Monthly Archives: August 2020

Pastor’s Ponderings

Pastor’s Message
September 2020

I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. Psalm 63:4
Have you ever seen in the word PRAISE is the word RAISE.
Today I will raise to the Lord….
My voice
My hands
My family
My Friends
My Claybanks Church.

It has been five plus months since our world has been turned around, over, under and through. We have worshiped on the radio, on the web, in our living rooms, on our porches and decks and too many other places to count. Now Claybanks UMC is able to worship in a relatively safe place for a number of our church family. As of this writing we have been able to come together twice to worship outside of our church building on the drives and on our lawn with great enthusiasm and our hands raised in praise.

I cannot express in words how good it feels as your pastor to look out and see faces and hear voices. I am deeply grateful to Anne Riegler, Mears UMC, and Shelby UMC as they have allowed us to be a part of their worship on the radio and live streaming. On our last Sunday together on August 2nd following worship we were able to track the number of computers that were connected to our webcast. It was 172 computers that were participating in our livestream. It is not possible to determine numbers of listeners from radio but when we combine the membership of Mears, Shelby and Claybanks United Methodist Churches knowing that there may be more than one person watching the live stream on devices and listing on the radio we were exceeding the combined total of all three churches by a good margin. We raise our hands in praise!

It is difficult during these times to be a “Church”, but God is using us to reach those who may not ever or may only infrequently attend worship in our churches. With the assistance of modern technology we are reaching far and wide to those on the margins. Praise the Holy Spirit!

Now that we have returned to in- person worship at Claybanks for the next few weeks outdoors and when we return indoors to our sanctuary, we at Claybanks can offer something new for those who want to connect but need to remain at a distance. We have now a working transmitter that will broadcast our worship service for 1000 yards. So if you feel that you want to worship with us, you can do it in the safety from your auto. We will save the north side of the parking lot for those who like to be present yet keep a safe space. When we return to indoor worship sometime in the fall, we will continue to broadcast on 103.9 FM for those who would choose to remain in their autos.

Our Worship Design Team has been meeting and continually evaluating our worship service and will try to bring a spirit lead worship experience to as many as possible in ways that meet their needs. Please let us know if we can do anything in our worship more safely, uplifting, engaging and Spirit-led.

Pastor Gary

Announcements and Stuff

Quarantine Exercise (from last spring)

There were sixteen books hidden in the Quarantine Exercise. In case you are still looking, let us help you. Some were easy and a few were especially difficult.

The sixteen are:

Great job if you found all of the books!

How did you do on the Puzzles from our August Newsletter?


Claybanks United Methodist Family Facebook page is great place to get news and updates from our Claybanks family and to post information interesting to all. Please remember that the only pictures that can be posted are ones you have permission from all those in the pictures. Some of our members do not care to have their pictures posted. Please respect their desire for privacy.

Wednesday Open-Church Night

We were very successful in getting our church family back into our church on Wednesday evenings as we prepared for returning to in-person worship. With our return to worship we will not be scheduling Wednesday open-church night for the time being. Should the need arise, our current worship arrangement change, or you desire to return to Wednesday evening open-church night, please let Pastor Gary know of any desire or need that you may have or see.


With the opening up of our area many of the different agencies in mission need our help to assist those in need. We encourage you when possible to volunteer your time serving those who are seeking help and assistance. Love INC. will re-engage their reNew program beginning in September. We as a church will be supporting the reNew program by providing meals during their fall program. Details and dates will be determined soon. Plan to assist by providing part of a meal or assist in serving a meal to participants, their children and staff.

Anyone remember this old hymn?

I Must Tell Jesus
(1893) by Elisha A. Hoffman

I must tell Jesus all of my trials,
I cannot bear these burdens alone;
In my distress He kindly will help me,
He ever loves and cares for His own.
I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus!
I cannot bear my burdens alone;
I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus!
Jesus can help me, Jesus alone.

I must tell Jesus all of my troubles,
He is a kind, compassionate friend;
If I but ask Him He will deliver,
Make of my troubles quickly an end.

Tempted and tried I need a great Savior, One who can help my burdens to bear;
I must tell Jesus, I must tell Jesus;
He all my cares and sorrows will share.

What must I do when worldliness calls me?
What must I do when tempted to sin?
I must tell Jesus, and He will help me,
Over the world the vict’ry to win.

