Coronavirus / COVID-19 Response Announcement:
Suspending Church Activities through June 20th:
All church activities, on or offsite, are suspended through June 20th. We are planning a phased reopening beginning on June 21st.
The Leadership Board and the staff of the church prayerfully consider the information we have from news, government recommendations, statistics, and risk level of our congregation. This information, coupled with recommendations from the UMC Episcopal Leadership (Bishop's) Office, is all considered as part of regular conversation surrounding the safest way to gather together. This week, Bishop Bill McAlilly asked TN Churches to suspend into June.
Though news of an extended suspension is hard to hear, our main concern is to care for the people of our church and community in the way that God would have us. We are always working to be together while following the recommended best practices for gathering together. That being said, we are excited about the plans we have for when re-opening begins!
Four Phased Re-Opening
Right now, the staff is already in Phase 1 of our Four Phase Re-Opening Plan. This phase includes:
- Staff returning to the office for preparation for opening, though the office remains closed for general public
- Building-wide cleaning has begun in order to prepare the building for a safe return
- Some mission groups have begun to meet again, so that we can serve our community, but they are following social distancing and health and safety guidelines.
We will continue Virtual Worship as well as small groups and meetings by video chat. Every week you will find a service on Facebook, YouTube, and our website... hilldaleumc.org/worship... as well as additional discipleship resources for all ages.
Phase 2- Begins June 21
As we begin to come back into the building, we will be thankful to be together, but church will still look different as we navigate creating safe environments.
- Safe Worship- One morning worship will be available for a small group of our most vulnerable who are missing connection but are at a higher risk in terms of getting back together. There will be special precautions at this service, and it will be limited to only those in specified groups.
- Dinner Church- Multiple opportunities for Dinner Church will be schedule each week. This will allow for family groups, or groups who have already been in contact with each other, to gather around tables in the CLC for shorter services. Meals will be optional and "bring your own dinner" style. Dinner church will be a unique offering of worship and discipleship through music, teaching, and safe small group discussion. This would be a great event for Sunday School classes to attend together.
- Youth and Young Adult Small Groups may begin meeting in this phase as long as they follow social distancing guidelines.
**There will be no specific Children's activities or group nursery provided during Phase 2**
We are planning for more allowances and an additional Sunday morning worship service beginning later in Phase 3, and a more open policy as we move toward Phase 4. Those Phase details and expected beginning dates will be released as we move closer and as we have more information to help guide our guidelines and planning.
Worshiping Together at 11am Online:
We will continue to worship together online at 11am via our Facebook page. Just search Hilldale United Methodist Church and follow us on Facebook! You can also find us at hilldaleumc.org/worship which will also host each week's service broadcast.
This worship service will be interactive! You can check-in, register guests, post prayer requests in real-time, sing along, recite the Apostles Creed & the Lord’s Prayer, give your tithes & offerings, have a Children’s Moment with your family, and hear a message of hope and faith. And you can SHARE our service with the world online!
Please plan to be with us at 11am on Sunday!
We are a people of prayer and God's house is a house of prayer.
Pray for the sick, for healthcare workers, for businesses in trouble, for those who are lonely, for out-of-school kids (and parents), for our government leaders, for those living in fear, for each other, and for our church.
Start each day with a time of prayer, asking God to heal our land and make God's presence felt among us!
Offer Hope & Foster Community:
Our vision for this next temporary period is to find new and creative ways to offer the hope of Jesus Christ and foster community with our people. Our community needs you to be doing this too!
What does offering hope & fostering community look like?
- Taking a video study together as a class
- Log onto our Amplify Curriculum Library here: hilldaleumc.org/amplify
- Having Sunday School by Conference Call or Video Chat at 9:45 am
- Writing cards to the homebound or other members
- We are working on missional opportunities for you too, stay tuned!
You have to call, text, message, meme, gif, email, Facetime, Marco Polo, snap, DM, drive by & shout "I love you!", video conference, and throw rocks at windows with boomboxes on your shoulders like you were 16, in love, and your parents forbid you from being together!
Make time in your calendar and energy to stay in contact with each other and bring other people into those connections! Check out our BE the Church page for ways you can help during this time of need. We will update it as we have new ministry opportunities available.
Why are we doing this?
This decision was made for two main reasons: care for our at-risk population and to “make the world a better place” by acting on behalf of community health.
The spread of the coronavirus and its infection, COVID-19, have the ability to severely impact our healthcare system unless the spread of the virus is slowed to a rate that our healthcare system can handle.
This means groups do not need to meet and individuals need to take part in “social distancing.” This essentially means keeping away from others and not contracting the virus or spreading the virus to others or to surfaces that can be touched later.
How will we support not meeting for worship financially? We need you to GIVE
We are living the mission of the church even though we are apart.
We are supported through your gifts and ask you to continue to support the mission of our church even though we are not in the Sanctuary on Sunday passing the offering plates. Frankly, We need you to continue giving.
- You can give online by clicking here.
- You can mail in a check.
- You can fill out an ACH Form to automate giving (click here).
Don't let your attendance stand in the way of your financial faithfulness. Call the office if you have more questions or would like help with the process.
What about FUEL and other ministries?
We are going to work with the FUEL program to continue providing food to students who need it, especially if schools are canceled and there will be children at home without food. We are hoping we can help the county FUEL program in even more ways in this time of crisis.
FUEL is seen as an essential ministry during this temporary suspension and pandemic. All other ministries are considered suspended unless given explicit approval and work through a plan with church leadership.
What about my kids or youth?
Youth can join Hannah for a devotion that’ll be sent through Remind every day. If a parent or child is not signed up for Remind, download the app, or use this link: https://www.remind.com/join/hilldaleu. Feel free to share prayer requests or just chat with Hannah through Remind texts.
We will also have a video lesson for youth on Sunday mornings that will be put on the website (hilldaleumc.org/youth) and the Hilldale UMC Youth Facebook page.
Our children will have access to the Children's sermon every week via our Hilldale Kids page or during Virtual Worship. You can also check out this page (hilldaleumc.org/kids) and the Hilldale UMC Kids Ministry Facebook page for weekly activities and posts with encouragement and lessons from Ms. Kim!
Meetings, Groups, and Administrative:
What all will be suspended?
All onsite activities, events, programs, and affiliated church groups are suspended through June 20th. This includes church events as well as outside groups that use our facility and/or property. Only essential staff should enter the building. If you have a key, but are not a part of the designated staff team, you are asked not to enter.
During Phase 1, certain ministry groups that serve the community have been allowed to begin using the building, but they are following social distancing rules and safety policies.
Can we meet off property?
We ask that you suspend all meetings until we announce a reopening of the church and its activities. If you choose to meet offsite, please understand that you do so at your own risk and are acting against the recommendations of church leadership.
Is the office open?
During this Phase 1, staff are in office for limited hours, but the office is closed to non-staff. However, we will be available during normal office hours by email or phone. <email@example.com> and 931-647-2249.
What if I have a crisis?
Contact the church office by phone or email, or call the Pastor’s direct line at 931-218-2976 and leave a message if no one answers.