3-16-20 FUMC Update

Well, it’s a challenging time … AND GOD IS WITH US!
As you all probably know, the news and events surrounding the CoronaVirus (COVID 19) have come hard and fast, and information changes daily. Last week, when we made the very difficult decision to cancel all church activities and close all our buildings, we did so out of an abundance of caution and more importantly, an abundance of LOVE for each other. In no way do we ever, in any even small way, want to jeopardize your health, especially when we have the capability to worship “together” on Facebook. I believe we definitely made the right choice, but I also know THIS IS TEMPORARY! 
Like you, I am relying on the Center for Disease Control for information and recommendations. As of now, the “CDC recommends that for the next eight weeks, organizers cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the U.S.”

But I will admit, this makes me take a deep breath and my mind goes into overdrive to think about: how will we take care of each other, how will we stay in touch, how will we worship? But then I remind myself:

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:34

Again, I believe we have done the right thing, and your Church Council will be meeting tonight to talk about plans for the future. So I will email you all tomorrow with updates.WE ARE NOT ALONE!

First and foremost, communication will be key.
1. EMAIL ~ I cannot send “all church emails” from my computer, but we will work to change that this week. I will communicate as often as possible when we get that done so I apologize this hasn’t gotten out sooner. 
2. PRAYER CHAIN ~ As we already have 74 receiving messages by text, this is the best resource for prayers AND info updates. For larger messages, I will give you a link that you can open.YOU WILL NOT GET MULTIPLE REPLIES and your number WILL NOT BE VISIBLE OR SHARED.
Here’s what to do:
         – Send a TEXT to this number: 81010 (this is a short phone # only for us).
         – Send this exact message:  @now-pray
  – Please set your notifications to let you know when you DO get a text
If you do not have TEXTS, you can gain access to messages online by signing in herehttps://www.remind.com/join/now-pray
3. FACEBOOK ~ If you don’t have a Facebook account, please get one. Even if you DON’T want to share any of your information with anyone – you don’t have to!  Facebook is free and all you need is an email address, and it will help you stay socially engaged during a time we’re keeping physical distance, AND you can be part of worship with us! CLICK HERE for simple instructions. I will be posting a daily message on Facebook and we will continue to have worship on Facebook. Call us if you need help and we’ll try to help! If you have a SMART TV, you probably already have the Facebook app on your TV so you can even watch Sunday worship on your big screen! (Your kids can help with this too!)
4. WEBSITE ~ We will make audio recordings of the full worship service and a short version of the message only so you have a choice. CLICK HERE for audio recordings of all past sermons.
5. DIRECTORY ~ I have ATTACHED a copy of our most recent directory (you can access the more detailed list, with emails on the website, password FUMC309). Call each other – check in with each other – if you are going to the store see if you can pick up a few things for your neighbor. Think about the people that sit around you in church – they are your “neighbors!” (And send us a “head & shoulders” picture of you individually and as a family if we don’t have one.)
WE HAD A GREAT WORSHIP YESTERDAY! It was unusual, yes, but thanks to Ken & Elaina Ragsdale, Kade Martin, Danny and Lola, and thanks to the hundreds of people who joined us online, we worshipped God! And we will continue to worship God! Thanks to those of you who commented, engaged and participated. If you have any ideas on how to make it BETTER please tell me!

As of today, our worship on Sunday reached 1,266 people (this does not include when more than two people listened together!). Perhaps this is one SMALL way that God is working for good! If we use the same metrics to determine how many full views we had (total minutes watched, 4,263, divided by the length of the worship, 43 min.) we had 100 full views. I PRAY we are reaching NEW people for Jesus Christ!

DO YOU NEED ANY ASSISTANCE?  Picking up a few things from the grocery store, a prescription from the drugstore? PLEASE LET US KNOW! We will try to find volunteers to help you! I DO want to encourage everyone to stay safe which means following the CDC guidelines to stay six feet away from each other, but there is PLENTY we can do within that recommendation.

I know I am missing things so watch your emails …until then …


Debbie Lyons, Pastor