Pertaining in-person worship…
beginning August 2 January 17, 2021
Be creative with greetings and “friendliness.” Refrain from greetings requiring physical contact.
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.
The nursery is not available for use.
There will be a “children’s lesson,” but the children will remain at their seat.
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.
Offering plates will not be passed person-to-person but will be placed by each of the sanctuary exits and one in the Narthex.
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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.
Annual Conference is June 4-6. It’s all virtual again this year, but the worship on the 5th is the annual “Service of Retirement.” The Conference asked for a photo and also a short reflection of each retiree’s years of service. (Not unlike writing one’s own obituary?!) I thought I’d share with you what I wrote…
The past 37 years have disproven my 1984 six year-old son's statement, when told I intended to be a parish pastor, "Does that mean you'll only work one day a week?" Alas, it is true every week has a Sunday; and the work is, in fact, more than one day a week!
Going into every appointment I've wondered what in the world the Cabinet was thinking. As I've departed from every appointment, I've felt blessed and that, yes, God could see more than I. SO, I have deduced that the Cabinet must, in fact, pray for discernment as they make appointments!
The greatest gift is the people into whose lives a pastor is injected simply by virtue of position. From the 102 year old who said one day, "I'm sure my friends are gathered around in heaven saying to one another, 'I thought sure she'd make it;'" to the young baby who up-chucked on my black robe, leaving a permanent "I love you" mark.
Then there was Alvin Miller, Lay Leader of my first appointment. The church had a more than two decade long history of 4-year appointments. Toward the end of my 4th year I had a conversation with Alvin and his wife Francis, saying, "I think I've done what I can do here and it might be time to move on." Alvin looked at me and said, "Are you sure you haven't done what everyone before you has done and now it's time to go to work?" After two more fantastic years, the Conference left me no choice; I would be moving.
NEVER did I EVER imagine myself an associate, but eight years working with Keith Scott at CF 1st were the most amazing years, for which I am grateful. But every setting has proven to be challenging as well as fulfilling, with just the right personalities to keep a person humble, with a hint of curiosity of what on earth God was doing with that promise to, "work for good for those who love the Lord."
I've been impressed with the commitment of so many laity; and UM Churches are blessed with passionate staff. Those in the churches I've served have often worked overtime and long to help God bring good out of that I've provided them with which to work. (I love you!)
Life has provided a learning curve. One of the first was to not get too detailed with "Prayer Concerns." I learned that when I announced that someone, instead of a "congenital heart condition," had a "genital" heart condition!!! It's delightful that in God's wisdom and humor God is willing to use imperfect vessels.
My life verse is: "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker with no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth." (2 Tim 2:15) That passage precedes and leads me into this new chapter of life, when I'm sure God will find some use for my meager skills and gifts. I just hope it doesn't involve heart conditions!
To God be the glory.
The Wired Word class is meeting socially distanced Sunday mornings at 10:45 AM in the Wesley 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 email@example.com 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.
Last class for this session will be on Sunday, May 23.
Most if not all of you reading this already know Pastor Paul is retiring. His last Sunday in the pulpit for Grace UMC will be Sunday, May 30th.
Several members of the congregation have contacted the Staff Parish Relations Committee with ideas and desires to do something for Pastor Paul and Jane.
The SPRC met and discussed these and other ideas with Pastor Paul and Jane. We have jointly agreed that the following “gratitude's” are in order.
There will be a “Good Bye, Thanks, and God Bless You” box. It will be in the Narthex starting on Sunday, May 2nd. You may leave them a “Thank You” or well wishing note in the box.
Instead of a money tree which some congregations do for departing pastors. Pastor Paul & Jane have expressed that if someone wants to show their appreciation in a financial way, please donate to the United Methodist Camp in their honor. This also may be slipped into the box. (More about this box later).
There will be a retirement reception in the BenTena Room from 2 PM to 4 PM on Sunday, May 23. Coffee and Cookies will be provided. COVID restrictions might still be in place, but there will be plenty of room.
On their final Sunday, May 30, Lay leader, John Rahn will present them with the “Thanks and Blessing” box.
There will be one more “Goodbye and Thank you” gesture on that day. Details are still being worked on. Come a little early for worship and be a part of it.
If you need your Thank you note delivered to the church or if you are needing a ride to the May 23rd reception or the 30th service please contact me.
Get on Board the Rocky Railway
Children will learn how Jesus’ power pulls us through life during Rocky Railway Vacation Bible School.
3 year olds through 6th graders (fall 2021)
Rocky Railway Vacation Bible School
Grace United Methodist Church (311 2nd Ave West- Spencer) across from courthouse
8:30 AM to 12:00 PM
Breakfast and Lunch will be served.
Questions please contact the church office 262-5970
Please register by June 25, 2021 - VBS_Registration_2021.pdf
The purpose of Emmaus is to develop leaders for the church. Emmaus will inspire, challenge, and equip participants for Christian action in their homes, churches, and places of work. Emmaus lifts up a way for our grace-filled lives to be lived and shared with others.
Application form for 2021. Questions please contact the church office 262-5970. Walk to Emmaus Application 2021.pdf