Some members are upset with the closure, saying it is a mistake to close and others were supportive after learning of the recent spike in cases.
Financially, the church likely would have struggled had it not been for the PPP (Payroll Protection Program) loan which helped with salaries and funds to do much-needed major repairs in the parking lot.
“So far, we have been doing OK financially, because of the loan, but it’s too early to tell if we’re going to make it through,” said Cajiuat. “People have continued to donate food to the Food Pantry, so Renee and I have dropped off food to Shalom Center regularly. Kathy Mulroy, our church liaison to Curtis Strange Elementary School, is connecting with Diana Trammell, the school’s guidance counselor, for any need the children may have.”
Cajiuat said they are still planning for a church rummage sale the last two Saturdays of September. Working around social distancing practices, volunteers are organizing sale items in the church’s lower level.
First United Methodist Church has not returned to in-person services and are continuing with Zoom meetings, classes and virtual services. Once they return to in-building worship, the format will change, according to Rev. Susan Patterson-Sumwalt, pastor of FUMC.
“We will move from prerecorded to live-streaming for worship,” she said. “People are eager to see one another. However, in a loose survey, 9 out of 10 people said they are not ready to come back to in-person worship with the COVID-19 numbers surging.”