We are now at 100% seating capacity.
The Kentucky Annual Conference has released a recommendation to all UMC’s in Kentucky concerning the wearing of masks for indoor activities. Because the Delta Variant is currently circulating in the United States and with new recommendations and guidelines recently announced by the CDC concerning both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons, the Kentucky Annual Conference offers the following recommendation:
Based on the current recommendations and guidelines from the CDC, the Kentucky Annual Conference recommends that all local churches practice indoor masking regardless of an individual’s vaccination status. This includes worship and all other indoor church activities.
This is not a mandate; however, we highly encourage you to wear a mask. We also ask that everyone prayerfully make the best-informed decision that you can, not only for yourself, but also regarding your neighbor.
The Kentucky Annual Conference further recommends for everyone who can, in consultation with your healthcare provider, to pursue vaccination for your health and safety, including children 12-16 years of age. Information and locations for vaccines can be found here: Covid-19 Vaccine Information. We encourage all who can to join us for our In-person Worship Services on Sundays at our 9:00am Contemporary Service or our 11:15am Traditional Service. For those who are unable to attend, you may join us for our service by livestream on the church’s Facebook page or immediately following the service via our church website at www.ferncreekumc.org. Thank you for your prayerful consideration concerning this urgent matter. As always, let us remain patient and understanding as we proceed through these difficult times.
COMING UP THIS WEEK/WEEKEND:
Please see our What’s Happening page for our weekly schedule and upcoming events.
We are now live streaming the service during our 9:00am Worship Service. You can view the service live at 9:00am or any time after the service concludes. You can see this on the church’s FaceBook page or by going to our YouTube page at :https://youtube.com/channel/UCP9eMqb1die7hhk5NwzxTvQ
The Nursery is available during both worship services and the Sunday School time.
JUNE 26 UPDATE
Dear FCUMC Family,
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! I have more good news to share! In consultation with the KYUMC Conference and in light of the Governor’s most recent Executive Order (June 11) concerning masks, we share the following updates to our May 27 email.
- For ages 6-11, the wearing of a mask is on a voluntary basis at the discretion of a parent/guardian of the child.
- For youth 12-17, the wearing of a mask is on a voluntary basis. We encourage unvaccinated youth to wear a mask; however, this will be on a voluntary basis at the discretion of the parent/guardian of the youth.
- For adults, the wearing of a mask is on a voluntary basis. We encourage unvaccinated adults to wear a mask (for your protection and that of others); however, this will be on a voluntary basis.
- Any person may voluntarily wear a mask if you prefer to do so.
We thank everyone for your wonderful cooperation, patience, and prayers during this challenging time in all our lives. You have been amazingly faithful!
MAY 27 UPDATE
From Pastor Jim:
Dear FCUMC Family,
Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior! We’ve got some good news to share! In response to recent guidelines received from the Kentucky Annual Conference based on those from the CDC and Governor Andy Beshear concerning masks and social distancing, we are recommending the following for worship services and other activities in the church building.
Beginning, on Sunday, June 13:
· Seating capacity will resume at 100%.
· Persons who are fully vaccinated (two weeks post-second vaccination injection for Moderna or Pfizer; two weeks post-injection of Johnson & Johnson) may attend worship and other classes, groups, etc. without a mask and will not have to practice social distancing. Any vaccinated person may voluntarily wear a mask if you so prefer.
· For one’s own protection and out of concern for the health of others, the expectation is that unvaccinated persons wear masks and practice social distancing.
· Children ages 6-11 or unvaccinated Youth (ages 12-17) are expected to continue to wear masks.
· Children ages 5 & Under do not have to wear masks.
Within the next few weeks, our choir will be able to gather again for practice and to lead singing at our 11:15am Traditional Service. Actual starting date will depend to some degree on the hiring of an accompanist for the choir which we are actively pursuing. All vaccinated choir members will be able to sing without a mask.
Thanks again for your wonderful cooperation and flexibility during this time. In you have any questions, please call or text me at 270-585-2289 or reply to this email. Thank you!
MAY 21 UPDATE
From Pastor Jim:
I want to update you concerning the subject of masks and social distancing. The Transition/Health team did meet on Wednesday, May 19; however, we did not receive recommendations from our Annual Conference until Thursday, May 20. I received clarification of the recommendations this morning, May 21. Due to this, the Transition/Health Team is reconvening on Wednesday, May 26. From this meeting, we will have a plan to share with you by next Thursday, May 27 or Friday, May 28. We are asking that you wear your masks on Sunday and continue to practice the social distancing guidelines that we have in place. We are also asking that all other groups that are using the building (Children, Youth, Scouts, Disciple, UMM, UMW, Quilters, etc.) to continue to do the same until further notice. Once again, I thank you for your extreme flexibility and understanding. You are an awesome congregation! I look forward to seeing you Sunday as we celebrate “Pentecost!”
