Faith and the Coronavirus part 2

I wanted to take a moment to update my Twin City United Methodist Church friends and family about how we as a church will be responding to the coronavirus in upcoming worship services.

We as people of faith in Jesus want to respond out of a deep sense of prayer, faith, and love of God and neighbor. We do not respond out of fear. With this being said the messages from government leaders and healthcare workers are very serious. After consultation with church leaders we have decided to make these temporary adjustments at church.

  1. We will not have our passing of the peace/greeting time. We want to limit the ability for germs to spread.
  2. We are asking everyone to implement a “no hand shake” policy. A polite wave or bow is vital in limiting the spread of germs.
  3. We will have stationary offering plates for you to use before, after, or during the service.
  4. We will not have physical bulletins. We will have digital bulletins available on our Facebook page and website.
  5. Sunday morning coffee will be temporarily suspended. You are more than welcome to bring your own beverage from home with you.
  6. We will have hand sanitizer for when you enter and exit the building. We are also encouraging you to wash your hands frequently.
  7. We will change the way we serve communion. Our next communion service is not until April. We have ordered individually wrapped wafer and juice cups to use if needed.
  8. Please stay home if you are not feeling well. I know church is important. However, we do not want you feel any pressure to attend if you are not feeling well. Please stay home.

All of these measures are temporary. The leaders of our church want to communicate we care for you, our neighbors, and especially the vulnerable.

We are closely monitoring current events. We are considering additional steps if necessary. These might include postponing mid-week events, having on-line worship, and using our prayer phone tree to check on each other.

Grace and Peace,

David

Other coronavirus resources

This post #8 in my 40 Posts of Lent Challenge

This past Sunday at Twin City United Methodist Church we had a special guest preacher. Check it out.

This is post #7 in my 40 Posts of Lent Challenge.

Why A Preacher Should Blog

I encouraged a pastor friend to fire up their blog again. Years ago they posted something so helpful I am still able to recall details about it. This pastor asked me to “give me three reasons I should start my blog back.” Here are six.

  1. You actually own your blog. Most pastors will not preach at the same church. They usually move on at some point. Including my internships, I have worked at seven different churches/ministries. I no longer have access to the Facebook pages or websites I updated. I do however still have everything I blogged.
  2. You have a place to build resources for a lifetime of ministry. How many times have you answered the same questions before? Maybe you get questions about a denominational belief or something about the Bible. Wouldn’t it be nice to say, “let me forward you an article I wrote on ________.” This is why I created my podcast. I wanted to have resources for similar questions I was getting about the Bible. My blog also allows a place to put show notes for my blog as well as a place to post sermons.
  3. It’s an appropriate place for former church members to stay in touch. In the Methodist church there is an expectation for pastors to leave when they finish their ministry in an area. In the old days, before social media, once they were gone they were out of sight and out of mind. Now pastors have a decision to make. How much should I interact with my old congregation electronically. The blog seems like a great place for people to keep in touch while allowing your successor to grow in their new job.
  4. Blogs create a digital legacy. Before I launched my podcast I was asking a lot of questions to Ben and Molly at the Faith Revisited podcast. They have both been gracious in helping me. One of the points Molly brought up was about how we are creating a “digital legacy.” I never thought much about it before the words came out of her mouth. They have challenged me to ask, “What is my digital legacy?” My hope for pastors is their blog can be a key component of a positive and helpful digital legacy.
  5. You can get better at writing. I am not good at writing… or is it not well? Whoever finds the most typos in this blog I will take out for coffee. I may not be the next Karen Swallow Pryor or Teddy Ray but I am (slowly) getting better at writing. Blogs are a great way to help you untangle your thoughts and improve your writing.
  6. Your Story Matters. I know plenty of pastors who say, “I don’t really have anything to say”. Here is the truth: Your story matters. Bad or good, your story matters. Let’s get to typing!

This is post #6 in my 40 Posts of Lent Challenge.