Posted by Jenny Morgan

Our Health and Wellness Committee continues to meet monthly to evaluate the situation and our plans to reopen Skyland for public worship. At this time, given the rising numbers of cases in our area and at the recommendation of our Bishop and Cabinet of the North Georgia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, we have decided to delay the next phase of our reopening plan, which would be limited public worship, until September. We will continue to operate in the present phase, which means recording services in the church for the English service and live streaming the Latino service from the chapel through August. The Health and Wellness committee will meet on Aug. 20 to evaluate the situation for September.

We know we are all anxious to get back to church and we miss our fellowship greatly, but we feel at this time the risk is too great to our congregation and community. We are committed to continue to prepare ourselves to reopen when the time comes. We have already installed signage, purchased supplies (masks, sanitizer, etc.) and are continuing to fine-tune our procedures for the use of the building based on the plan that was adopted by the Administrative Council. Please keep this process in your prayers and continue to pray for this crisis to come to an end. Remember to pray for those who are still battling COVID and for the development of treatments and an effective vaccine.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me or members of the Health and Wellness Committee. Please continue to watch the online worship services, to support Skyland through your tithes and offerings, and to share with others the links to our Facebook and Youtube pages. Every week, we are reaching people that we would not have reached by gathering in church alone. So God is still using our church powerfully to reach people with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Finally, on a more personal note, as your pastor, I want to remind you to take care of yourself. Don’t just take care of your body, but remember to nurture your soul through this time of isolation and social distancing. If you need to talk, remember I have an open phone policy and I am here for you. I am praying for you regularly and I appreciate all of you who have prayed and continue to pray for myself, Pastor José, Eleanor, Markeila and the rest of the staff at Skyland. If we can help you in any way during this pandemic, please reach out to us. We love you and can’t wait to see you again!

Yours in Christ,
Rev. Dr. Miguel A. Vélez