MAY 14 UPDATE
From Pastor Jim:
I am writing in light of the whirlwind of news that we have received over the past 24 hours concerning the wearing of masks that has come from the CDC, the Federal government, and most recently from Governor Beshear (11am news conference on Friday). We have not received any updates from the KY Annual Conference. This news has come very quickly, and we need some time to process our next steps forward over the next few weeks. I am convening a Zoom meeting of the Transition/Health Team on Wednesday night, May 19, at 7:30pm to help formulate this plan. Overall, this is wonderful news, but we want to proceed wisely to provide safety for all. As of now, we are asking that you wear your masks on Sunday and continue to practice the social distancing guidelines that we have in place. We are also asking that all other groups that are using the building (Children, Youth, Scouts, Disciple, UMM, UMW, Quilters, etc.) to continue to do the same until further notice.You will hear news from our team towards the end of next week. Once again, I am extremely thankful for your flexibility and patience concerning this matter. As a congregation, you have been wonderful in making these adjustments! I look forward to seeing you Sunday!
MARCH 27 UPDATE
From Pastor Jim:
We recently received word from the Kentucky Annual Conference Covid-19 Team that we can start moving into Phase III of the Re-entry Plan for Churches. This will allow our church to have several more in-person opportunities for our adults, youth and children. We still need to remain very flexible during this time in case there is a call to return to Phase II. We must continue to remain vigilant in practicing social distancing, hand-washing, wearing of masks and other protocol as we move into this first part of Phase III. Also, for those who need to remain home during this time, we encourage you to do so. As you already know, we have two worship services scheduled for Easter Sunday, April 4, at 9:00am and 10:30am. As of this writing, we have 143 registered to attend that day. Looking at these numbers, we realize that we have a need to get back to two Sunday morning services following Easter Sunday. In addition, over the next several weeks, we are going to start up our Children’s Church and then our Children and Youth Sunday School Classes and any other Adult Sunday School Classes that are ready to start back.
The schedule that I am going to present you will go through Sunday, May 30. I ask that you remain very flexible and patient with us as we gradually move forward offering more and more opportunities. As we go back to two services on Sunday during this time period, we are going to continue with the blended services (a few hymns, a few praise songs). Essentially, the two morning worship services will be very similar to what we have been doing this past year. While the two services will have the same order of worship, the group of volunteers helping in the services may be or will be different. There are several reasons that we are wanting to continue the blended services through this time period.
- 1) We will be livestreaming the early service which can either be watched in real time or later after it ends and can be uploaded to our youtube site in just a few minutes. (With doing blended services, we will not just be livestreaming one particular style of service.)
- 2) It will be helpful to see who will begin returning to church during these next two months. By the end of May, the majority of our congregation should have had an opportunity to be vaccinated. This will help us discern ways to continue to move forward and grow as a church.
- 3) There are some logistical things that we need to work out over this time period.
- For example, we still cannot have a full choir meet and there are other issues as well. These are just a few of the reasons we will continue with the blended services through May.
For those who will continue to need to be home during this time, we are currently in the process of upgrading our live streaming capabilities to enhance your ability to watch the Sunday 9:00am service in real time or to watch it later. When we begin this schedule we will no longer be having our Thursday night worship services unless the need arises (in the event of moving back to Phase II or other reason).
