Daily Archives: March 28, 2020

Good News Letter

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”!

Pastor Gary

Announcements and Stuff

United Methodist Women

To my dear fellow UMW ladies. Greetings and have a cookie or whatever you eat for a treat and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and let’s pretend we are together. I am mentally thinking of each of you with love.

The Bible scripture I wish to share is from the Upper Room a few days ago but I added more to it. Lamentations 3:22-28 and for a bit of humor Isaiah 26:20. I am using the NRSV.

Doris, you can skip roll call. Are you taking minutes of our mental meeting? Ok, laugh at me because laughter is still the best medicine!

I know we cannot read each other’s thoughts but I know we can feel the love. Right now let’s offer a prayer for our “sister” Elaine and pray for each other even if we don’t know each other’s needs. We may be isolated from each other but we are joined by the heart through Jesus’ love for us.

Stay brave and know that God wants what is best for us and this time is but a blink in God’s time.

Shalom, Edie

Private Group on Facebook

Our church has been encouraged to use ‘out of the normal’ means of communication during our time of isolation from each other. We have set up a PRIVATE group on Facebook for our church family. It is to be used carefully to protect our church, our members, and friends’ privacy. Joining this group is completely optional.

If you are on Facebook, you have or will soon be receiving an invitation to join the group. Any group member can invite others. Please do so, it’s relatively easy to figure out. We ask that you keep our private group PRIVATE , church family only, due to topics that may be sensitive. Also, at this time, absolutely no pictures will be allowed, conversations only.
We are doing this in an attempt to keep communication easier, especially when the world seems as crazy as it currently does. Please remember not everyone uses social media and this should never replace our one on one conversations. We still need to reach out to our friends and neighbors the ‘old fashioned’ way.

Any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated

Susan’s Dog News

I am certain that this news is not the news you are asking for, but I will share just in the event that anyone is interested. Many caring church-going people come and greet my dogs on Sunday mornings, and I am very thankful for the out-pouring of kindness and welcoming extended their way.

One of my church-going Dachshunds, Gladys (wire-haired, blonde and shy) had a disk in her back rupture — # T-13, and put pressure on her spinal nerves. This horrible event happened on Monday evening Mar. 8; she immediately became paralyzed and remains unable to move her rear quarters, even after neurosurgery at Dogwood Vet Referral hospital, Farmington, MI.

I will have Gladys in for a post-op evaluation this Friday and will know more at that time.

Gladys’ positive spirit and lack of realization that she is disabled have kept me going during these very difficult and expensive times. Of course, Gladys does not have insurance. None of her known canine relatives have ever suffered with Inter-Vertebrate Disk Disease, even though IVDD is a common ailment in the breed and one out of five dachshunds will suffer with IVDD.

Thankfully, Vivian is fine.
Blessings to all, Susan

What Can You Do?

As Methodists we are called to do good. So what good can we do during the time of Covid 19? We can’t visit those in prison or the sick. We need to protect our own health by isolating from the community. Naturally we can pray. For the sick, our country, and most of all the medical staff that is confronting this crisis. My daughter Lily is in Wichita, Kansas. She is a nurse. Recently she was promoted to director of the nursing facility where she works. About a week ago, she learned that her facility would be Wichita, Kansas’s designated Covid 19 hospital. She was panic stricken. She had ordered plenty facemasks in December, but as other Ascension hospitals had run short, she had had to send much of her supply to those places. Now she was faced with Covid 19 patients and a staff that could well not have the needed personal protective equipment. So what do our children always do in the time of need? Call Mom. She asked me to sew masks for her staff. 120! So during this time of isolation, I have begun sewing masks. There are many patterns out there for masks. I have been making two different styles. The one thing I have added is a layer of pellon, a non woven material as extra protection. One shortage I am facing is not enough elastic. Like toilet paper, and ice cream, elastic is in short supply. If you have any ¼ inch elastic or corded elastic you would be willing to donate, please email me. Thank you!


Upcoming Worship Schedule

April 19th – Resurrection Celebration (Tentative)
Isaiah 25:6-9 / 1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 54-58 / Matthew 28:1-10
To Seek and To Save – You Will See Him

April 26th (Miracle Sunday – Tentative)
Acts 2:14a, 22-32 / 1 Peter 1:3-9 / John 20:19-31
As The Father Has Sent Me, So I Send You

May 3rd
Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19 / Luke 24:13-35
In The Breaking Of The Bread

May 10th – Mothers’ Day
Acts 2:42-47 / Psalm 23 / John 10:1-10
Is There A Christian Gate Keeper?

Scripture for Living in These Uncertain Times

Psalm 27:5 and John 14:1 Pastor Gary’s favorites

Provide by Crosswalk.com
Proverbs 3:5-6 God directs our path
Isaiah 55:8-9 God’s ways are higher
Psalm 84:11 God give us good things
Philippians 4:7 God gives us peace
Romans 8:28 God is not done
Psalm 143:8 God know the way
Isaiah 41:10 God strengthens us
2 Corinthians 5:7 We walk by faith
Philippians 4:19 God meets our needs

You can find many more by googling: Scriptures for living in uncertain times

Worship Opportunities

Mears United Methodist Church – 9:15 am
Radio 100.5 FM
Live streaming; boxcast.tv/channel/z1m2par0m7zfm5thzybc or going to Mears UMC and clicking on the link

White Lake United Methodist Church – 10:00 am radio 98.9 FM
U-Tube – go to White Lake UMC and follow directions there

Cornerstone UMC in Grand Rapids – https:// cornerstonemi.org

Other United Churches on the internet – https://michiganumc.org and follow the link for Michigan UMC With Online Worship