A Letter from First United Methodist Church Pastor, Rev. Karen Jones
March 19, 2020 - Today I met with members of our First United Methodist Church leadership, which included Chairs of Committees and work areas whose planning is being affected by COVID-19 (coronavirus). Below are the results from our discussion:
Here’s what we know:
We each need to practice social distancing to keep one another safe during this time. Our Mission Statement is Love God, Love Others and Serve The World. To show love to one another, we are not going to gather in groups of 10 or more and we will stay 6 feet from one another when we do need to gather in a group.
To that end, we agreed to follow the practice of Center Independent School District, our local school district. If school is out, we will not have mid-week activities, including Ladies Exercise, Kids Grow ‘N Christ, MYF or any regularly scheduled committee meetings. If necessary, we will hold meetings remotely.
Here’s how we can worship:
There are still ways to worship without coming together in one place at the same time. We will still find ways to worship and express love and devotion to God.
Currently, we are creating ways for you to worship. For the next two Sundays on March 22 and March 29, we will not gather in our sanctuary for regular worship services at 8:30am or 11am, which also includes no Coffee Fellowship and Sunday School. After that time, we will be making decisions on a weekly basis after March 29. During this time, we are offering worship opportunities in other formats to keep you all safe, but spiritually fed. Here are some ways to worship:
- Watch our Facebook Live worship at https://www.facebook.com/FUMCCenterTexas/ that will be produced the next two weeks at 10:00 a.m. on Sundays, March 22 and March 29. On Sunday, March 22, you will enjoy a message in song from Danny Paul Windham along with a message from me from our current Lenten Bible Study, Children’s Time with Faythe Abraham, Director of Children & Youth Ministries and music by Chris Watlington, our Music Director. Then, on Sunday, March 29, we will offer another Facebook Live Worship Service with me, Chris and Faythe. You will have the opportunity to comment anytime during Facebook Live and we will try to respond in real time.
- Worship as a family using the enclosed Worship Guide. (Mailed out to church members)
- Bishop Scott Jones is offering worship at this link: https://www.facebook.com/txumc/
- Watch Rev. Dr. Pat Day, First United Methodist Church in Shreveport, either tuning via the internet at https://firstshreveport.com/media/traditional or on television at 11:00 a.m. on KTBS.
- All the above!
Whatever you choose, we ask that you either email me, text, comment on the Facebook Live posts or message me on Facebook to let us know how you and your family chose to worship each week.
- Remember to visit our church website at www.fumccentertx.org and our Facebook pages for daily Upper Room devotionals.
- Ministry is still happening! The buildings still have heat and lights. Staff is still working. Bills and payroll must still be paid. Remember your church! Please feel free to give online by visiting http://fumccentertx.org/online-giving-2/. If you want to mail your offerings, you may do so. You may also drop them by the church by dropping them in the black mailbox outside the office. We will check it throughout the day.
- This is a temporary situation! The one beatitude Jesus omitted from the list is this: Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape!
Here’s what we can do:
Please come to the office only if you have business to conduct. If you need to have human interaction, please call me at the office during the day at 598-2707 or at the parsonage in the evening at 598-3616. If you need an errand run, we have people willing to do that for you. Simply call the office to inform us. Please keep praying about the pandemic and all the folks on our prayer list. We as a staff are praying for you. If you have a prayer need, please let us know so we can lift you up in prayer.
Blessings in this uncharted time! Please know we will continue to monitor the situation closely, and if we become aware of further needs, we will communicate any updates to you.
In His Service,
Rev. Karen Jones