UMW Meeting
August 20, 2020

Once more the ladies of Claybanks UMW met while wearing masks and social distancing. I am so proud that we are able to gather together, fellowship and enjoy being together in spite of the restrictions. We listened to a couple of devotions that were laced with humor, opened with prayer, and conducted business. We are trying to figure out a way to get the bibles presented to our graduates and how we might be able to deliver them.

We still are solid enough financially to support the five agencies we contributed to last year. When we finalize the amounts, we will inform the congregation in the newsletter. We also discussed how to present the laity Sunday on October 18th in such a way as to include members from the whole congregation, especially the men.

Cinda is coming up with a plan for us to purchase the popular Rada kitchen supplies and knives. She will write about her plan.

Respectfully submitted by Edie Bogart


At our August meeting the ladies group decided to sell RADA kitchen utensils once again. You can find their items online at or in one of their catalogs found on our communication table in the fellowship hall.

We will be sending in an order at the end of October, so take a look through a catalog and write down any items you’d like to purchase. There are order forms in the center of each catalog. After you’ve filled out your order please give it to Cinda Moulds. We are requesting payment at the time of ordering. You will notice on the order form that there is a $1 processing fee. This is to help cover the cost of shipping. Any questions, see Cinda

Only one life ‘twill soon be past.
Only what’s done for Christ will last!

Upcoming Worship Schedule

September 6, 2020
Psalm 148 / Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52
Your Heart Must Be God’s Heart

September 13, 2020
Exodus 15:1b-11, 20-21 / Matthew 18:21-35
Who Is Living In Chains?

September 20, 2020
Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45 / Matthew 20:1-16
So Tell Me the Spiritual Outcome

September 27, 2020
Exodus 17:1-7 / Matthew 21:23-32
Shallow Beliefs

August 30th Service

Claybanks United Methodist Church
August 30, 2020 10:30 a.m.
Outdoor Worship
*Indicates to stand as you are able

Thirteenth Sunday After Pentecost

Welcome and Announcements

Praise Song: “Let There Be Peace on Earth”
(See insert and please stay seated)


*Call to Worship
​Leader: Holy, holy, holy.
​All: Holy God is here.
​Leader: Holy, holy, holy.
​All: Love has called us here.
​Leader: Holy, holy, holy.
​All: We gather to worship our holy God.

Gloria Patri

Opening Prayer

Hymn: “Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty” ​(See insert and please stay seated)

Prayers of the People – Joys and Concerns

Shalom Sunday Offering

The Offering of Our Gifts and Ourselves

Prayer of Dedication

Hymn: “Jesu, Jesu”
(see insert and please stay seated)

Sharing the Word
​Old Testament Reading: Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26, 45c
​Epistle Reading: Romans 12:9-21

Message: We Can Rise To Be Peacemakers


Hymn: “Savior, Again To Thy Dear Name”
​(see insert and please stay seated)



Calendar and Announcements
Sunday, September 6, 10:30am………..Worship outdoors
and Communion Sunday, weather permitting
Monday, September 7……………………………Labor Day
Tuesday, Sept.15, 5pm…………………..Worship Design

Office Telephone: 231-923-0573
Office email:

Pianist: Suzanne Bellrichard
Liturgist: Art Grumm
Ministers: All People As We Live the Good News

Claybanks United Methodist Church
August 23, 2020 10:30 a.m.
Outdoor Worship
*Indicates to stand as you are able

Twelfth Sunday After Pentecost

Welcome and Announcements

Praise Song “Forward Through the Ages”
(See insert and please stay seated)


*Call to Worship
​Leader: God is with us, giving that wondrous
​healing love to each one.
​All: Blessed be God who watches over us.
​Leader: Come, let us praise God with thankful
​All: Lord, we come to you in gratitude for ​all you do for us. AMEN

*Gloria Patri

Opening Prayer

Hymn “Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me”
(See insert and please stay seated)

Prayers of the People – Joys and Concerns

The Offering of Our Gifts and Ourselves

Prayer of Dedication

Hymn “My Hope Is Built”
(See insert and please stay seated)

Sharing of the Word
​Old Testament Reading: Psalm 124
​*New Gospel Reading: Matthew 16:13-20

Message: Is Peter a Rock? Pastor Gary


Hymn “The Church’s One Foundation”
(See insert and please stay seated)



Calendar and Announcements
Tuesday, August 25……………………Newsletter Deadline
Sunday, August 30, 10:30am…………Worship outdoors
and Shalom Sunday if we are still collecting change for this!

