12-14-20 FUMC Updates

What a strange 9 months it has been! Since we closed the church the first time on March 15th we have all done our best to protect ourselves and protect others from what we have learned is an insidious, harmful virus. I told one of my daughters this morning that some people probably think I’m “obnoxious” about my diligence and she replied, “You ARE obnoxious, Mom!” … my other daughter gave me lapel buttons that say, SIX FEET PLEASE … she said it was a joke (but there was some good-natured kidding in that gift!)

Likely today, we will probably cross the grim milestone of more than 300,000 deaths in the United States alone.  There have been almost 17 million people who have been infected.

Today, I have become part of that statistic … today I received a positive test result for COVID-19.

I have THANKED GOD I have not had trouble breathing like so many people have, and since my mild symptoms began last Wednesday night with a sore throat and cough (and lasted LESS than 48 hours), my isolation period will be over this Saturday, December 19th. 

I decided to go to the CVS in Winnsboro to be tested last Thursday when I woke up coughing with a mild sore throat because I am so rarely sick, and I didn’t want to risk being infected or infecting anyone else with so much going on.  I even spoke to Brother Henry to see if he could be on standby in case my symptoms got worse, but by Friday night I no longer had a sore throat OR a cough so I assumed I had a good ol’ common cold. Even so, in these last 4 days, so as not to take any chances, I did my best to remain masked and even MORE distant from people than I normally even would have.

Last night, I was looking forward to a delicious dinner that someone dropped off for me and I wondered why it had NO TASTE AT ALL … when I couldn’t smell my beautiful balsam Christmas candle and my coffee tasted like water this morning … then I knew …

I realize some people think this virus is a “hoax” – I heard people say it would be over after the election – I know some people do not agree that a mask can protect them or anyone they are with – someone even asked me why I kept asking for prayers for people with COVID and I told them I would ask for prayers for people even if they wanted prayers for a cold.

I also know that many others see things very differently … I think you all know that I am one of these people.  Please … let us not bully each other about our decisions and agree to make the best decisions we can for ourselves and agree to disagree with those who feel differently.

Our Church buildings WILL be open this Sunday, December 20th, and we will continue to be diligent about keeping those who do choose to come SAFE!  We will continue disinfecting hands in and out, sitting a minimum of 6′ apart from each other, and, until the infection numbers begin to go down again, everyone will be required to wear a mask while in the buildings. Believe me, I dislike this as much as EVERYONE but I encourage those of you who feel safer not coming, or who refuse to wear a mask while in the buildings to continue to worship with us online. And please know, I will completely support your decisions to stay home OR to come!

THIS TOO SHALL PASS!!  Our loving God walks us THROUGH the valley of darkness, He doesn’t leave us there!  The vaccines are shipping out all across our country as I write and treatment for those who ARE suffering has improved tremendously!  Our Great Physician has been hard at work and the Spirit of HOPE is strong so let’s continue to pray, diligently, together for this virus to be GONE!  We WILL look back and see all the droplets of grace falling all around us … keep your eyes, ears, and hearts open!

THANKS FOR GIVING TO THE BACKPACK FOOD MINISTRY: I will announce the total this Sunday so you still have time if you want to go on our website or drop an envelope in the mail slot. Your generosity is DELIGHTFUL!  And by the way – sadly, the Community Resource Center is shut down because a volunteer tested positive for coronavirus so all volunteers are in quarantine.  The Blessing Box, however, is still providing food to those in need, another AMAZING organization!  Pray for all these selfless volunteers!

THE PURPOSE OF CHRISTMAS ZOOM BIBLE STUDY: Wednesday, December 16th, 10 AM …the evening group will be joining the morning group this week as we dive into the joy of RECONCILIATION!  It’s really easy to join … I’ll open the class link at 9:30 am so you have plenty of time to join early and give it a try! CLICK HERE 

CHRISTMAS EVE, DECEMBER 24th, 5 PM … the church will be open for Christmas Eve service and, if you will be watching from home, please plan to have your candles ready!

I look forward to “SEEING” you all, from a distance or virtually, this Sunday!

Christmas blessings,

Pastor Debbie