Pertaining in-person worship…
beginning August 2 January 17, 2021
1. Be creative with greetings and “friendliness.” Refrain from greetings requiring physical contact.
2. Participants will be encouraged not to touch anything they don’t need to. Doors from narthex to sanctuary will be left open before, during and after the service.
3. The nursery is not available for use.
4. There will be no printed ‘worship programs.’ Projection will include all congregational participation. There will be available, at the exits, a paper with any calendar items, announcements and prayers.
5. People are expected to find seats at least 6’ from any persons other than those they live with. (It may be most effective if large family units sit in a ‘clump,’ some in back, some in front.)
6. There will be a “children’s lesson,” but the children will remain at their seat.
7. For public address use, i.e. prayer concerns & announcements, corded microphones will be placed on stands, at the front of the aisle, one on each ‘corner’ of the platform. No touching needed.
8. Bold, loud singing by the gathered congregation will not be encouraged. ☹ Rather, we will seek “singers” and place them well-separated from the gathered people.
9. Offering plates will not be passed person-to-person but will be placed by each of the sanctuary exits and one in the narthex.
10. At the conclusion of the service, persons will be asked to leisurely exit, back seats to front. No “fellowship time” will be hosted.
Live-streaming is still a work-in progress but some improvements have been completed during our shut-down. We are still seeking persons to be trained.
SMU worship presentations will continue Wednesday eve and Thursday mornings.
Catch the Spirit will continue for the time being. Please remember that this entails a cost of $60/Sunday. Good way to honor or remember someone or an event.
NEW: Before the sermon we will announce, for livestream worshippers, that prayer concerns may be submitted to email@example.com. Someone will be watching that address and after the sermon, present submitted items, which is where we will place the prayers of the people in the service.
Many of your friends should not yet be attending worship nor going out into public spaces. Reach out to those you know, neighbors or even strangers (pick a name out of the 2017 church directory!) YOU might be THE person through whom God works to connect with certain people.
Wow! Here we are in the midst of a pandemic; record profits by many companies that trade on the exchange; while so many small businesses and individuals are struggling for basics of life!! One of our Christmas songs proclaims, quite accurately, “Christ was born for this.”
It is a time for so many “firsts,” from Thanksgiving on Zoom to over-run hospitals to rationing medications to measuring gas consumption ‘months per gallon’ to Christmas Eve worship online to … Oh my, we can each add to the list, can’t we?
Yet, this is a time for much discovery as life becomes more intentional as the “way we’ve always done it” is no longer an option. We may have discovered the difference between quality time and quantitative time together. We may have discovered or renewed appreciation for going for a walk, even in a chilly evening. How ‘bout the possibility of the family working together to prepare, eat and clean up from a home-cooked meal, without the hustle and bustle of having a ballgame, concert, meeting or social engagement to run off to?
Another way to look at this extended COVID season is that we who have pretty much had the ability to do what we want when we want to do it, and have been blessed with the resources with which to do those things, are having a season of sacrifice. Sacrifice is central to Christian living, but in our “normal” lives we could mostly avoid sacrifice. Another term for living in COVID might be fasting. The practice of going without, whether by choice or forced, it can be a time to grow a deeper spirit; to grow deeper in our relationship with a God who promises to provide and never to leave us or forsake us.
Sonya Renee Taylor wrote this, and it has caused me to be more reflective of life after COVID, whenever that is! If you want to look up her scriptural reference, go to Luke 5:36-39.
We will not go back to normal. Normal never was. Our pre-corona existence was not normal other than we normalized greed, inequity, exhaustion, depletion, extraction, disconnection, confusion, rage, hoarding, hate and lack. We should not long to return, my friends. We are being given the opportunity to stitch a new garment. One that fits all of humanity and nature.
This new year provides a blank canvas upon which we get to “stitch that new garment.” Take advantage!!
Discipleship Ministries is producing a 3-session “Things We Can Do” webinar series to explore new and innovative ways to meet the needs from caring for the grieving to comforting the lonely. This webinar will focus on ways churches can be in ministry to/with/for Older Adults and Boomers during these challenging times. If you are a leader or would simply like to see Grace’s older adult ministries expanded, come to the Narthex so we can watch and discuss these webinars together. Webinar & discussion will last 1 ¼ hours. You may also register for these webinars through umcdiscipleship.org and watch in the comfort of your own home.
Questions? Contact Jane Moen.
Grace Lent Devotional
The Adult Discipleship team is putting together a booklet of devotionals for Lent, written by anyone affiliated with the Grace congregation. This devotional will be used during Lent, from Ash Wednesday (February 17) thru Easter (April 4).
Thanks to all who’ve committed to writing a devotion. Please turn them into the office by February 1.
If you would like a copy of the Grace devotional to use during Lent, copies will be available in the Narthex anytime after February 7.
The Wired Word class is meeting socially distanced Sunday mornings at 10:45 AM in the Fireside Room. John Rahn is the leader. The Wired Word lessons link two current events with relevant scripture and discussion questions. The Wired Word provides great thought-provoking reading for individuals and/or small groups. Contact the church office with your current email address at firstname.lastname@example.org or 262-5970 if you’d like to receive these lessons. You do not need to be a part of the group to receive these lessons.
Friday, February 19: 6:30 – 9:00 PM
Saturday, February 20: 8:30 AM – 2:00 PM
All women are invited to Inspired for Life Women’s Conference hosted by the Church of the Resurrection. "IFL" is a weekend experience for women that includes fun and meaningful connection through guest speakers, worship, inspiration, prayer, and special elements. And this year it is all online so it can be enjoyed by friends both near AND far!
This year as much as any other, we all need grace upon grace. Get inspired, with messages from nationally recognized speakers, including Diana Butler Bass and Jo Saxton, among others.
Grace UMC will pay the registration fee of $50 for any women affiliated with Grace UMC using foundation funds. In person attendance will be limited to 18 people (1 per table except if from the same household). The in person event will be held in the BenTena Room.
More details are available at https://IFL.cor.org or contact Jane Moen with questions.
Register by Wednesday, February 10, by calling the church office at 262-5970 or emailing email@example.com. Connect and inspire one another in bold, confident faith!