of your elbow is the most effective cover. If not that, please use a tissue and then discard the tissue.

CONCERNING EARLY EDUCATION CENTER

  1. Please stay home and keep your child home if you have cold or flu symptoms and/or a temperature in excess of 100 degrees.
  2. In the event of a major outbreak, St. Barnabas will follow the AISD closings or go to a limited schedule.
  3. However, we may also close independent of the AISD. For example, if we were to have a diagnosed case of COVID-19, there is a probability we would close for a period so that the classrooms could be deep cleaned.
  4. EEC Parents will be notified of EEC closings by email and/or text message.

CONCERNING CONGREGATION

  1. If you are feeling ill with cold or flu-like symptoms, with a temperature in excess of 100, please use our online worship services. We live stream the 9:30 and 11:00 a.m. services (we do not currently have the equipment to live stream the Family Life Center services). We are in the process of upgrading our live stream so that it is higher quality and more user-friendly. Go to the Media tab on our church website to watch online. Please make sure you register your attendance on the online attendance form there. You can even give online from the church website.
  2. We are changing out our A/C filters and do so on a regular schedule.
  3. The building, especially the children's areas, are being cleaned daily -- doorknobs and faucets more than once. Sunday School teachers, please help us by using the Clorox wipes in each room to wipe down the doorknobs, faucets and tabletops after use.
  4. You are welcome to offer prayer concerns online and join the church community on our Facebook page.
  5. We will be making some minor changes to the distribution of Holy Communion, including the use of disposable cups in the Family Life Center and the servers handing the cups to the participants.
  6. If there is a need to close St. Barnabas or its many ministries, we will use email notifications.
  7. This is not the time to panic. The flu routinely kills more people in the U.S. than has the novel Coronavirus.

The above actions are recommended to us through the Public Health Department


We are doing all that is humanly possible to keep our children and our congregation healthy and strong. If you have questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact Ms. Julie Fletcher, Ms. Angela Johnston or Rev. Ginger Bassford.


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