Good day to my Mt. Carmel brothers and sisters in Christ. This is Charlie Shore, your lay leader to let you know this Monday afternoon about an important decision that the Trustee Committee, your Worship Committee and church leadership has made concerning in-person gatherings on the Mt. Carmel campus.

Yesterday following our scheduled Church Council meeting, we made the very difficult decision to temporarily suspend all in-person gatherings in the buildings at Mt. Carmel. This includes our in-person worship on Sunday mornings and all other weekly in-person gatherings – like scouting and other small groups that have been meeting in either the Discipleship Class or the Fellowship Hall.

Let me be clear that Mt. Carmel has not, I repeat we have not, experienced an outbreak of the COVID-19 virus at Mt. Carmel but for the last three plus weeks in our prayer time during on-line Sunday Schools, Wednesday prayer and bible study and following each Sunday worship we continue to hear that many of our church family, their extended families and their friends and neighbors are being affected by this unrelenting virus.

The health and welfare of each and every one of you is and always will be first and foremost in our decision-making process. The evaluation and the decision of when the right time to re-open is based on all of the local expert’s recommendations that we all see and hear. At this time the overwhelming experience that all of us see is that the numbers and metrics indicate to us that a temporary pause in in-person gatherings is needed. This will be re-evaluated each month but for the remainder of January and most likely February we will discontinue all in-person gatherings – including in-person worship on Sunday. Vaccines are coming and that is our light at the end of this dark and difficult time. But that will take time and our decision to suspend in-person gatherings, to minimize your risk of illness, is temporary – but necessary.

We will continue to broadcast our Sunday service each and every Sunday morning. This week we will be looking at other ways that we can get our service broadcast to more folks other that our Facebook live stream – for example utilizing our Mt. Carmel You Tube channel – which may be more accessible to more of our congregation. Pastor Mary and the worship committee will also be looking at how to continue to safely offer a drive through communion as well.

Your continued support of our mission and ministry through your tithes and offerings is very much appreciated. With less access to leaving it in the tithe box on Sunday mornings please consider mailing in your offering to the church (4265 Ebert Road. Winston-Salem, NC 27127) or using via our online giving portal found on our Mt. Carmel website.

We made this difficult decision with heavy hearts and know that each of us will look at this decision with different perspectives. But your health and safety is our priority.

Pastor Mary and Joanne will be working from home more during this break. Our financial secretary will still be in the office on Monday mornings. Should you need to reach Pastor Mary you can contact her at the church office at (336) 788-4183 (follow the voice prompts to leave either Pastor Mary or Joanne a voice message).

Stay safe with your immediate family. For those of you already affected – know that you and your families are in our prayers.

Charlie Shore – Mt. Carmel Lay Leader

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