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I am sorry, but we will not be able to gather for Worship on Sunday

Friends and family at TUMC.  I wrote you this morning with a plan to meet for Worship this Sunday as usual.  At that time, I sincerely believed that we were in a situation that would make our meeting together possible.  Many of you wrote back to say that you were glad we were making that decision.  Now, however, I have come to believe that was the wrong choice and I need to switch gears.  I am so sorry about this, but information I have received throughout the day and especially from a conference call I was on this afternoon with Drs. from the Methodist Hospital Infectious Disease department has really convinced me that two things are important and both of them point to suspending worship at TUMC for a time.  

  1.  We have to protect the most vulnerable members of our church community.  Many people in our church are in what are considered to be high risk categories and the ONLY way to protect people is to make sure that contact is limited.  Not just handshakes and hugs, but face to face contact.  As much as I feel we should be together in these trying times, I have to put my feelings aside for the good of the people I serve,
  2. We have to do what we can do to help stop this infection, and the only way to do that is to limit contact in larger groups.  The information I got said that, in cases of flu, one sick person infects, on average, one other person.  Covid-19, however, averages more like 2 – 3 people infected by one person with the virus, and the infectious period starts well before any symptoms show up.  Houston has more cases than any of the other metro areas in Texas and we have already heard that there is a person who likely has the virus in Galveston County who came in contact with someone from Magnolia County at the Rodeo.  So…we have to do our part in helping to control the spread of this virus.

Both of these things lead me to the conclusion that I would be irresponsible in going on with Worship, even if we promise not to shake hands or sit too close to each other.  And the quicker we all work together to limit this spread of this contagion, the sooner we can all get back to life as usual.
So…I regret that I have to change what I said earlier today.  We will not be having Worship at TUMC this Sunday.  We are working on the live stream project that can make it possible for us to do worship online (we have a small group doing worship so that people can watch at home.) That may not be available this Sunday, but I will at least preach the sermon so the audio can be downloaded as usual.  In the meantime, I want to suggest to everyone that at your regular worship hour this week, please turn on KSBJ or another source of worship music.  Spend time in prayer with your family or on the phone with a friend.  And know that we will be praying with you.  
Again, I am sorry for having to change this.  I hope you will all understand and I look forward to things getting back to normal after all this is over,
In Christ,
Pastor Bill

Tomball UMC
1603 Baker Dr.
Tomball, TX  77375


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