A Letter to our Congregation & Community
For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven:
March 30, 2020
As the writer of Ecclesiastes wrote these words about life’s rhythms, I wonder if the writer could ever have imagined what we are experiencing today? In the church, we are in a brand new territory. When we look back into history, we see these moments when we experienced uncertainty, tragedy and suffering. The church has always been a refuge for people of faith and for society in general. These days, we are called to think about church in brand new ways. We are still the people of God, connected by the Spirit, called to follow Christ in building our diverse community with God's radical love.
We, your pastors and staff are learning new ways to be the church together. My heart was touched this weekend as I listened to our kindergarteners through second graders read from the Bible during their Sunday School class held over Zoom. My heart was elated as I saw our Middle School Sunday School class making funny faces to one another as they were participating in this experience during their time. My heart was full as I heard our elementary children praying together. My thanks to Pamela Garside-Meyers for arranging these classes.
I am enjoying our Disciple class, Christian Believer, over Zoom and meetings I am having with staff and others through Google Hangout. Our District Superintendent, Forrest Wells, is working hard to care for all of us as pastors so we can care for you by Zoom, email, and text. Many other committee meetings, classes, UMW groups, and others are using these means of communication to stay connected. I am grateful to those who are using more traditional means to stay connected ie handwritten notes, phone calls. As the song text says "we are the church together". It may not look the same, but we are the church.
What we know now is this: in conjunction with federal, state and local guidelines our building will primarily stay closed through April 30. However being categorized as an essential service, our day care, under strict guidelines, will be reopening, Monday, April 6.
This is essential to our life together. We will be hosting worship services on our website, www.firstumckenosha.org. Our April schedule is as follows:
Palm Sunday, 8 and 10:30 am
Maundy Thursday, 7 pmGood Friday, noon
Easter Sunday, 8 and 10:30 am
April 19 and 26, 8 and 10:30 am New worship series, “Three Simple Rules”
As we are seeking strength, hope and renewal in these days, I encourage you to experience worship. The services will be archived after the 10:30 am service each week. We must also continue to reach out by inviting others to join us in worship.
Daily devotions will continue to be posted on the website and Facebook.
Breakthrough Prayer and Prayer Requests
Our Breakthrough Prayer is being prayed at 9:19 am and 9:19 pm on Facebook. Prayer requests can be submitted to Pastor Susan or Pastor Justin by email or text. We are working on an on-going online prayer request submission but have not perfected it yet. Keep watching our website.
Our children’s and youth classes are meeting each Sunday over Zoom. Email Pamela Garside-Meyers or Pastor Justin if you have not received the link to join in each Sunday morning.ConfirmationConfirmation continues to meet each Wednesday evening through Zoom.
If you are in need of care, conversation or prayer do not hesitate to contact Pastor Judith, Justin or Susan. We are happy to talk with you and pray with you.
Thank you to all who have taken the time to mail in your contributions and gifts. They are so appreciated. I have included our Easter offering envelope for your giving. During this season, I am hoping to be able to continue to meet payroll and other financial obligations that we have as we encounter them. I have also scaled back as many of our expenses as possible. We are fortunate to have a strong pledging base for our church finances. Thank you for your giving. It is also a tentative time as this is one of the highest income periods for our congregation for non-pledge giving.
Many meetings are continuing through Zoom. The church calendar is on the website and updated regularly.
Service to the Community
Our doors to the building are not open, but our hearts are open to those in need. Thank you to the Missions Team who is continuing to meet and lead us into opportunities to care for others.
If there is any way any of us can be helpful to you in these days, please do not hesitate to contact us. I have been so grateful for the many ways in which you are caring for each other and continue to pray for us as your pastors as we do daily for you. Thank you.
On behalf of Pastor Judith and Justin,
May you know God’s peace and strength in this season,
Pastor Susan Pastor Justin
414-614-4006, cell 262-748-2124, cell
encl: Easter offering envelope