Good morning, friends,
As we work through our response to the COVID-19 circumstances of our lives, we make decisions in increments of time. Some things are evaluated day by day, some things week by week, and some things month by month. In our last update about activities and in-person worship, we set the end of April as our re-evaluation point.
As we have now reached that point, it’s time to make another incremental decision. We’re going to extend our time of physical distancing through May 17, at this point. We’ll re-evaluate again as we get closer.
The reality of our life together as a congregation is that many of us are part of the most vulnerable population with regard to this illness. There are helpful resources being made available to pastors in this time about questions to ask and provisions to make, and I’m monitoring those things and our ability to realize them.
So, for the next few weeks, we are going to continue in the way we have been. We will not have any in-person gatherings, including worship. I’ll remind you of what I said in my first update when this all started. We talk a lot about what we can’t do in these times, but let’s focus on what we can do.
We can call one another, send notes to one another, and above all, pray for one another. We can continue to worship virtually. We can be the church, even though we are scattered. We can be the community of faith as expressed through Belair and Osceola United Methodist Churches, even when we aren’t face to face.
When we covenant to be part of the church, we promise to support the church by our prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness, that in everything God may be glorified. I know you are a praying people and I implore you to continue in this way. While presence looks very different right now, it's no less important. We are being called to be present to God, and present in solidarity with our community. Gifts are employed in all manner of ways. We know that financial needs of the church continue and I commend you for the ways you've been attending to those by mail or drop-off. Gifts of sewing have produced masks for volunteers. Gifts of leadership have kept the wheels turning in our life together. You have amazed me in your hearts for service, continuing the essential services we offer, reaching out to parts of our community in deepest need. In the days ahead, we'll certainly be seeing more of those places for us to reach out. And finally, friends, you are witnesses to the God who loves us and bears our burdens with us. You are witnesses to the love and mercy of Christ. Let our witness be a beacon of hope in a hurting world. And may God be glorified.
May God’s peace continue to be with you and with us all.