Dear Rockport Family and Friends,
Grace and peace to you, in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ! As school begins, please know that I am keeping our students, teachers, and staff in my prayers. It is strange year for all of us!
Two weeks ago, the Governor's Press Conference shared the exciting news that Cuyahoga County has dropped into the orange, level 2 category according to the Ohio Public Health Advisory System. While Cuyahoga County remains in the orange, level 2 category, the number of COVID-19 cases have been rising in both the state and in Cuyahoga County this week. Rockport's Reopening Plan states: "Transition from one level to another will be determined by the Rockport Reopening Team according to both the current Public Health Advisory Level in Cuyahoga County and a 14-day sustained decrease in new cases." Because of the rise in case numbers in Cuyahoga County and in the State of Ohio, Rockport UMC remains at Level 3 (red) in our Reopening Plan. This means that there will be no in-person activities at Rockport UMC for the weeks of September 6 and September 13. Please continue to be in prayer that case numbers will go down - all of us are eager to be back in worship together!
As we anticipate reopening, the Reopening Team has been hard at work. We have edited the Reopening Diagram (which can be downloaded here) to increase the number of persons able to participate in worship during Level 2 (orange) from 25 to 50. You will see that reflected on both the photo below this message and in the plan on the link above. We've also put together a document to help you know what to expect when we are able to return to in-person worship. You can view that document in the box below, and can download it here. We have also developed some protocols for our worship volunteers and ushers. That document can be downloaded here.
This week, we will begin our yearly Stewardship Campaign, titled: The Enemies of Gratitude. Together, we'll be focusing on how good stewardship is an act of gratitude and the things that sometimes get in the way of being grateful. I hope you will join us for this series, and I hope you will join me in prayer as you consider taking the next faithful step in your pledging and offering for the coming year. If you did not receive or are in need of a Stewardship letter or pledge card, please contact Sara in the office (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will be happy to get you one as soon as possible!
Rockport continues to be in need of donations (and volunteers!) to help with our Take What You Need Cabinet. Please also continue giving to Rockport during this time. Your tithes and offerings make our ministry possible and help us carry out our call to make disciples in the world around us.
This week, you are also invited to join us following worship on Sunday (or at 10:45ish) for a Virtual Coffee (half) Hour on Zoom. We will plan to be on immediately following worship and will be on until about 11:15am. As a reminder, Virtual Coffee (half) Hour has now been moved to first Sundays - and this one is a first Sunday! We hope you will join us with a drink and a snack (or meal!) of your choice and connect with one another during this time apart.
Please know that you continue to be in my prayers. If you are in need of pastoral care or conversation, please don’t hesitate to contact me by phone or by email (email@example.com).
Rev. Lorrin Radzik,
Pastor, Rockport UMC