Good Afternoon St. Paul Family and Friends,
We are all aware of the Covid-19 pandemic that we are in and the many lives that it is affecting. We must do all that we can to be safe.
The Leadership Team met last night and discussed if we felt safe to return to in person worship service. We felt that we should not return to in person worship yet. It was decided that we will continue only with online worship, at least through February 14. The team will meet again on February 9, 2021 to review recommendations and determine when it will be safe to return to in person worship.
We are committed to doing all we can to communicate effectively and remain connected to everyone be it by email, through telephone, the website (spumc.net) and/or through the Facebook page. A unanimous decision was made to subscribe to “Sermon by Phone”. This is a ministry which would allow anyone who does not have a smartphone, computer, or internet to listen to the worship services by dialing a designated phone number. This phone number will be published as soon as we have it up and running.
Our Worship Team will meet every Saturday to record the services and the video will be available on Sunday morning by 9:45 am (our usual worship time). A bulletin will also be available to view along with the service on our website (spumc.net). Also, we will maintain our Facebook page and Irene will be in the office on Mondays and Thursdays taking care of church business, answering emails and taking telephone calls.
Please, continue to support the church financially by mailing in your offerings or by clicking on the donate button online to donate with a bank or credit card.
If you have any questions or needs, do not hesitate to contact me. You can reach me at the church office as I will be in on Mondays from 9am to Noon.
Even though we will be apart physically, we will endeavor to stay in close contact. As we begin this new year of 2021, let us begin with faith, hope, and confidence that everything will be all right
In Christ Service,
Rev. Maurice Horne
You're probably sick of hearing about face masks, social distancing and hand washing. But those are your strongest weapons against coronavirus. Yet many Americans are ditching those precautions and letting their guard down with friends and family members who don't live with them. Just don't do it. Stay with your established group.
"This terrible period is not going to go on forever. I do think we're going to be in a much better place by the middle of next year because vaccines will be available," Hotez said.
But "be realistic and recognize that this winter -- this November, December, January, February -- could be the worst time in our epidemic, and plan accordingly and be smart about it. And take steps to protect your mental health," Hotez said. "Make certain that you know a mental health counselor, how to reach them if you need them. Know how to call on family members. It's OK to feel scared and to be upset and to get depressed. That's a normal reaction to this. But get ready for it."
MyCovidRisk.app lets you find your risk of getting infected based on your location, your planned activity, the duration of that activity and what percentage of people are wearing masks. The calculator, created by the Brown-Lifespan Center for Digital Health, also gives suggestions on how to decrease your risk, said Dr. Megan Ranney, the center's director and an emergency medicine physician.
Colder weather means people tend to socialize indoors, where there's less opportunity for viral particles to disperse. And that increases the risk of coronavirus spread. So if you do have gatherings, keep them outside if you can -- perhaps with a fire pit, a warm coat or a heat lamp, said Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency room physician and visiting professor at George Washington University. But just because you're outside doesn't mean you can abandon all safety precautions. "Outdoors is not perfect. If you're still sitting a foot away from other people, without a mask, you can still spread it -- especially if you're in that very infectious period," Ranney said. One reason why coronavirus is so contagious is because people who get sick from it typically are most contagious before they start showing symptoms. This means people can easily spread the virus without knowing it.
"Just because someone is close family does not mean they're safe, either," Ranney said. "Unfortunately, if that close family member has been out having a lot of contacts, they still could be sick and bring it home.".
"We know by now that much of Covid-19's spread is actually driven not by formal settings with strangers but by informal gatherings of family and friends," Wen said. "Some individuals may be letting down their guard with loved ones."
If you must travel for the holidays, cut out risky behavior before your trip, such as dining at restaurants indoors or getting in close contact with people who don't live with.
It's also a good idea to get tested before seeing loved ones, so those who test positive can stay home. But don't get a false sense of security just because you have a negative test result. "Sometimes there are false negatives, which means you have the disease but the test doesn't detect it," according to Penn Medicine. "Because it is possible to get a negative result even when you have coronavirus, it is important to be careful even when you receive a negative result." Ranney said the recent White House coronavirus outbreak is a prime example of how testing is not always perfect. And even if a negative test result is correct, you may have been infected since that test was taken.
Instead of Halloween parties or trick-or-treating, the CDC suggests carving pumpkins with your family or with friends and neighbors (at a safe distance). You can also have virtual costume contests or a Halloween scavenger hunt, "where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance," the CDC said. For Thanksgiving, you can celebrate by having a virtual dinner with friends or family from afar and sharing your favorite Thanksgiving recipe, the CDC said. "Thanksgiving is a really tough one," Ranney admits. "I am going to be doing a Zoom Thanksgiving with my parents." You can also help those at high risk for Covid-19 or those who are feeling isolated by preparing traditional Thanksgiving dishes "and delivering them in a way that doesn't involve contact with others," the CDC says.
Yes, this fall and winter will be tough. But Covid-19 has killed more than 218,000 people in the US, and many survivors still have complications months after infection. So remember the long-term benefits of making short-term changes. "I think for the short term, we have to hunker down," said Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a professor of medicine at George Washington University. "The consequences of this virus -- particularly for older folks, the people that we really want to gather with on Thanksgiving -- can be really dire. And frankly, I'd rather do a Zoom Thanksgiving with people that I love than expose them to something that might kill them." Personal responsibility and small sacrifices now will pay off later. "Next year's going to be much better," Reiner said. "Let's get through this, and let's get through it safely."
CNN's Scottie Andrew contributed to this report. 7 ways to stay healthy (and sane) during the fall coronavirus surge - CNN October 17, 2020
To keep everyone safe during these times of COVID-19, we are practicing the Michigan and CDC's recommendations.
We are HAPPY to have you worshiping with us and
look forward to seeing you EVERY Sunday!