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May 23 Update
While these are strange times, we have much to be grateful for, as our Bishop so clearly communicates in his message below:
Dear Members and Friends of the Desert Southwest Conference,
This afternoon, words spoken from the White House mandated that churches open this weekend for worship. Houses of worship were deemed “essential,” and governors of the states were told to allow churches and places of worship to open this weekend.
I contend that our churches have always been open. Our buildings may be closed but the laity and the clergy of the Desert Southwest Conference have worked diligently to ensure that ministry in the name of Jesus Christ continues. Worship in new ways has blossomed; lives are being touched, and our mandate to spread the good news has never been more crucial. The Church is alive!
The day will come when we will be safe to resume in-person worship and gatherings. We hope and pray for that day to come. But we are not yet ready to open our churches...
In the meantime, I affirm what we already know in our hearts and have experienced in these days of separation from one another. The church is the body of Christ! And “in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit” (I Corinthians 12:13). Sometimes, the different parts of the body may not be able to connect in person. That is the case of the body of Christ today. But let us remember that even if we are not presently able to be physically connected with one another, the Spirit of God connects us spiritually with one another in the name of Jesus, our Rock and Redeemer.
With patient trust in God, who is always with us, let us hold one another and our communities in prayer as we continue to be the body of Christ united in hope!
May 1 Update
We are continuing to monitor federal and local guidelines, as well as keeping in close communication with our Bishop's office as we plan during this evolving situation. Our campus, along the rest of the Desert Southwest Conference, has been asked to remain closed for the time being, with our closure to extend until at least the end of May. We appreciate your prayers as we continue to seek out what is best for the safety and well-being of our congregation and community, and we hope you are continuing to find ways to connect with one another until we meet in person again.
March 27 Update
Last weekend, we streamed our services online for the first time ever. The response was overwhelmingly positive, with so many of you writing to let us know how much it meant to have worship available to you while in the midst of quarantine. We know how much it matters for us to remain connected in community during these times, and offering a Sunday worship service is just one of the ways we get to do that.
We are also deeply committed to adhering to both the CDC and the Arizona governor’s office when it comes to safety guidelines as we do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19. We took many precautions last week – sanitizing the space and equipment, and limiting the number of people in the room to ten or under – and were made aware of other steps we could take to work towards the safety of our musicians and staff. Therefore, we will be adjusting our stage layout to accommodate recommended physical distancing.
We know how important worship is for our spiritual lives, and our goal is to offer the best worship experience we can while maintaining safety for everyone involved. Our team is closely monitoring the situation, and should stricter guidance be issued by the state and/or the CDC, we will move quickly to our contingency plans for future streaming services.
We’re so grateful to have you as a part of PVUMC, and we look forward to connecting again soon.
March 15 Update
The CDC and the Arizona Governor’s office issued new guidelines in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community. We take seriously their recommendations to not have gatherings of more than 50 people. As a result, Sunday services will be online only for the time being and our campus will be closed to group meetings. While this could be for as long as eight weeks, we will be watching their updates so we might resume worship together at the safest and earliest possible time.
We talk a lot about being God’s love in action, and this closure, though painful, is the best way for us to love our congregation, our neighbors, and all of metro Phoenix.
Despite our lack of in-person gatherings, this church is not going anywhere. We’re hard at work formulating new ways for us to connect and care for one another, as well as figuring out how we’ll be bringing you beautiful music and a message each week. Stay tuned for more information soon.
When moments like this happen, it can be hard to know what to do. Many of you have asked how you can help, and we’ve identified three critical areas:
- Pray – we want to be a church that covers this whole situation in prayer. Prayers for those working on the frontlines, prayers for those facing a sudden loss of income, prayers for those who are sick, and prayers everywhere in-between.
- Volunteer – we’re going to have a lot of needs popping up over the next few months, from dropping off groceries to calling people and checking in. If you’d like to volunteer, simply fill out this form and we’ll be in touch.
- Give to the Emergency Fund – many people are going to need financial assistance soon, and this fund has been instrumental in the past for helping get people in need back on their feet. If you are able, give online at www.pvumc.org/givenow (select “Other” and add “Emergency Fund” in the memo line) or by contacting Mickey Price by phone (602.840.8360 x113) or by email at [email protected].
Towards the end of John’s Gospel Jesus says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). We are thankful for God’s constant help in times like this so that we are not overcome, but know that God is with us every day.
We are so grateful for you, and know that you are in our prayers. If you’re in need of assistance, or would like to speak with a pastor in the next few months, please let us know. We want to be available however we can. And we would appreciate your prayers for our clergy and staff – like many, our job descriptions are quickly changing and most of us are learning how to work well from home to do our part in loving Phoenix well. We’ll be in touch soon with info on how to view services online this week.
YOU CAN HELP PREVENT THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.