3-19-20 FUMC Update

It is with bittersweet love in my heart that I tell you our wonderful and amazing Office Manager, Laquita, will be leaving her position at FUMC next week to spend more time at home caring for her husband. Not only has she seen this church through some difficult times in the last eight years, but she has also been my ROCK since I’ve been here the last 2 ½ years. 

Laquita did NOT want a going away party. She said it would just be too hard … but if you would like to drop off a card or a note for her, I know she would love to know how much she has been appreciated!

On a happy note, we have hired a new Office Manager, DEANNA ROUSSET (pronounced DEENA ROUSAY) and Laquita and I have both enjoyed getting to know her this week! Deanna has a LOT of office AND church experience, and I can already tell she’s a team player because we are being NEUROTIC about staying six feet apart in a small space, and she is so joyful about it all! Please feel free to call and welcome her!


I was planning to fly to SC for my niece’s wedding on March 28. She and Joseph have been together for more than five years and were so excited about their special day! Yesterday, her dream hit a roadblock. Due to new restrictions of group gatherings of more than 10, and concerned for the safety of her family and friends, she had to cancel her entire wedding.

Now you would THINK she would be devastated, and make no mistake … she IS extremely sad about it, and my sister, her mom, is also extremely sad, but here’s what Kelly wrote on her Facebook …

This morning I woke up grateful.

Last night we went to sleep grateful.

This has been a devastating week for so many people.

Joseph and I, as many of you know, were scheduled to have our dream wedding next weekend. Today was the day we were doing our final walk through and confirming all the little details. Everything was planned and absolutely perfect.

We have decided to still get married next weekend but with our family only. We are going to do a one-year Vow Renewal in 2021 when this mess is over and my Aunt Debbie Lyons and our friends will be able to attend and do our ceremony and we will have a massive party.

Kelly went on to discuss her GRATITUDE to all the people who helped plan for and pay for her special day and guess what … she and Joseph are getting married NOT next weekend but THIS FRIDAY NIGHT! They’re having an intimate lovely wedding for a few family members. Kelly is FILLED with joy because, in the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t the one-day wedding that mattered, it’s their life-long MARRIAGE that matters. It’s about their LOVE.

How will WE be forced to make necessary changes through the restrictions placed on us during this very infectious coronavirus? Our wonderful office manager is retiring and she has been training her replacement but they have to stay at LEAST six feet away from each other and this is challenging! I’ve washed my hands more in the last two weeks than I have in the last 2 years. Not to mention the change we made to bring our worship to FACEBOOK and you have NO IDEA how odd it is to preach in an empty sanctuary!

BUT THESE ARE MINOR CHANGES compared to what some of you, like Kelly and Joseph are having to face. Look at what our health care workers and first responders are going through? They are tirelessly working to care for people who are sick and scared, and while we’re hunkered down and staying at home they’re going right into the danger zones!

Did you see the spontaneous act of gratitude in Spain this week? Right after Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez delivered a televised address to the nation informing everyone they would be confined to their homes except to make short trips to buy supplies, quarantined people went to their windows and balconies to give a round of applause in gratitude to the work being carried out by Spain’s health workers on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis.  They cheered and clapped amid shouts of “Long Live Doctors!”

Gratitude … a word used to express thankfulness and praise NOT JUST in blessings but also in the trials of life. The apostle Paul tells us to give thanks for all things and in all circumstances even in suffering and to do everything in the name of Jesus out of a spirit of gratitude (Ephesians 5:20; 1 Thessalonians 5:18, Romans 5:3-5 ; James 1:1-4, Colossians 3:17).

Do you see DROPLETS OF GRACE all around you? I know you might need to be FLOODED with grace and you WILL be! But maybe today you can see the DROPLETS of grace all around you. Let’s pray for the safety of our healthcare providers and first responders today and let’s THANK GOD for their selfless service!

DON’T FORGET. Wash your hands. Stay six feet apart from each other. Pray diligently and TRUST IN GOD!

Debbie Lyons, Pastor