With that said, this is the schedule that we are looking at for the next two months:
- April 4 Easter Sunday Services at 9:00am and 10:30am
- April 11 Worship Services at 9:00am and 10:30am
- April 18 and April 25 9:00am Early Worship Service (with Children’s Church) 10:15am Adult Sunday School Classes 11:15am Late Worship Service (with Children’s Church)
- May 2 – May 30 9:00am Early Worship Service (with Children’s Church)10:15am Children, Youth, and Adult Sunday School Classes 11:15am Late Worship Service (with Children’s Church)
You will notice on this schedule that Children’s Church is starting back April 18. We will begin in-person Children and Youth Sunday School Classes on May 2. Any Adult Sunday School Class that has not already started back is welcome to start back on April 18. Adult Sunday School teachers can still check with your class members concerning their readiness to begin back. The Nursery has been open during worship services for the past several weeks. It will be open during Sunday School as well when classes resume. Other ministry groups can begin to meet again in person. Some adult groups have already been able to meet. Make sure to sign-up for a classroom (or other area of the church) with Kathy Goodman in our church office. Call 502-239-8405 to get on the church calendar. Again, all groups must continue to be vigilant in practicing all of the Covid-19 guidelines involving social distancing, wearing masks, handwashing. etc. As groups begin to meet again, it is paramount to keep accurate attendance records in case a Covid-19 positive occurs. We will be having either an in-person or Zoom meeting with our Children’s Sunday School teachers and Children’s Church volunteers to go over the Covid-19 safety guidelines and class preparations necessary to begin again. Just to let you know, our Jr. and Sr. High Youth began meeting in person this past Wednesday evening in the Pier. There were 10 in attendance! PTL! In addition, our Disciple Bible Study, UMM and Quilters Group have recently started meeting again as well. Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts will be starting back some time in April and May, respectively. We are looking forward to seeing other groups get back together. There are still several limitations concerning other things of the church such as serving food. We will let you know as further things begin to open up.
I want to thank the entire congregation for your incredible patience, perseverance and flexibility during this past year! I look forward to seeing more and more of you in person in the weeks and months ahead. You are a blessing! If you have any questions, please feel free to call or text me. Pastor Jim
Dear Fern Creek UMC Family,
Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior! I am writing to inform you that we will be resuming in-person worship services this week and to share with you our upcoming Christmas schedule. While we are resuming in-person worship services, we will not have any in-person Sunday School or other small groups for the rest of December.
I do want to thank you for your cooperation, flexibility and care for others as we did not hold in-person services over the last 4 weeks due to the rise of the Covid19 numbers in late November and at the direction of our Bishop. Before I share the in-person worship schedule, I encourage those who are at high risk to the Covid19 virus to continue to engage in the online services provided by the church. Here is the upcoming schedule: Make sure to read all of the details concerning each service.
For this week, we will have in-person worship services on Thursday, December 17, at 6:30pm and on Sunday, December 20, at 10:00am. As has been our custom, we will be video-taping our Thursday night service so that it will be available online by Saturday evening or early Sunday morning for all who need to worship at home.
We will be having in-person Christmas Eve Services, on Thursday, December 24, at 5:00pm and 6:30pm. These services will be identical in nature and will be approximately 45 minutes in length.For those who need to be home, we will be live-streaming the 5pm service on the church’s FaceBook Page which you can view at that time or any time after the service. You can download the church’s FaceBook page by going to your app store icon on your phone and searching for Fern Creek United Methodist Church.
In order to maintain proper social distancing at our Christmas Eve Services, we need you and your family to sign up for the service you plan to attend. If we reach the limit in one service, we will encourage you to sign up for the other time. We thank you for your cooperation in this so that we can be safe for all. To sign up, please call or email Kathy Goodman, our Administrative Assistant, and indicate which service you plan to attend and the number of your family that will attend. We ask that you sign up by 2pm on December 23. Also, if you sign up and then realize you will not be able to attend, make sure to call or email and let Kathy know. The church phone number is 502-239-8405. Kathy’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will be having an in-person worship service on Sunday, December 27, at 10:00am. Darryl Glass will be sharing the message. Since we will be videotaping the service at the actual time, Tom Stryker will provide an online version by late Sunday evening or early Monday morning. This version will include the message and possibly a song or two.
As we resume our in-person worship services, I want to reiterate the vital importance of following all of our Covid19 safety guidelines:1) Everyone needs to wear a mask at all times. (Only upfront leaders may remove theirs for the time they are speaking/leading.) Masks will be provided for those who do not have one.2) Be very conscientious to maintain the 6ft social distancing guideline both in the sanctuary and while in the church narthex.
Thank you for your wonderful spirit of cooperation and faithfulness. I look forward to worshipping with you whether it be in-person or online as we celebrate the coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
REMINDER: Due to COVID restrictions–UMM WILL NOT be holding their monthly Breakfast Saturday, December 5.
In the midst of the escalating Covid19 numbers, we will be returning to Online Worship ONLY beginning Sunday, November 22, 2020 through Sunday, December 13, 2020.
See below and our What’s Happening page for additional information.
This date may be extended pending additional directions from the Governor. We were able to have our Thursday evening service and will have the videotaped service on our church web-site,our FaceBook page and our phone app for this Sunday morning.
