As our community, country, and world face the challenge of Covid-19, our church continues to work to adapt to our new reality. We will continue worship on Facebook Live at 10 A.M. on Sundays for the foreseeable future. In addition, the UMY has begun meeting via Zoom; the Children's ministry team is working on having time for our kids on Zoom, and each of the Sunday School classes are moving toward online times together as well.
Members of our church have been working diligently with the Sheridan Schools to make sure that kids in our community have food each day, using the resources of the backpack program and the routes of the Summer Feeding Program. Ministry continues! We are being reminded of that deep truth that the church is not a building but a people engaged in the work of God.
As we approach our next worship service together online, I would ask a few things of you. First, remember that while we are not in our beloved sanctuary together, we are still with one another in spirit. While you may be on your couch or in your favorite chair, prepare your hearts and minds to be in the presence of God.
Next, our time of communal prayer has always been one of the most meaningful moments of our shared worship. With so many churches on Facebook Live at the same time, there is a lag between when we broadcast and when you see the service (15-20 seconds). Therefore, if you would be so kind to text Pastor Todd-Paul (501-786-3184) any prayer requests that you would like shared in the service at any time before worship, I'll be able to incorporate that into the service.
Finally, church operations continue as do expenses. I'd like to encourage you to continue to extend your generosity to the church. Mrs. Betty Lancaster continues to work from home and checks the church mail, so you may mail a check (PO Box 357, Sheridan 72150). By next week, we will have automatic bank draft available for any who would like to give in that way. And we should also have an e-giving option available by next week as well.
As odd and disconcerting as the past 7-10 days have been, all measures show that we are just beginning this "new normal." It is my hope and prayer that actions that are being taken will mitigate the severity of this pandemic, here and around the world. However, we are more than likely just in the beginning. Please remember in prayer the many health care workers who are working every single day to heal and prevent illness, including Covid-19. To the many nurses, doctors, pharmacists, and other health care workers in our church: we are praying for you, and we thank you. For others who are in vital industries, like those who deliver packages, keep the supply chain open and running, or help to produce the vital goods and food that we need: we thank you as well and pray for your safety.
For those of you who do not need to be out: please stay home. If you are vulnerable (by virtue of age or infirmity or as a caretaker of the same): members of the Fellowship Sunday School class are on standby to shop for you. Please contact Joe Archer (870-313-1029) or Pastor Todd-Paul to arrange for someone to run your errands for you. Friends, this is NOT an imposition! For many of us during this pandemic, the most important thing that we can do is stay home!
Like you, I look forward to the day that we are re-united in body together in our beloved sanctuary. I look forward to shaking hands and hugs as we pass the Peace. I look forward to the children coming forward to sit with me in the chancel as we explore our burgeoning faith together. I look forward to Soul Food Cafe, with the laughter of our youth and the bonds of fellowship renewed and strengthened. That day will come. In the meantime, I am strengthened by the ability that technology affords us to maintain our ties with one another and worship together. First United Methodist Church of Sheridan IS. We are not only a "was" and a "will be," WE ARE. For each of you, I am thankful, and I am in prayer for your safety.
Different World. Same God.
Grace and Peace,