From Psalm 86:6 – 7 “Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; listen to my cry of supplication in the day of my trouble, I call on you, for you will answer me”. Tomorrow is not a promise it is a gift from God. We need to recognize the changes that God has given us in our life during Covid-19 as we are sheltering in place at home. Along with some of you and many in our world today I have made adjustments to my life. Reba has pointed out to me that I am more communicative and sharing in what I see in our media, what I have read and in my devotional life. We have tried with somewhat limited success to turn off the television for extended periods of time so that our minds can go to other places. Yet, we always return back to those places that keep us informed on what is happening around us in our community, in our state, in our country and around the world. At times the news seems overwhelming and I need to just take a deep breath, breathe slowly and remind myself that it is truly a gift to be here each day and God has programmed us to be able to change even in the most difficult of times. It is the ability to change using the strength that God gives us that will see us through.
Much of my time during these past few weeks have been dedicated to communicating with family, friends, the Claybanks United Methodist Church family, our district, conference and pastors from our United Methodist Churches and pastors from other denominations. A common thread in so much of these conversations is that yes, we will get through this, life will be different in a number of different ways beyond what we could have ever imagined. We are a people of trust and hope. God has given us the strength and love for each other in knowing that his gift of another day will be there in eternal life.
As of this writing we know that we will not be gathering together in worship at the Claybanks United Methodist Church at least until after May 15th. It is possible that our coming together may be some time off from that in the future. Of the many new things that I as your pastor have learned from a number of different educational training and supportive webinars that our conference has offered us as pastors is that we may be doing church differently from how we have done church in the past. Our future may hold some new changes and challenges for us. It may not seem comfortable to us yet there will be a new “normal” for a period of time for us as a church community. We need to prepare ourselves to adjust in doing church differently. What that will be, will be determined by the best practices as we as United Methodists uphold our belief given to us by John Wesley our founder and that is to, “Do no harm”. By meeting together in the different forms that we anticipate we will need to do we will be doing “Good” as a church community and we will continue as we are doing right now as we practice, “Staying in love with God”.
I have worked to stay in touch with the leadership of the Claybanks United Methodist Church and they are supportive in that we as a church need to continue to make disciples for Jesus Christ and the transformation of the world. This means that the gift we have been given is a promise from God as the psalmist so beautifully said, “In the day of my trouble I will call on you for you will answer me O God”.
If you need to talk, I am only a phone call or email away. Stay safe, practice physical distancing, lift each other up in prayer, and stay in touch with your family, friends and each other as brothers and sisters in Christ for you are Claybanks United Methodist Church.
Peace and blessings,