This also includes no in-person Thursday night services during these dates. A small worship/media team will be taping the services sometime during the week to provide for you.
This week’s message is entitled, “The Healing Power of Gratitude” and serves as our Thanksgiving message.
On Sunday, November 29, it is the beginning of the Advent season. We will be providing “The Hanging of the Greens” Service which will include many of our children participating via from home.
Additional Schedule Changes as of 11/20/20
- Lisa Newman has suspended her Sunday Class for this time period.
- The United Methodist Men will not be meeting on Saturday, Dec. 5.
- Check back on information regarding our Disciple Class; we are looking into meeting on-line for the next several weeks.
- Other announcements will be forthcoming, so stay tuned for further updates.
Church Christmas Card Exchange Canceled for This Year
Due to the Covid19 restrictions, we feel it best not to have it set up this year for health reasons. We appreciate your understanding concerning this matter. We look forward to the Christmas Card Exchange Post Office being back in full operation next year.
We resumed our Disciple Bible Study (Luke/Acts) on Wednesday, September 23, at 6:30pm in the Fellowship Hall. The course will run for 10 weeks–ending Dec. 2. See the What’s Happening Page for more information.
We will be back inside the Sanctuary for our In-Person Worship Services this Thursday, August 6, at 6:30pm and Sunday, August 9, at 10:00am. We want to thank you for your amazing flexibility to be outside these past two Sunday mornings. We were blessed with good weather and a wonderful spirit as we shared in these services together.
Again, as we come back inside, we will continue to practice all of our Covid19 safety guidelines including wearing masks and social distancing. We will be sharing in Holy Communion at this week’s services. We invite you to come and share in-person as we worship the Lord together. For those needing to be at home, please join us online via our church web-site at ferncreekumc.org, on our phone app, or on our FaceBook page.
Also, if you have any needs, please call me at 270-582-2289 or call the church office at 502-239-8405 to speak with Kathy Goodman.
In light of recent recommendations coming from Bishop Fairley, the KY Annual Conference Covid19 Task Force, and Governor Beshear concerning in-person worship services over the next two weeks, FCUMC will be having outdoor worship services for August 2, at 10am. In addition, we will only have the worship team and video crew present on Thursday, July 30, to videotape the full service. The on-line service will be provided as usual for those who need to be home at this time. Once again, we encourage those with high-risk conditions to watch on-line. You may view the online services at our website: ferncreekumc.org, on our FaceBook page, or on the phone app.
We have been in consultation with our Public Health Department and our District Superintendent, John Hatton, in making this decision.
Once again, for those who need to stay home during this time of the Covid19 virus, we encourage you to do so and to join us in worshiping online at ferncreekumc.org or by viewing the services on our phone app or FaceBook page.
Pastor Jim spoke with a representative of the Covid19 Task Force from our Annual Conference. Phase III has been drafted and is undergoing final approval. We look forward to receiving this document soon. This will provide our churches a further guideline for re-starting Sunday School, small groups, and other activities. Stay tuned for further updates.
A few reminders about preparing for coming to worship and arriving to worship:
- We do encourage all of you to take your temperature before coming to worship. If you have a fever, stay home and join in worship via the videotape.
- We encourage you to bring your own mask to wear. We will have masks available if you forget yours or do not have one. We will wear our masks throughout the service.
- There are masks available if you need one near both entrances.
- Only the worship leaders will pull down our masks when speaking or singing.
- By the way, we discovered during last week’s service that you can sing quite well with a mask on.
- We will only have parking in the rear parking area.
- We will have the main glass doors to the Narthex/Sanctuary open as well as the door near the church office that leads to the handicap accessible ramp/hallway.
- Again, there are masks available if you need one near both entrances.
- Touchless hand sanitizers will also be available.
- When you arrive we ask that you move fairly quickly through the narthex area and make your way to the sanctuary.
- Due to our need to practice social distancing, our ushers will help seat you in the sanctuary. We will be seating persons from the front of the church to the rear.
- Family members from the same household can sit side-by-side.
- Our children and youth will remain with their families during the service. We are unable to offer our nursery services or children’s worship during this phase of the re-entry into services. We will update you when this will become available.
- We thank you for your flexibility in the sense that you might not be sitting in your normal area or row. In fact, half of the pews have been marked unavailable in order that we can maintain a safe distance.
- The offering plate will be located in the narthex. It is well-marked. You can leave your offering in the plate as you exit from the service. You can also use our online giving or mail in your offering. Again, thank you for your faithfulness.
