Worship and Staff Updates

Dear Members of the MLUMC Family,

With God’s help, we continue to navigate our way through this COVID-19 pandemic. Above all, we pray for the families of those whose lives have been lost, for those who’ve suffered from the economic side effects of the pandemic, and for continued good health for all of us, and for our families. As you have probably heard, both Allegheny County and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania released new mitigation orders last week, in an attempt to stem the spike in COVID-19 cases in our area. Although these orders specifically exempted religious organizations, our denominational and congregational leadership have agreed with me that we should comply with these orders, out of an abundance of caution for the safety of the relatively large numbers of vulnerable individuals who attend our services each and every week. We believe that by depriving this pernicious virus of a significant potential venue for transmission, we will be doing our part to restore our community to health, to return our adults to work, and our children to school. The extent to which our families will be able to resume a more “normal life” this fall is entirely dependent upon how we conduct ourselves today. Therefore, as responsible members of our community, we are committed to do our part.

Based upon the recent guidance from our state and county health authorities, we have taken the following actions: 1) Our church staff has been instructed to work remotely as much as possible, and 2) Our indoor services of worship will continue to be suspended for the present time. Online worship continues. Each week we offer a videocast and a podcast of Biblical teaching and sacred music. And, our staff continues to be available to you. Simply call the main church number (412-531-7131) or e-mail the staff member directly, and they will be in touch with you.

In place of indoor worship, we have instituted an outdoor worship service on Sunday mornings at 9:30 a.m. in our upper parking lot. Our first attempt on Sunday went very well, even in spite of the oppressive heat. Our staff did a wonderful job of creating some shady areas, and a comfortable venue for worship. The Wesley Hall patio worked great as a platform for the worship leaders. Thanks to Mitchell Stecker (our new Director of Music), B.J. Collins (Contemporary Music Director), Michelle Duralia (vocals), Keith Moorhouse (drums), and Joe Boward (saxophone) for the beautiful service music. Pastor Scott Miller and I led the spoken portions of the service. We had 52 persons in attendance, and they all appreciated the service.

You are invited to join us this coming Sunday, July 26th, at 9:30 a.m. If you intend to do so, please RSVP by e-mail to Michelle Rizzo at churchsecretary@mlumc.org. In your e-mail, please indicate the number of persons who will be in attendance, if you will need a chair (others are asked to bring their own), and if you would prefer to reserve a “drive-in parking spot,” from which you can worship in your car.  Please RSVP before Thursday, July 23rd. In case of rain, the service will be cancelled. You will be notified by e-mail or telephone.
Blessings to all,
Pastor Tom Strandburg