|– PASTOR’S THOUGHTS|
– JOIN BISHOP OLIVETO’S MONDAY POTLUCK TONIGHT OVER ZOOM
– FIVE WAYS TO BE THE CHURCH WHEN CHURCH IS CANCELED
– DISTRICT GATHERING ZOOM CALL
– 2020 GENERAL CONFERENCE MOVED TO 2021
– RELIGIOUS SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE
My hair is combed, my teeth are brushed and my inspirational T-shirt of the day has an image of Rosie the riveter on it. She’s rolling up her sleeves and her motto is: “We CAN DO IT!” We can e-commute and social distance with the best of ‘em, RIGHT?! Well, the truth is, it’s taking time to set everything in place. This “stuff” is harder than I ever realized it would be. We’ve been working on the nuts and bolts (and rivets?) Broadcasting worship on ZOOM (a computer app that allows people to share video meetings) … is coming SOON, I promise. AND we’re putting together a CARE/CALLING tree! Information will be sent out to “callers” and CALLS will begin later this week. We’ll be serving brown bag EXTENDED TABLE meals on Tuesday evenings – passing food out, observing social distancing, and seeing that folks have something to eat during this crisis. We CAN DO IT! We WILL do it, until Extended Table can return in its original form.
I believe with all my heart that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for us to FOCUS and GROW! In the gospel of Matthew 17:1-9, Jesus leads the disciples up the mountain taking them ever closer to witnessing and experiencing his TRANSFIGURATION. He’s preparing them for his death and resurrection — “It’s coming … get ready.” At first, when the three disciples glimpse the divinity of the Son of God, they are terrified and fall to the ground covering their heads. However, in a few moments, Jesus tells them “get up, and do not be afraid” they peek through their hands and see – JESUS. There’s no doubt in my mind that the pandemic will change us. My hope is that the change is a transfiguration – becoming the image of Christ socially AND spiritually! HOWEVER, there’s also a deep conviction within me that Jesus Christ is with us ALWAYS! WE CAN DO IT if we focus on the things in our lives that are consistent, true, steadfast and good – JESUS CHRIST and God’s unconditional love for us.
PLEASE CONTINUE to be the hands and feet of Christ —
If you would like to help us purchase groceries/supplies for Extended Table brown bag meals send donations to the office. We have a team set for Tuesday evenings, but LIFT UP has a great many open spaces to serve!
There are efforts to collect food for students – check out link included in this message.
Be kind and helpful to your neighbors, check in often…
FINALLY … PLEASE REMEMBER your PLEDGE/OFFERING! We still have to do mundane things like pay the bills.
WE CAN DO IT!
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13
DO NOT BE AFRAID!
JOIN BISHOP OLIVETO’S MONDAY POTLUCK TONIGHT – To continue fostering community in a time of physical isolation, Bishop Karen Oliveto will host a United Methodist Monday Potluck over Zoom! Fill up your plate and join the Mountain Sky Conference at 5:30 p.m. MDT tonight, March 23, over Zoom for prayer, conversation and fellowship.
Below is the information to join the Zoom call either by video. Remember: You simply click on the link below to join the Zoom meeting by video.
Please click here for PDF instructions on how to join a Zoom call. Here are also links on the Zoom website for help in troubleshooting your audio and video: Testing computer or device audio | My Video/Camera Isn’t Working
Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 604 248 472
FIVE WAYS TO BE THE CHURCH WHEN CHURCH IS CANCELED – by Erin Wathen
It seems like the link we attached last week didn’t work,
so we’re going back to “old school!”
Seems like the notion of “cancel culture” just took on a whole new dimension.
School — canceled. Vacation– canceled. Basketball tournaments and horse races– both the lifeblood of my people– canceled. Conferences, retreats, events of all kinds– canceled, eliminated, done-zo. In a matter of a few days, this thing has gone from “wash your hands and cover your cough” to a significant lifestyle change that most of us have not experienced in our lifetime.
Of all the cancellations, perhaps the most unnerving of all is the call, in many areas, to cancel church worship services. This seems counterintuitive in a time when people are anxious and need community; when people are facing economic uncertainty and need support; and when people are fearful and need the comfort of prayer and connection. And yet– we have to acknowledge that “large gatherings” are a hotspot for the spread of disease, and that church services can be pretty cozy experiences as far as personal space goes. For all of our best efforts to eliminate hand shaking and peace passing, and to modify communion practices, the best way to protect folks right now is to keep them apart.
It’s sad. It’s painful. It goes against every impulse of church leaders who proclaim faith in a God who is bigger than human fear. And it rubs up against the ego of those who think of themselves as hardy enough to weather any storm and get to church early to get the coffee going.
I get it. I really do. But sometimes, painful as it is, cancelling is the responsible, compassionate thing to do, and anything else is just hubris. Think of this illness as the black ice of liability. If there is a blizzard, you might be able to get to church. But if you can’t clear the sidewalks and the parking lots, do you really want to invite people into a hazard situation–the invisible threat that is just under the surface? This is like that. Sure, folks who are not sick are going to feel like they should still come to church. But they could be carrying something they don’t know they have yet, and pass it right on to their elderly or immunocompromised neighbor.