- Our bathroom facilities near the sanctuary will be open, but we ask that there be just one person at a time.
- After the service, we will dismiss you row by row.
We know that this sounds like a lot, but we desire to provide the safest worship experience possible. We want to thank you again for your extreme flexibility and adaptability! We look forward to worshipping with you this week!
FCUMC Re-entry to In-person Worship
Please see Pastor Jim’s message on the home page regarding the process, needs, and other information regarding our eventual return to in-person services. This information as well as a survey can also be found on the church APP.
Dates and Guidelines for Re-Entry for In-person Worship
Be sure to watch the video from Pastor Jim above. Included here is the information highlighted by Pastor Jim in his video.
FCUMC’s Re-Entry Plan follows very closely the guidelines set forth by Bishop Fairley’s Covid19 TaskForce’sRe-Entry Plan for UMC Churches of the Kentucky Annual Conference and guidelines set forth by the state of Kentucky. The first two phases of this 3-phase process provide details to prepare for and provide for the re-entry into our church for Worship Services only. At this point we can have no other types of gatherings until we get the go-ahead from Bishop Fairley and the Kentucky Annual Conference in Phase 3.
As we were developing this plan, we were keeping in mind our congregation. We realize that a good percentage of our church family are persons that are the most susceptible and at risk to the Covid19 virus:
- Individuals over 65.
- Individuals with serious underlying health conditions, including high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, obesity and asthma.
- Individuals whose immune system is compromised (Cancer, chemo, radiation…).
We actually fully anticipate for you to continue to worship on-line even beyond our re-entry dates. We will be providing a complete video-taped service on Sunday morning as we have been.
PHASE 1–PREPARING THE FACILITIES FOR RE-ENTRY AND APPEAL FOR VOLUNTEERS
- Over the past month, we have amassed our cleaning supplies–disinfectant, sanitizers, hand sanitizer, and touch-less hand sanitizer dispensers (being shipped now). We have also ordered masks and are having masks made for those who might show up to worship without their own.
- On Monday, June 1, we will be doing a Deep Clean of the church area that we will be using to facilitate our worship services.
- We are also putting together Cleaning Teams to clean (disinfect and sanitize) after each worship service. We need volunteers to clean after our Thursday night and/or Sunday morning worship times.
- If you would like to volunteer to help do the Deep Clean or to serve on a Cleaning Team, please call or text Cheryl Giltner at 502-727-6531.
- We also need volunteers to serve as Ushers and Greeters. Due to the fact that some of our current volunteers will need to be home longer, we need others to help.
- You can volunteer to serve at either the Thursday evening or Sunday morning worship service.
- To volunteer to be an Usher, call or text Sylvia Culler at 502-523-3211.
- To volunteer to be a Greeter, call or text Stephanie Culver at 502-836-2213.
PHASE 2–RE-ENTRY FOR WORSHIP SERIVCES
DATES TO BEGIN IN-PERSON WORSHIP SERVICES
Thursday, June 4 (6:30pm)
Sunday, June 7 (10:00am)
- The two services will be nearly identical–a semi-blended service offering elements of both the Contemporary and Traditional Services.
- It is in our heart to provide some preferred elements of worship for all within the congregation.
- We are thankful for your graciousness and flexibility during this time. Again, this is just for a temporary time period.
MASKS—All persons attending in-person worship will have to wear a mask throughout the service. (Exception: it is recommended that children 2 and under do not wear a mask.)
- We strongly encourage you to bring your own mask.
- We will have masks available in case you need one.
SOCIAL DISTANCING IN SANCTUARIES, FACILITIES AND OTHER DETAILS
- We will need to maintain 6 feet of social distancing…inside and outside the church.
- Sanctuary—Every other pew will be open to sit in.
- We will also have to space appropriately upon each pew. Ushers will be assisting.
- Members from the same household can sit side-by-side and are highly encouraged to.
- Children and Youth will remain in the sanctuary for the entire service.
- We will have a “Children’s Moment” in the sanctuary but will not have Children’s Worship.
- Children’s Worship will be available during a future phase.
- Unfortunately, we will not be able to do our hugs, handshakes, or to pass out items.
- We will have the offering plates on stands in the Narthex of the church. As you exit the sanctuary, you may place your offering in one of the plates.
- We also encourage you to give on-line, on the church app, or mail in your offering. Thank you for your faithfulness and generosity.
