Dear church family and Ad Council Team Members,

Rather than my typical weekly letter, I'd like to share an opportunity that has come our way. A wonderful opportunity for vision and mission within our own church building! I felt it was a conversation for all of us to participate in as it will provide so much opportunity for mission work within our own church walls and provide us with an opportunity to connect with  Fredonia's young families and their children!

Campus Community Children Center
Mission Opportunity
July 28, 2020

I am very excited to put before you an opportunity for our church to participate in a wonderful vision and mission opportunity. The Campus Community Children’s Center has expressed an interest in moving their children’s program into our space. They are currently housed in the Wheelock School building, but have lost their lease (see attached letter from Beth Mulkin ). I’d reached out to Beth last year with the hope that they might be interested in housing their daycare center overflow in our building, but they did not have a need at the time. This year they reached out to us!

What does this mean for our church?  So many wonderful things it's hard to grasp! It reminds me of the story of Noah and the ark. When God told Noah to build the ark and after doing so, God drew the animals to the arc and planted the seeds of faith and life that we still benefit from today. Noah just had to be open to the vision and God did all of the rest!

We have this beautiful  “school” space attached to our church that we can use to help local families. We have a family ministry team that has worked hard to create and carry out vision for children and teens and now God is giving us the opportunity to bring the two together! The beautiful spaces that were built and maintained by the faithful servants of this church can now once again be filled with the children that God draws to us.

It will require a little bit of moving around and sharing of spaces. The campus would like to utilize/rent three rooms on the lower level (rooms 1,3, and 4) and room 23 on the main floor. The community room will be used for playtime and they will use the kitchen to serve the children breakfast and an after school snack. Our current groups will still be able to utilize the spaces. We will not touch the Sunday school classroom on the main floor, the prayer room or art start or any of the 3rd floor spaces. We will have to move Gifts of Love to a different space. However, we might even be able to grow this outreach ministry and provide clothing for older children as well, as we will now have families utilizing the space. Our family ministries team is committed to finding ways to connect with the families and children that enter the building. We are hoping to provide volunteers that will help during lunch time, story time and snack time as a means of connecting with the children and their families. We would also like to put a television screen in the education wing entrance to scroll our up and coming church activities for all people who enter to see.

Covid/Safety Concerns

The Campus Center has a protocol in place to address sanitation and safety concerns. No parents will be allowed past the education wing entrance. Because of the way our building spaces are laid out, the doorways to the church side of the building naturally close off or separate the office and sanctuary areas from the school/classroom spaces. The Campus Center will also provide us with a copy of all persons who have entered the building space. We currently have a protocol in place for room use. Whoever uses the room sanitizers the spaces for the next group. Our maintenance technician will take care of the common areas and hall areas. Buildings and grounds will work out a specific protocol and have it available in the “Blue Book”.

The rental fees will cover any additional maintenance hours required, utilities and or grounds maintenance during the winter.  Another positive point, the Campus and Community Children’s Center is an independently operated program renting our spaces. This means no bookwork or staffing concerns for us! They have their own certificate of insurance so there will be no additional cost or liability for our church. CCCC currently has a site in Dunkirk. They rent space from the Christian school on Central Ave. I have obtained copies of their lease agreements with Wheelock and the Catholic school so that we have a baseline to work from and can adapt the documents to meet the specifications for our church.

We discussed this opportunity at our Ad Council meeting and will share information as it becomes available. I encourage you to cover this prospect in prayer. I believe that God is bringing us a beautiful and wonderful opportunity to connect with young families in Fredonia. An opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus and to be the voice of God's love in our own backyard!

Peace to you all!
Pastor Nettie

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UNY Conference Office Closure & Recommendations For Local Churches

In accordance with the continued response to COVID-19 pandemic, the Upper New York (UNY) Conference Office, the Episcopal Office, and the Crossroads District Office at the United Methodist Center in Liverpool, NY will remain closed through the end of May. All employees will continue telecommuting.

In addition, UNY Conference local churches are strongly encouraged to continue to refrain from having in-person worship services through the end of May. Recognizing that the New York Governor has placed drive-in theatres as a part of businesses that can open within Phase 1 of the states re-opening guidelines, we support any churches that desire to offer drive-in worship experiences within regions that are in Phase 1 of New York’s reopening guidelines until in-person worship within our buildings can resume. It is vital that guidelines be followed closely if a church decides to offer drive-in worship and that the building not be opened or available for access in any way. You can find guidelines, as well as resources, for drive-in worship experiences here.

As the state begins to reopen, decisions about in-person worship services within church buildings will be made regionally and locally in compliance with local authorities. By next week, detailed guidelines for church reopening procedures will be shared by UNY leadership, along with FAQs, and best practices. Continue watching Conference Communications channels for more information.

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