More changes to come

April 2020

Dear Friends,

Well things sure have changed since our last newsletter. I am now practicing physical distancing and only going between the parsonage and the church. Like many of you I am learning to work completely virtual!  I send peace and love to you and pray that your adjustment to all the changes go smoothly.

It saddens me that we will not worship in person. Elsewhere in this newsletter is an announcement from Bishop Ough telling congregations to suspend in-person worship until at least May 10 in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a few days you will receive a letter and/or email with plans for worship and online activity.

I am sharing with you a poem shared by Jody Thone, Director of Leadership Development at the MN UMC Conference Office.

This poem is from Brother Richard Hendrick


Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighborhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbors in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul.
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,

Brother Richard Hendrick, March 13, 2020

Please pray for me as I pray for you.

Your Sister in Christ.

Pastor Deb

 Bishop Ough video message: Easter cannot be canceled

Bishop Bruce R. Ough is asking congregations to suspend in-person worship until at least May 10 in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and related health agency and governmental guidelines. But he points out that regardless of what is happening in our world on April 12, Easter cannot be canceled. “We may not be able to gather in our glorious Easter celebrations in our lily-decorated sanctuaries, but Easter cannot be canceled,” he said. “The resurrection cannot be stopped or delayed or defeated!”

Postponement of General Conference 2020

The Executive Committee of the Commission on the General Conference has been notified by the Minneapolis Convention Center that they are restricting events at the venue through May 10, 2020, following recommendations by the Minnesota Department of Health, the Governor of Minnesota, and the Mayor of Minneapolis to postpone gatherings of 50+ people in order to slow the spread of coronavirus. As a result the Executive Committee announced that the General Conference will be postponed and not occur May 5-15, 2020. A new date has not yet been announced.


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