Office Telephone: 231-923-0573
Office email:

Pianist: Suzanne Bellrichard
Liturgist: Edie Bogart
Ministers: All People As We Live the Good News

Pastor’s Ponderings

Returning to Worship Outdoor at Claybanks United Methodist Church

We have been blessed to worship with Mears and Shelby United Methodist Churches on the radio and on the web these past few months. It is believed now is the time for all three church to once again to gather with in person worship. Weather permitting August 9th into September we will worship outdoors at Claybanks United Methodist Church.

This is an alternative to returning to worshiping in the sanctuary during the present level of Covid-19. It is felt that with caution we can meet and worship outdoors. Worship will begin at 10:30 AM.

The drive between the building and lawn on the south side of the church will be where we are placing our Cross, candles, equipment, keyboard and podium.

Face coverings will be required all the time as we gather. When we arrive please keep physical safe distance. Please sit-down using lawn chairs that you have brought with you or folding chairs from our building will be made available. Look for markings for safe distancing.

Bulletins and music will be placed on tables to be picked up by those attending and wishing to do so. We would request those doing this maintain a minimum of 6-foot physical distance from those ahead of you as you pick up bulletins and music. Hand sanitizer, wipes and extra face coverings will also be available in the bulletin table areas.

Using the green space between our parking lot and the drive that goes along next to the building we will identify areas in which groups can sit keeping a six-foot interval between groups.

We can sing during worship temporary as we remain outside and given the particle airborne danger singing creates for spreading droplets beyond 6 feet even outside, face coverings need to be worn during singing. John Wesley normally encourages us to, “Sing with good courage” but he would be amendable for us during this time to sing with softer voices.

There will be offering plates placed in the area adjacent to the parking area on tables. Also baskets for prayer concerns will be on the tables.

The double doors of church will be propped open for those needing to use the restrooms.

Parking spaces along the north edge of the parking lot will be reserved for those wanting to stay in their vehicles and for those with physical limitations. We now have a limited distance FM Radio Transmitter so you will be able to tune your car radio to listen to the worship service. A station selection will be communicated to you at worship time.

Following worship those attending are asked to wear their face coverings as they leave the area.

These items of caution that we will be following are to help us have a safer worship experience and haven been determined and selected using an abundance of caution. The steps that we take now are being done to acknowledge that we care for one another. Because of the errors that have been previously made by opening too soon or not taking the correct cautionary steps have led us to places where we have unknowingly and unwittingly allowed the Covid-19 virus to spread. We are learning and planning not to repeat them. If you have any other possible concerns or ideas for safe gathering and worship, please bring them forward so that we can evaluate and place them within our structure to worship outdoors or when we move indoors.

Please be in prayer as you consider whether to return to group worship. I am praying for all in this matter. Health concerns, comfort levels and your personal wellbeing are our concern. We will not make any judgement nor pressure anyone to return to worship until they are ready to do so. Know that we will pray for all our Claybanks Family each and every Sunday.
Pastor Gary

Announcements and Stuff

The UMW met in July and oh what joyous time for us. We had a short typical meeting but mostly we were so happy to be together – with masks and social distancing. Abiding by the Corona virus safety guidelines was no problem because we were all so happy to figure out who was behind the mask! In fact, we were so glad to be together that we plan to gather the third Thursday in August at 1 o’clock just to see how we are faring, to have a devotion time, and offer prayer for everyone that needs it.

Shalom, Edie

Open Church Night
We will be continting our Open Church Night for visiting our church to meditate, pray, listen to music that Suzanne provides for our soul, and visit with the pastor and friends outdoors. The Church will be open from 5:00-7:00 pm on Wednesday July 29th and August 5th. Many visited our church on July 22nd our first night of Open Church.

Church Charge Conference
Saturday August 22nd at 1:30 pm we will participate via Zoom with our District Superintendent Margie Crawford using the Web facilities at White Lake United Methodist Church. To prepare for this conference the Administrative Council, Staff Parish Relations Committee and Nomination Committee will be working to meet the requirements of the Michigan Area Conference annual church conference.

Aug 9​ Carol Adams
Aug 16​ Cheryl Gaultney
Aug 23 June Freeman
Aug 30 Kathy Ohman