Mid-week Reminder Message for April 22, 2020
A big thank you to all who have continued to send your offerings to the church, and to those who have been able to go above and beyond their usual giving to help the church at this time. Because of your continued giving, even after 5 weeks without in-person worship we are only 25% behind in giving compared to last year. If you haven't already done so, you can set up auto pay giving through the church office by completing the attached form. Or you can arrange for Bill Pay through your bank and they will send a check by mail to the church each month.
We also understand if you are unable to give at this time because you have been laid off or been cut back in your work hours. Please know that we are here for you. If there is anything the church can do for you, please do not hesitate to call the church office at 712-482-5530, or Pastor Carolyn at 319-559-0678.
The church office will continue to be closed through the end of April. We will still be getting the mail and checking the church answering machine. If you need to get in touch with Pastor Carolyn right away, please call her at 319-559-0678.
You are invited to participate in the weekly Prayer and Share Zoom meeting. The invitation is below. if you have a computer or a smart phone with the Zoom app, you can simply click the link below to be taken to the meeting. If you do not have a computer or smart phone, you can join the meeting by calling the number below on your home phone or cell phone and entering the meeting ID number. Hope to see you there!
Pastor Carolyn is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Prayer and share
Time: April 24th 2020 06:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Every week on Fri, until May 1, 2020, 2 occurrence(s)
Apr 24, 2020 06:00 PM
May 1, 2020 06:00 PM
Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/661931673 Meeting ID: 661 931 673
Dial +1 312 626 6799 Meeting ID: 661 931 673
Dear Friends in Christ,
On Monday, the Administrative Council of Oakland UMC meet via Zoom to, among other things, begin planning for the time when we would once again be able to open our sanctuary for in-person worship after this time of necessary quarantining to slow the spread of Covid19.
At this time, we do not know when we will be able to resume in-person worship. Governor Reynold’s prohibition on gatherings larger than 10 currently extends through the end of April. But because of the rapidly changing nature of the Covid19 situation in Iowa and in our nation, that prohibition could be extended into May. But no matter when we are able to return to worshipping in our sanctuary, we want to be able to do so as safely as possible for everyone.
When in-person worship resumes, we will continue to maintain safe social-distancing and hygiene practices to as much as possible prevent potential virus spread. Though we cannot guarantee 100% safety for those who attend worship, we want to do everything we can to minimize the risk of virus transmission, therefore:
I know that these precautions may seem somewhat cold and impersonal, but please understand that they are necessary for now to maintain as safe a worship environment as possible during this time of Covid19. This virus will not be around forever, and it is my sincere hope that in time we will be able to ease some or all of these restrictions.
Thank you for your understanding.
Dear Friends in Christ,
As I was reflecting on what to write for this month’s newsletter, in light of all the events of the past few weeks, the first verse of a song that I and many of us learned as children kept running through my mind.
The church is not a building.
The church is not a steeple.
The church is not a resting place.
The church is a people.
These words seem particularly fitting to me right now when we, and so many other congregations, around our nation and the world, are unable to meet together and worship together in our buildings and other places of worship.
It is important for us to remember that we do not cease to be the church because we are not, for a time, able to physically come together in worship. While buildings and meeting places for worship are important, THEY are not the church. The church is each of YOU, wherever you are.
The REAL church is the way you witness to your faith in Jesus Christ through your words, your service to others, your love of neighbor and enemy, your prayers, and in the many other ways you live your faith each day.
Each Sunday at the end of the service we say together:
In the power of the Holy Spirit, we now go forth into the world to fulfill our calling to live as the people of God, the Body of Christ.
It’s my perception that these words have never been more meaningful than they are now.
We do not know how long the physical distancing needed to combat this pandemic will last. But it will eventually come to an end once the crisis has passed and the CDC and our governor say that it is safe to resume our normal interactions. Then we will be able to gather together physically and worship in our sanctuary once more. I long to do this as much as you do. But when we are able once again to physically worship together, I hope we will not forget the lessons that we learned during this crisis about what it truly means to be the church in the world.
I want to close with the words the Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Christians at Ephesus.
16 I pray that out of his glorious riches God may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--
that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:14-21)
Pastor Kim Dewey