Daily Archives: June 1, 2020

Pastor’s Ponderings

As I am writing this Pastor Ponderings, I sit in one of the most difficult decision times of my life. I write this pondering out of love for the Claybanks United Methodist Church. When will we be able to more safely meet in person together as the Body of Christ? I and along with many other church leaders as part of a Christian body lead and guide in a time of considerable uncertainty and with a prayerful hope that we as God’s people are able to work through this, “Once in a lifetime event”. First Corinthians 16:4 speaks to us, “Let all that you do be done in love” and I am also reminded of Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

We may be slowly approaching a time when we may once again be able to gather in worship. At the time of this writing we believe it will be at a time after June 15th when the State of Michigan may lift the Emergency Order that will allow for groups of 10 or more to gather in the same place. Bishop Bard and others in leadership in the Michigan Area Conference of the United Methodist Church have developed guidelines to assist us in gathering more safely as we returned to “A more normal church” as we might remember and have experienced in our lifetime. We will only do this under and with extreme caution. The difficulty for us is gathering all the different resources that are needed and the trust that is needed for us to come together in a safe manor. I believe that trust is one of the greatest resources in human society. In a reading that I have done most recently written by Paul Nixon who encourages us as a community to develop relationships with others and in so doing we will develop a level of trust through respect, friendship, and love. In trust we develop a covenant of mutual respect and love for each other and that forms a kind of canopy, a protection so that we can come together as members of the church to fulfill the many different missions that a church provides not only for us but others of our church and community.

We have been living with Covid – 19 for over three months now and it has made an impact on our lives that none of us could have ever predicted. We are still living in a time of uncertainty as to how long we will have to adjust to a new, “Normal”. The leaders of our church are working to develop a new playbook that will honor the mission of our church and the community that we at Claybanks United Methodist Church serve. We are striving to make the most of our organization’s assets: our people, our finances, our relationships, and our trust for each other to work together.

The past three months have brought to us a time for grieving, and as I look into the future we will continue to grieve for the loss of many lives. Some lives of people that we have known, and others lives known also to God. We also grieve for the many of the things that we have loved to do that will be forever changed. The way we worship, how we work, how we enjoy recreation and how we see what God has given us in the world around us. We grieve the changes and adjustments of our relationships and even how we will use our time differently. Yet, in this time I believe we can form a new vision and a new hope. For during this these past few months, we have learned to enjoy even the smallest things of life that we had previously passed over.

We can look forward to new ways to be challenged as we are being presented new ways in which to learn and to change. For we have been afforded an opportunity to explore the depths in our lives and in our souls as our hearts are strangely warmed as Christians. It is through this challenge of testing of our faith we recognize that we have been strengthened through the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Savior. Let us act boldly today and tomorrow building the best world we can for the love of our neighbor and the glory of God

Announcements and Stuff

Quarantine Exercise
Help Reba and me Find Number Sixteen!

After two days of searching we can find only fifteen. On the first Sunday when we return together from Stay At Home, we will have a special recognition for those who found all sixteen Books of The Bible (Bring Your Sheet to Church).

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Quarantine Exercise: Can you find the names of sixteen (16) books of the Bible hidden in the paragraph below?

I once made a remark about the hidden books of the Bible (merely by a fluke). It kept people looking so hard for the facts and for others it was a revelation. Some were in a jam, especially since the name of the books were not capitalized, but the truth finally struck home to numbers of readers. To others it was a real job. We want it to be a most fascinating few moments for you. Yes, there will be some really easy ones to spot. Others may require judges to help them. I will quickly admit it usually takes a minister to find one of them, and there will be loud lamentations when it is found. A little lady says she brews a cup of tea so she can concentrate better. See how well you can compete. Relax now.

There really are sixteen names of books hidden in this story!

Look For Change- COVID-19

As we prepare for re-engaging our Claybanks Church Body these are a few of the changes you will or may experience as we gather for Worship, Bible Study, Sunday School, meetings, and other activities of the church.

Please monitor your health for signs of illness (Covid-19 or other illness) remain home and seek medical attention when needed.

Worship
We will enter through the double doors between the Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall (please respect safe distancing as you approach and are waiting).

Face coverings will be necessary (you are encouraged to wear your own personal covering, or one will be provided for you).

Hand sanitizer and wipes will be available in the entry way and throughout the church.

Temperatures with a non-contact instrument maybe taken when necessary.

An Offering Basket will be placed by the entry of the Sanctuary for your gifts to be placed in. Also Prayer Request forms.

Ushers will seat you in the pews using safe distance guidelines (Family members from the same household may sit together).

Bulletins will be placed in the pews being used prior to the beginning of worship.

While we will have music, we will not be singing as a congregation.

Bible and Hymnals will still be in the pews but we ask that you refrain from using them (for cleaning purposes). If items are used, please leave them on the pew seat for cleaning.

Worship Leaders will remain in the front of the Sanctuary as much as possible.

The Fellowship hall will have some seating space as needed. The remaining space will be closed off (with the acceptation of entrance to restrooms).

Following worship, you will be dismissed using appropriate distancing. We ask that you exit the building immediately so that others may follow.

For time being, no Coffee or Social Time will be offered following worship.

For childcare during worship, prior arrangements will be needed.

Meetings, Bible Study and Sunday School Worship practices will be used as appropriate.
Limited number of attendees will be determined by safe physical distance and need.
After building use please clean the area space used as needed.

Please understand these and other precautions that may be established are being made because we love you as God’s children and are committed to, “Do No Harm” as Methodists following the guidance of John Wesley our founder.

A Little Bit of This and That

Shared joy is joy doubled,
Shared sorrow is sorrow halved.

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The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God’s heart
In a garden
Then anywhere else on earth.

You’re a grand old flag, you’re a high-flying flag!
Flag Day, June 14 – Sunday

Father’s Day
June 21, 2020

That man is a success –
Who leaves the world better
than he found it;
Who has never lacked
appreciation of earth’s beauty
or failed to express it;
Who looked for the best in others
and gave the best he had

Kids Say the Darndest Things!

A woman invited some people to dinner. At the table, she turned to her six-year-old daughter and said, “Would you like to say the blessing?”
“I wouldn’t know what to say,” the little girl replied.
“Just say what you hear Mommy say,” the mother said.
The little girl bowed her head and said: “Dear Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?”

Greetings my dear sisters in faith.

Here it is another month with no social contact, no planning for a strawberry social, and I miss you all! Fortunately, we continue to stay in touch the best we can and with the help of all sorts of social media, by phone, or by “snail mail”. We have been able to show love in old ways made new with cards and food. We are blessed to be able to be church even without being in our beautiful building. Our prayer chain is active, and I know God is listening.

Shalom my friends and with the love of Christ to support us,

Edie Bogart

Nursery Schedule (if needed)

June 7 – Kathy Ohman
June 14 – Joyce Twiss
June 21 – Doris Graham
June 28 – Carol Adams

Upcoming Worship Schedule

June 7, 2020
Psalm 8 / Matthew 28:16-20

June 14, 2020
Romans 5:1-8 / Matthew 9:35-10:23

June 21,2020
Genesis 21:8-21
New Testament Reading TBD
Message Yet To Be Determined

June 28, 2020
Genesis 22:1-14 / Matthew 10:40-42