March 18, 2020
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. My hope is that this letter finds you and your family safe and observing the precautions outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and our government officials.
On Friday, March 13, Bishop David Bard, the bishop of the Michigan United Methodist Church, requested that all church worship services, classes, and events be suspended until the end of April 5 in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). We are abiding by that request. The CDC has recommended that groups over 50 not meet for eight weeks (as of March 15). We will keep you advised of when on-site church events will begin again through our website, Facebook, E-news and on the phone message at our office.
At this time our church buildings are closed for all but essential activities.
WORSHIP, STUDY, PRAYER
- We will worship together online on Sundays at 9:30 am. The worship service is available through our website or Facebook pages. Recordings of worship, including audio recordings of the sermon will be available at our website or Facebook pages.
- For those in classes or small groups, leaders may be in touch with you about continuing study through video conferencing.
- If you are not currently in a class or group, please consider preparing through this Lenten season by reading the Passion Narratives in the Gospels: Matthew, Chap. 21-27; Mark, Chap. 11-15; Luke, Chap. 19-23; John, Chap. 12-19
- If you have not done so, ask to receive daily email devotions from Pastor Sherry, email@example.com
- Stay connected with other congregation members on a private Facebook group that we’ve established. Look for an invitation to join in our E-news and our Facebook pages.
- Explore a new way of praying. Write in a journal or take a “prayer walk” in your yard. Look to the Psalms as a source for prayer.
SERVICE IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST
We are called to creative service in these extraordinary times. Please consider serving the community in the following ways.
- Pray intentionally for family, friends, neighbors, and our community and world. Make a list of people you know who could become very sick if they contact the virus and pray for them by name. Pray for healthcare workers and first responders. Pray for those who are experiencing economic hardship and feelings of isolation.
- If you need assistance with errands of any kind, contact the church.
- If you are willing to join a growing number of volunteers who are willing to run errands, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Become part of a phone call/letter/card-writing ministry. Contact email@example.com and she will connect you with a member of the congregation who would be blessed to receive words of encouragement from you. You may also know of other people beyond the church who could benefit from this gift.
- Provide food for those who will experience shortages in the coming weeks. Look for information on our website and Facebook page for ways you can respond to our community’s needs.
I give thanks to God for the generosity of this congregation and encourage you to continue with your regular giving practices as you are able. Many of you participate in Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT), which allows your regular gift to the church to be transferred directly from your financial account. Others are reaching out by mail. You may also choose to use our online giving options.
Our church leaders are committed to paying all church employees through this challenging time, as well as fully meeting other financial obligations.
Faithful friends, today I am mindful of the last words that John Wesley spoke, “Best of all, God is with me.” In the days ahead, we will continue to be the Body of Christ. God uses the church in extraordinary ways in extraordinary times. Best of all, God is with us.
My prayers are with you all.