Important Announcement about Sunday Morning
The Lord be with you in this season of fear and uncertainty. I remind you that Jesus spoke these words to the disciples, as they experienced a life altering storm, “Be not afraid, for I am with you.” This moment in time is our moment to be the church, to claim this moment for the Glory of God. We are more than people who gather on Sunday morning; we are people of God formed by God who respond! God is inviting us to respond to the needs around us, and to do that we cannot get caught up in fear. Being reminded that Jesus is with us, no matter what! Jesus is walking with us through this difficult time in our history gives me great comfort.
First and foremost, we at Summit Station UMC are focused on doing no harm to our community and our church family. Therefore, it is with a heavy heart that I have decided to cancel worship for two weeks. That means, no public worship on March 15, or March 22. However, we will be worshiping in a whole new way. Our worship will be online instead of in person. This will be through Facebook live on our Summit Station Facebook page. Everyone will be able to participate live with prayer requests, check in, and they can ask questions. We will have both tradition and contemporary worship styles represented. We will be offering this live version starting at 10am. We will also offer a recorded version, that the live worship service on our website and again on a YouTube site, later Sunday afternoon. We look forward to how God will break open this whole new avenue of worship for our church.
You can participate in worship in many ways, you can tune in online, offer a prayer request, and give back to God online. Please remember about 60% of our giving comes from plate giving, and with having two weeks online, we run the risk of not having enough giving to cover all our bills. Please consider on-line giving. I have enclosed instructions on how to give online through our data base. If you have any questions, please contact Lisa Varney (614-395-4160) or Greg Brown (614-595-2918) for more information. If you are uncomfortable with giving online, please know you can still give through the mail or drop your giving off, just call first to be sure someone is in the office.
The next area we need to respond to is our smaller gatherings, Bible Studies, meetings, outside groups. We are suspending all Bible Studies, Life Groups and meetings for 2 weeks. Some groups that can meet over the phone or through video conference will still meet. Please watch your email for instructions if you have a meeting or Bible Study. AA will still meet, but will be located upstairs in the Fellowship Hall. There may be occasions when we are together for some short periods of time. When we are together, we are asking you to use common sense. If you are sick, please stay home. If someone in your house is sick, please stay home. We will all need to change our behavior when we come together for the protection of everyone. We will need to institute a no hugging or shaking hands policy until this virus is gone. There can be no exceptions!
We have an excellent Custodian who has maintained the cleanliness of our building thus far. He has followed the CDC’s guidelines for hard surfaces. We have added extra cleaning to the building after groups and people have occupied it. We are limiting people to the Fellowship Hall, Bathrooms, Upstairs Hallway (Narthex), and offices.
Our response to the wider world is our call to action. As the body of Christ, our response is how we might help those in our community. I am asking you to bring in items for Hope bags. These Hope bags will include some supplies that can help get through a crisis if stuck in isolation. The church will get the information out to the school, and social media for people to know that these bags are available if there is a need. We just need the church to provide the items and to fill them. Please drop off any of the items on the list that I have provided before noon on Wednesday. I suspect we will need about 25 bags to begin with.
And finally, I invite you to pray for all the people infected, and affected by this virus. It is truly our opportunity to be the church, to step into a place of comfort, safety and provision for our community.