- The bathroom facilities will be limited to one person at a time. A cleaning volunteer will be posted outside to enter to clean after one exits the bathroom.
We are asking all of staff and those leading or volunteering to take their temperature before coming. This is actually requested for all to do. If you are sick, please stay home and watch the service on-line.
As you come to the service, we will only have our back parking lot open.
- We will also only have two entry points which are the main set of glass doors and the double doors by the office to access the ramp for those in need of this.
- We ask you not to mingle in the narthex (greeting area) but to move fairly quickly into the sanctuary.
If you have the phone app, there are three survey questions that you can answer. Go to the phone app homepage. Hit the person figure at the top right and this will take you to the next page. Scroll down and you will see these three individual surveys:
- Open Response feedback to church
- Volunteer question
- Return to service question
If you do not have the phone app, you can answer the question concerning “Return to service question” by emailing the church office with your response to the following:
After watching the information (or reading) from Pastor Jim what is your decision about attending services:
- Attend Thursday night services at 6:30pm starting June 4
- Attend Sunday morning services at 10:00am starting June 7.
- Continue watching services online from home.
You may also volunteer to be part of a Cleaning Team or serve as an usher or greeter by calling or texting:
- Deep Clean and/or Cleaning Team: Cheryl Giltner 502-727-6531
- Ushers: Sylvia Culler 502-523-3211
- Greeters: Stephanie Culver 502-836-2213
We know that these things are a major adjustments for all of us. Thank you all for your wonderful attitude and spirit as we start back in-person worship in a limited degree. Also, we will remain flexible and adaptable during this time of the Covid19 virus.
For other details or questions concerning the FCUMC Plan for Re-Entry for In-person Worship Services, please feel free to call Pastor Jim at 270-585-2289 or email him. Thank you again for “Being the Church!”
Check out our What’s Happening Page to see current announcements related to Church and local community activities and updates.
Stay up-to-date with the pandemic by visiting the State’s site for the most recent news regarding Kentucky’s response to the COVID 19 virus. https://govstatus.egov.com/kycovid19
Be safe and while at home during this time, take time to read the Bible, devotionals and other uplifting materials. Being in the Word as Christians, we know God has a plan for all of this and we are covered by Him. When going out, take precautions from the CDC and follow the safety measures to help prevent exposure. Please check out the following for safety measures: So as we practice social distancing, as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends
Concerning the matter of having an online meeting, our youth leaders are currently providing a Google Hangout so the Youth Group can continue to have online meetings and Bible studies!
We also give thanks for your faithful giving to God during this time. In lieu of not being able to physically place your offering in the plates at church, we encourage you to go to our church web-site and click on “giving,” or mail in your offerings to the church. Thank you for your faithfulness!
During these days, we encourage our FCUMC family to take time to pray more fervently, to study His Word, and to reach out to one another and your neighbors through phone calls, sending cards, texts, and other means like these. Let us “Be the Church” for such a time as this. Once again, we encourage anyone who has a need for supplies, food, or any other necessities to please call us at the church at 502-239-8405 or Jim Kingry at 270-585-2289.
We want to thank the Fern Creek UMC Family for your wonderful spirit of cooperation in this time. We thank you for all the phone calls and texts offering your help. Continue to stay tuned for other announcements as the situation remains very fluid and changing. All glory and praise to God!
Personal Reflections from Pastor Jim
As your pastor, I want you to know that my heart breaks over the entire situation—this very aggressive and deadly virus, the loss of life and health, of not having services, the concern for the most vulnerable, and also the concern for those who don’t know Jesus. I have struggled to sleep in grappling and praying over this situation (which Shelia can attest to). As the Bishop says, we are the church regardless if we are in a building or not. May this be a time that we can share the Gospel and the love of Christ in new and different ways. Personally, I have already made many more phone calls than usual checking on our shut-ins, the sick, and offering various ways that we might help.
One other constant thought that I have had over these past few days, is that with the shut-down of all major sports (the NCAA tournament, the High School Sweet 16)–which I dearly love to watch and follow and spend hours doing so has freed up a good chunk of time for me–time that can be spent diving deeper into the Word and interceding in prayer. What if all of us used this extra time in the evening/day to spend more time with God–to not only pray for others but to pray for revival and awakening in our community? Perhaps sometimes God just has to make us “be still and know that He is God.” I for one, want to use these troublesome, crazy times to draw closer to Him. I encourage you to take advantage of this time and seek Him more deeply as well. I love each of you dearly! Let us love Him and serve Him like we have never before!