Hey, how are you?
Reba and I are healthy and doing well during this time of sheltering in place. We had a number of opportunities to prepare for an extended period of time to shelter in place. We have been keeping a social distance which has kept us healthy and in good spirits. I pray that you are in a good place also.
During this past two weeks of isolation I have been spending a number of hours each day learning to do church differently. Our conference office is providing for us as clergy webinars that have given us ideas and practices to help us to continue our calling as pastors in many innovative and new ways. On Sunday, March 24th I was blessed to be able to share the web and radio broadcast from the Mears United Methodist Church with Pastor Anne Riegler. On Monday, March 25th the guidelines changed and we could no longer both gather at the Mears United Methodist Church to lead worship together. Anne will be leading worship on Sunday, March 29th from the Mears United Methodist Church sanctuary along with one technician to assist her. I will be leading worship on Palm Sunday, April 5th. Anne and I will be working together to develop an Easter Sunday worship experience for April 12th that Anne will be leading.
I will continue to use the phone and social media as well as postal mail as we continue to stay in contact with each other. I encourage you to contact me to share information, needs and concerns using the medium that you feel most comfortable with. I also encourage you to stay in contact with each other, your friends and family of Claybanks United Methodist Church. We need to communicate and be in relationship with each other as we work to support each other during this very unusual time that we are living in. By doing so we will get through the struggles together looking forward to the day when we can assemble to worship in our beautiful Claybanks United Methodist Church building. When that day arrives, we are planning some special activities to celebrate our connectional presence together.
John Wesley the founder of Methodism embrace three social principles that I find not only comforting but give me direction especially during this time. These social principles can be summed up by saying “Do no harm, do good and stay in love with God. First, “To do no harm” by sheltering in place we will not contact the corona virus nor open paths for its spread to others. Secondly, by “Doing good” we support those who are giving of their time, gifts, skills resources, health, and even possibly their own life so that we can remain protected from this deadly virus. Thirdly, by “Staying in love with God” means we take Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and trust in him to provide for our needs as we are given the opportunity to feed our faith through prayer, devotional time and by studying Scripture.
I look forward with hope and joy to the day when we can gather together and shout in unison, “Alleluia and praise to the Lord”!