We shall discover that it is much more important to change and to do that which is really best for our progress and our health than it is to be smugly consistent or to make the excuse that we have always done thus . . .
Myrtle Fillmore, How to Let God Help You
**VERY IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT **
The 10:30 am Sunday Service, THIS SUNDAY, March 15th will NOT be held in person at the Georgetown Chamber. It WILL be held online
and can be accessed by clicking this link:
We will be using Zoom, an online video conferencing program. If you do not have Zoom, you can access it here: https://zoom.us.
If you do not know how to use Zoom, let us know!
We have a team ready, willing, and able to contact you and walk you through it step-by-step. Contact us by clicking HERE if you need someone to help you with Zoom.
Why this sudden, dramatic change?
The comparison people are making regarding the Coronavirus COVID-19 is the comparison between Philadelphia and St. Louis during the 1918 flu epidemic. In Philadelphia, the city’s public health commissioner did not want to hurt public morale by canceling public events. On September 28, the city held a big parade. Two days later, people started to die. On October 3, city leaders closed down the city, but it was too late to stop the spread of influenza. By the end of the season, 12,000 Philadelphians had died. In St. Louis, the public health commissioner shut down the city at the first sign of a problem. Drawing the wrath of local business owners, he shut down schools, sporting events, bars, and movie theaters. People in St. Louis still got sick, but the infection rate was slow enough that the sick got treatment; the infections did not spike. At the end of the flu epidemic, 1,700 people died of the flu in St. Louis—a significantly lower death rate than the 12,000 that died in Philadelphia.
By taking action today and trying to enforce social distancing, governors, business leaders, universities, and other civic leaders can slow down the spread of the COVID 19 virus. This is important because if we can slow it down, we can help to make sure that hospitals are not overwhelmed all at once with people who need attention. Therefore, the Unity Church of Georgetown Board of Directors has taken decisive action to get out ahead of this situation. The board unanimously voted to hold our 10:30 Sunday Service this week online. We will review the decision again next week.
You can help stop this virus by knowing the facts and taking appropriate action! According to the Center for Disease Control:
“Social distancing” is one of the main ways to stop the severity of this problem. Social distancing involves minimizing exposure to infected individuals by avoiding public gatherings and venues, adhering to spacing requirements in the workplace, and following proper personal hygiene practices. This virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person:
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet of each other).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. It is transmitted through the air at close proximities.
- People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest), yet there is evidence that some spread might be possible BEFORE people show symptoms.
- The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably.
- The most vulnerable population: people over 60 years old.
The UCOG Board had to ask ourselves: Will we be like Philadelphia in 1918 and risk contributing to the problem or will we risk being called “Chicken Little” and be like St. Louis—be the ones who lead the way in mitigating the problem?
I know it is wrenching to think of not having our in-person Sunday gatherings, but there is an alternative: We can have our regular Sunday service online and we can look for additional ways of strengthening our church connections during the week online.
What is the downside of moving our Sunday service online?
To not have in-person contact with each other for a while will be really hard. But I feel like we are a close enough and a committed enough community that we can survive this. I also can’t help but think that if someone became infected while attending our church we would wonder why in the world did we take that chance? A pastor in Washington DC is known to have infected his congregation during their Sunday Services very recently. It only takes one person to affect the entire congregation.
I have agonized over this question for about a week now as it becomes more clear what is at stake. I have been in touch with church leaders and organizations around the country, all of whom are grappling with this. I believe it is in the best interest of our church to be bold and try the online alternative and do it now. I do not understand the logic of waiting for an infection to occur in our area and THEN begin social distancing versus being leaders in this area and preemptively taking steps to make sure this virus does not take hold in our community. Taking action now is called “mitigating” and mitigating is one of the best ways to ensure that our health care systems have the time they need to get on top of this situation.
Therefore, the UCOG Board of Directors has unanimously voted to approve the following two proposals:
- Cancel the Unity Church of Georgetown in-person Sunday Service scheduled for March 15th and instead offer an online church service at the same time. This decision can be re-evaluated on a week-by-week basis as we know more about the health situation in our community.
- Continue to meet our payroll. Dan, Cathy, Will, Chris, and I are working together to figure out how to best deliver an online service.
It is also important to remember that we still have a contract with the Chamber of Commerce which of course we will honor. So our expenses will not go down because of our change in meeting venue. With that in mind, please remember to support our church financially. You can do that by making a contribution either:
- online through our website by clicking here: https://unitygeorgetown.org/donate
- Or you can make a check to our church at the following address: Unity Church of Georgetown, PO Box 1872, Georgetown Texas, 78627.
It breaks my heart to think I will not see you in person this Sunday, but please join me online at 10:30 am this Sunday as we step up to that which we have been called to do: Be bold leaders and take bold actions to insure our community is healthy.
Let’s affirm together:
- We live in a healthy, prosperous community, country, and world.
- We take bold steps to ensure the health and wellbeing of all of our neighbors.
- We make a difference; our actions matter!