A Letter from Pastor Jim
With the increasing need to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, particularly to our most vulnerable members, the Bishop and the pastors of the Indiana Conference have agreed to suspend all church gatherings for the next 4 weeks and possibly longer depending on how the situation develops.
That does not mean that we will cease to be the church, but rather it means that we will have to be even more engaged in Christian community. It will simply need to be "different."
Alternative ways of gathering are called for in this situation. I will record worship videos to our church website hannaumc.org that will consist of a few words of encouragement, prayers of the people, Scripture, a sermon, and a call to live as the Body of Christ in this situation.
Please send me any prayer concerns that you would like the church to pray for just as we do on Sunday morning. However, since this will be on the public website, I will use only first names to protect our community on the internet.
Church office hours are also suspended, however Denise and I are still at work and available. Do not hesitate to contact us for any need or concern. I will be at church off and on during the week and of course, available for all pastoral concerns. Check our website and the church Facebook page often and pass on any information to those who do not use the internet.
It will be more important than ever that we see to the needs of each other. I am putting together Care Teams who will check in on each other regularly. We need about 10 volunteers to lead a team. The team leader will coordinate communication with their assigned group of 6 to 10 people. This is an opportunity to connect more deeply with each other and to help the church coordinate getting needed supplies to people who should not venture out to stores. Any pastoral needs will be passed on to me. Please prayerfully consider being a team leader and let me know if you if you are interested.
It is also vitally important that we continue to practice the spiritual discipline of tithing. The church still has financial obligations for utilities, salaries, and mission. To facilitate giving we are setting up an option to give your offering on-line through our church website & of course you can mail your offering to the church. I also recognize that there will be economic consequences in this situation for many of us, we are sensitive to that unfortunate reality. As it says in Galatians 6, we must bear one another's burdens.
Our Lenten worship series is Selah, which is a word used in the Psalms to indicate a break or interruption in the singing of the Psalm, a time to stop and consider what God is doing. This time is truly a Selah for us. Yes, this is a time of worldwide concern, a crisis for many, but it can be a gift as well. Let us Selah - stop and consider - how we can more fully live out the Good News of Jesus Christ. Consider how we can more fully be the Body of Christ. Consider how we can love and serve God by loving and serving one another and our community. All things work together for good in those who believe. Now is the time to Selah and let God's grace work powerfully through us.
I am convinced that this experience can be a time of renewal for the church, our community, and the world. Let God's grace flow! Fear not! He is with us. We will need to be creative, work extra hard to communicate with each other, care for each other and our neighbors and pray diligently.
As he lay dying John Wesley said, "and best of all, God is with us." This is a trying time, but "best of all, God IS with us!"