OUR CHURCH IS MORE THAN A BUILDING -- WE ARE THE CHURCH!
My heart is heavy with the reality and necessity of this difficult news. Please, find Bishop Taylor’s letter below.
I know you are eager as I am to worship together with our people. Also, you are cautious, like I strive to be, in light of our vulnerable community’s susceptibility to COVID-19. It is a difficult place to be and these are strange times.
For Christian love for Redeemer, self and neighbor. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Saints, for such a time as this, we are called. This is our time to be Christ’s Church, even as we may not gather at the church house. Mr. Rogers’ mother used to encourage him to “look for the helpers” when there was a crisis. We will both look for the encouraging workers and be them.
Your church is already:
- making daily phone check ins with vulnerable members
- text messages to remind people that they are connected and assure them
- hosting nightly bedtime stories as a reminder of God’s promises and to turn off the news and rest
- delivering essentials like food for children at home from school and necessary household essentials for our seniors and other vulnerable people
- hosting Facebook live events on Sundays
- producing sermons for the radio hour we’ve purchased (for those not on Facebook)
- supporting downtown businesses and publicizing their offers
- Julie is offering support and keeping the administrative wheels turning
- Volunteers are answering the phone, delivering folks to medical office appointments
- Meal delivery is slated to continue with best practices in place to limit exposure of clients and volunteers to any illness.
(I am tempted to begin weekly robo calls, although it was our original intent to get permission from people to do that. What are your thoughts? )
I’ve surely missed many things here, but this is a partial list of our continued connection and commitment.
Mark and I have already discussed postponing Easter services to later in Easter Season. This may happen. We can not set a date with any certainty, but know we are considering all options with liturgical seasons. Shifting times call for flexibility.
It looks like we are in for more of a marathon than a sprint with this pandemic. How our people, plans and even finances may be impacted remain unknown. However, Christ is with us, and we have an opportunity to shine His light here. We can be the Church, even and especially when we can not be at the church.
Please, read the letter from Bishop Taylor below.
Christ be with you.
March 18, 2020
A Statement from Bishop Taylor
My Dear Holston Friends,
Every day brings new surprises related to Covid-19. On this eve of the Vernal Equinox, I learned from CBS evening news that two brothers in Atlanta have converted their distillery from making bottles of alcohol to making hand sanitizer. Their recipe is a mixture of 2/3 alcohol with 1/3 aloe. One brother said it is that simple, but the community needs it. The clip showed police officers and fire personnel thanking them for helping them in this way.
Last week as the Cabinet met to project appointments for the coming year, we discussed the need to close our churches for the next two Sundays. Our hope was that keeping our distance from one another would slow the spread of Covid-19 in our communities. The good news is medical experts know social distancing is helping slow the spread of the virus. The bad news is it is still spreading. We hoped after two weeks of church closure, we would be able to gather for worship on Sunday, March 29; however, we now know it is in the best interest of our communities to remain closed until further notice.
I also learned today that the United Methodist General Conference scheduled to meet in Minneapolis Convention Center in May has been notified by the Minnesota Department of Health, the Governor of Minnesota, and the Mayor of Minneapolis that the General Conference has been cancelled in order to slow the spread of the virus. Since the facility has cancelled this event, the United Methodist Church will not lose the money which had been paid to hold the event.
This morning, Rusty and I were surprised to see that the song he posted yesterday on Facebook has now been viewed more than 1400 times. That encouraged him to sing another song and post it today. I am blessed to have a God-gifted husband.
I realize that although we are not able to gather in our church buildings right now. The spirit of God is very much at work around us. Our connection is strong. Rusty and I watched an online worship service from Cokesbury this evening. The Reverend Charles Maynard’s sermon on the “What If’s of Life” was very helpful and hopeful. Michael Rodgers blessed us as he sang “His Eye Is On the Sparrow.
Like you, we follow the news with great anticipation for the day when we can gather together in person to worship our risen Lord. In the meantime, I want to reiterate how proud I am of you as I hear and see all the wonderful and creative ways you are remaining in ministry. Again, just a reminder that I want to urge all of us to check on those who are vulnerable and in need within our churches and communities.
Our conference communications team will continue updating Holston.org, so please check our coronavirus resource page for ministry tips and ideas. Please continue sharing what you and your churches are doing during this time so we can spread the love and hope we have across Holston.
God's Grace, Mercy, Love and Peace is always sufficient,
Holston Conference of
The United Methodist Church
YOU ARE WELCOME HERE!
Welcome, and thank you for visiting Loudon United Methodist Church online. We hope that our website highlights the wide variety of worship, fellowship and service opportunities available. Please feel free to read more about our church on this site, or come in for a visit. We would love to greet you and share with you our love for Jesus Christ and for you, our neighbor.
We believe that the door to salvation is always open and so are the doors to our church. Our mission is to be fully devoted to Jesus by opening our arms to those in search of the truth. We show God’s love and concern for our fellow man at every opportunity. Through works of charity and opening our doors to listen and love, we feel that we are walking in the footsteps of Jesus Christ.
We hope you will worship with us and grow in Christ's love.
You are invited to join Loudon United Methodist Church for worship and fellowship!
Our task is to help all people grow closer to God and one another. We offer many opportunities to worship, serve others and grow in faith and understanding. We provide opportunities for fellowship and sharing with programs for children, youth and adults.
We think you are important to and loved by God and encourage you to live a life of compassion. We encourage sharing with others the love of God through words and actions.