There are many unknowns here. There is unprecedented territory ahead, and nobody can say how long it might last. So if it does come down to canceling services at your place, here are some things to remember, and some ways to keep “being the Church,” even when you can’t be in the church building.
Support your pastors. And elders, and trustees and board members– whoever has to make the really hard decisions about whether and how to gather in times of uncertainty. There is no road map for this, and there is no one right answer. Trust that the folks who ultimately make the call spent some time in prayer, discernment, and very difficult conversations. Know that they heavily weighed consequences, including your disappointment, and ultimately did what they thought was the best thing for the wellbeing of the community. Thank them for having your best interests at heart, and then
Send in your pledge. This may seem like a small thing in the grand scheme right now, but trust me. It matters that you continue to get your offering in, as long as you are fiscally able. This is a great time to reexamine online giving options, or encourage folks to sign up for automatic withdrawal. Even the healthiest congregations can find themselves in the hole, and quick, after just a few Sundays of missed offerings. If you can’t give online, mail in a check, send a carrier pigeon, do what you have to do. Even if the building is empty, bills and salaries need to be paid; what’s more, you’re helping your church maintain mission commitments to the community in a time when that commitment is more important than ever.
Check on your neighbors. You older neighbors, your neighbor on chemo, your neighbor whose kid relies on free school lunch, your neighbor who still has to go to work and could use help with childcare… Any time you help someone in your proximity, you are living out the values of your faith community. You are embodying what the whole gospel thing is about, which takes church out of the building and brings it to life for others. This is what we go to church to learn how to do– it is ‘for such a time as this’ that you have spent all those other Sundays in worship.
Pray for your church family. And send notes. Make phone calls. All the things that we do for shut-ins, do for each other now that we are all shut-ins, so to speak. We are one body, even when that body is not together in the flesh. There are plenty of ways to stay connected in spirit, and care for each others’ spiritual needs.
Practice Sabbath. For some, this shutdown of life as we know it is going to cause significant economic hardship. In the spirit of #3, care for your neighbor as best as you can. In the meantime, recognize if your own discomfort is just inconvenience, and keep that perspective. Recognize that downtime can be a gift– an imposed sabbath of time to sit still and be with your family, without the usual rush of places to be and things to accomplish. Read together; prepare meals together (can you share with a neighbor? #3 and repeat); maybe even binge watch some Netflix together. When’s the last time everybody was home for this long? Talk about what you can learn from this season. Talk about your blessings. Play a game. Make something. Listen to music. It really doesn’t matter. Any of these things can be worshipful in their own way, if by ‘worship’ we mean rest and renewal by way of connecting with God and others.
“Cancel culture” might have a whole new meaning; but “let the Church be the Church” still stands.
DISTRICT GATHERING ZOOM CALL – The District Gathering will be conducted on Sat, March 28, from 9:30 – 10:30 am. via Zoom.The topics covered will be Quiet Disciples, Equalization nominations, nominations for Sub-District Lay Leader, nominations for District Round Table positions, and other District Committees, Pathways update, and the discontinuation of the District Committee on Native American Ministry. To participate, go to https://zoom.us/j/522107685 The meeting ID number is 522 107 685
2020 GENERAL CONFERENCE POSTPONED TO 2021 – The Executive Committee of the Commission on the General Conference met on March 21 to discuss the postponement of the 2020 General Conference. They made the decision it will not be held in 2020 as originally planned and elected to work toward setting a date in 2021 in Minneapolis.
“As we looked at the complex issues that we will need to navigate to reschedule the event and the lack of options available, it does not appear feasible to plan for 2020,” said Kim Simpson, chair of the Commission. “These issues include the undetermined length of the pandemic, uncertainty around travel bans in different areas of the world, delays in processing visas due to government and business closures and other questions.”
LIFTUP FOOD PANTRIES – Their physical food pantries are closed. They have planned to have a drive-through distribution of food boxes on Fridays between 11-1 at five area locations. In Glenwood Springs that will be the High School parking lot.
FOOD DISTRIBUTION IN ASPEN – There will be a food distribution at the Aspen Schools this Wed, March 25 at 12.00 pm. This is for any and all community members – important – NOT just families with kids. Anyone who needs food is more than welcome to come and get it from us.
RELIGIOUS SCHOLAR SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE – Deadline to apply is April 8. For the fourth year in a row, Church Mutual CARES will award 50 scholarships of $5000 each. The program supports full and part-time graduate and doctoral students who are committed to ministry as a career.They encourage students of all faiths to apply. For more information go to https://www.churchmutual.com/13484/Religious-Scholars-Program
WEBSITE ADDRESS – http:/glenwoodumc.com
MONDAY – Closed
TUESDAY – 9 – 3
WEDNESDAY – Closed
THURSDAY – Closed
FRIDAY – Closed