At this critical time in the life of our community, nation and world, First United Methodist Church of Belmont is more committed than ever to living our mission, to be more like Jesus Christ for our community and beyond. Above all, Jesus demonstrated love, giving life and healing to those around him. As followers of Christ, we are called to love one another. For most of 2020, it has been that love that led us to heed the advice of our Bishop, as well as other officials and health experts, and limit access to our campus.
Our Board of Trustees has approved guidelines for in-person meetings of other groups, including those in our community, who would like to use our facility. You can access those guidelines here..
We have also developed plans to resume indoor, in-person worship beginning in January, 2021.Here are the important things to know as we reopen our sanctuary:
- Services will be offered at 8:30 and 10:00. 25 people will be able to worship inside the sanctuary for each service. Reservations will not be required with seating available on a first come basis. Overflow seating will be available in Carpenter Hall. Holy Communion will continue to be celebrated, as is our custom, every Sunday at 8:30, using self-contained, sealed servings of the elements. The 10:00 service will continue to be live-streamed for those who are not comfortable returning to worship at this time.
- Worshippers will enter the sanctuary from the side doors, where they will have their temperature checked and their contact information will be collected. Anyone with a temperature above 100.4 will be asked to worship with us virtually. Offerings may be given at each door. All worshippers are asked to wear a mask at all times and to use the hand sanitizing stations located throughout the building frequently.
- Pews will be color coded for each service, so that those pews used at 8:30 are not used again at 10:00. Hymnals, Bibles, attendance pads, and pencils have all been removed from the pews to limit “touch points” for all in attendance.
- Following the service, worshippers will be asked to exit in a socially distanced manner through the center aisle directly to the lawn.
- We are installing special filters for our HVAC system that will help us better filter the air in the room.
- Because public speaking and singing risk greater spread of the virus, plexiglass screens have been temporarily installed in front of the lectern and pulpit and another screen has been installed for soloists and instrumentalists. Specially designed “singing masks” will also be used as needed to minimize risk from small groups singing in worship.
- The restrooms in Carpenter Hall will be open for use. While they will be cleaned each week before worship, they will not be cleaned between services. There are cleaning supplies in all restrooms, which we encourage everyone to use frequently as they are able.
- The worship service itself will look somewhat different, most notably the absence of congregational singing. We recognize that worship is the “work of the people,” and our worship planners are adapting plans to ensure our services remain as participatory as possible, despite these necessary limitations. Even so, we are confident just being together again in our beloved sanctuary will bring much hope, healing and peace to us.
We ask and invite everyone at FUMC Belmont to join us in a covenant to honor and respect these guidelines, which are our best attempt to reopen while continuing to do no harm, loving and caring for our neighbors. We look forward to seeing you safely very soon.
To make in-person, indoor worship possible will require significant help. If you would be willing to serve in any capacity (welcoming worshippers, assisting with safety protocols), email George@fumcbelmont.org.
Connect With Us Virtually
Sunday School Online
Each Sunday at 9 a.m. our adults Sunday school classes participate in a combined Sunday School offering. through the ZOOM platform, led by teachers from several of our adult classes. ALL are welcome! Click here to join the class each Sunday. The PASSWORD for the meeting is 709919.
Since early March of 2020, we’ve offered a daily 30-minute Bible study through the ZOOM platform from 12 to 12:30, Monday through Friday. Click here to join the group each day. The password for the Bible Study is 014209.
Daily Devotional Reflections
Our pastor and staff are sending devotions through the week. You can subscribe by clicking here.
Family Resources – Talking with your children about the coronavirus
The CDC has released helpful information regarding how to talk with your children about the coronavirus. Click here for guidance and suggestions to help your children.
PBS has offered information for talking with some of our youngest children and included videos from Daniel Tiger, Sesame Street and more to help them see familiar characters helping us be “germ busters”. Click here for these resources.
Children’s Ministry Offerings
Click here for more information about our children’s offerings.
If you would like to check out everything we have offered in Youth Ministry CLICK HERE.
Assistance Agencies Resource Guide
For families of Gaston County Schools who are in need, a Gaston County Resource Guide of information about getting assistance has been created. While this guide was intended for families, the information within offers details for individuals about finding help with necessities during this time.
Boundaries While Social Distancing
The Reverend Shelton Davis, Clinical Director and Pastoral Psychotherapist with Sanctuary Counseling Group, has offered very helpful tips and guidance to help us manage the strain and stress of social distancing in these days. Shelton’s office through the week, where she usually sees clients, is in our church, and we are grateful for her guidance and help. To read her advice, click here.
News and Updates