Theological Statement on Returning to In-Person Worship

From the Reentry Committee

These are unique times. We remain steadfast as an intentional, worshipping community. We re-avow in Christian love our commitment to care for others as we would ourselves (Mt 10:1; Mt 22:39; Mk 12:31).  In Hebrews 10:24-25 Paul says, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”  Moving toward reopening the church building and holding in-person worship, we keenly feel our bond. We long for each other’s presence, even with social-distancing.

Our communal response in times of COVID-19 speaks from love. Christ commands us to move beyond our foundational community to help others and share our faith in loving, compassionate ways.  As Christians and Methodists, we believe Christ calls each of us as individuals and as church members, to see Christ in the flesh every day in the people around us. Our faith moves us to action, to be Good Samaritans, and to share our love in concrete ways.  “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me …Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me”  (Mt 25: 35-40). 

We respond in Christian faith, through Christ, knowing that only by remaining together as a faith community, can we remain spiritually wholesome.  It is in our communal bond of love and caring that keeps us spiritually centered, motivated by faith, and morally centered. “And if one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it” (I Cor.26-7).  And, in Galatians 6:2, we are reminded that the hallmark of a Christian community such as ours is to “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”  Our Christian community is life giving, life sustaining, and spiritually healing. We are more wholesome together than we are alone (Rom 12:4–5).  Caring for one another gives us the loving orientation to care for our families, friends, neighbors, visitors and strangers.

The reentry committee is finalizing their draft of protocols.
Once approved, those protocols will be sent out by mail and email as well as posted on our website.

2 thoughts on “Theological Statement on Returning to In-Person Worship

  1. I will be on sabbatical and living down the street in Camden. If you are in person will you be taking reservations for worship? We would love to come but would not want to take a pew from your regular members of numbers are limited.


    1. Hello & Welcome to Camden. We are worshipping in-person at John St. UMC. We are a small member church with a sanctuary that seats 54 people socially distanced (6ft) and a section for visitors. (Currently only 14-16 members have replied that they will be attending) We also have an overflow area if needed. We are not taking reservations but are asking Contact Tracing Questions and maintaining a Contact Tracing List. Masks and Hand Sanitizing are required. If you are considering an offering there will be a basket in the foyer where you can place it as you leave the building or you can mail it to John Street UMC, 98 John St., Camden, ME 04843. I look forward to meeting you. Rev. Michelle (Pastor Chellie)


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