When Our Confidence is Shaken

When Our Confidence is Shaken

“When our confidence is shaken in beliefs once thought secure
When the spirit in its sickness seeks but cannot find a cure
God is there active in a faith not yet mature.”
— When Our Confidence is Shaken, UMH 505

The United Methodist Hymnal is full of some wonderful, well known songs that lift the spirit and evoke everything from smiles to tears for those who sing them. But there are many hymns we rarely use, Like the one above, that are filled with unusual and sometime obscure ideas that can lead us to the truth of God and shine a light on our human condition. These are challenging days, and I do pray that you are social distancing and isolating as you feel necessary. SHUMC is still, albeit minimally and as safely as possible, still ministering in every way we possibly can. I wanted to share with you some of the ways in which we are still attempting to serve you in Christ’s name.

We are trying our best to keep the online worship filled with songs and spirit. We are following all national guidelines for social distancing and sanitization, so the few people who are gathering to create a worship experience are armed with all the required safety precautions to keep people healthy and virus free. Should the virus numbers increase in the state or if we are asked by our leaders to stay in place, we will do exactly that and the Sunday worship will be simply a sermon and devotion. We hope to do something on livestream every Sunday at 9 am as long as we can, but health will be our priority.

If you need Rev. Michael for an emergency, please call our home phone and leave a message. Anne and I receive a ton of spam/robo calls, so we do screen our calls. If you leave a message, we will get back to you as soon as we possibly can and with social distancing guidelines, help in any way we can.

Office hours, for the sake of exposure, will be shortened for the immediate future. Sandi will be checking phones regularly, so again, leave a message, but if you do need us someone will be available Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9:00 a.m. to noon.

Your gifts and offerings are very important at this time. Thank you, thank you thank you to all who are sending in you gifts by mail and through the EFT program! Our intent is to continue paying the staff during this time, and our reserves will last through about June. If you need any guidance on how to get your offerings to us, we will be happy to answer your questions during office hours.

Worship for Easter and Holy week is still “under construction”, but this Sunday we will take communion from home. I will post a video on the social media sites about this and in a few days I will send out an email explaining the experience. Keep some bread and grape juice handy!

We are in a fog of crisis, and not always seeing with eyes of confidence and clarity. I am working as diligently as I can to keep our eyes on the prize of Christ, but along the way many voices find their way into the conversation. We will continue to responsibly and actively bring ministry to you, so please pray for us as we stumble toward the Lord’s Kingdom. Be safe, social distance and catch some joy today as the Lord speaks in a time of trial and reliance.
Keep serving, spend some time in prayer and may our lives draw from the Spirit so that we may live fully into the future that is before us!!

In one peace,
Rev. Michael

Palm Sunday Worship and Communion 2020

Palm Sunday Worship and Communion 2020

Covid 19 has made our capacity to gather in groups unfeasible, but the need for liturgical comfort has been acknowledged by the United Methodist Church. Recently the Council of Bishops approved a temporary process for taking Communion at home. This week is Palm Sunday and we will be consecrating the elements during the 9:00 a.m. worship while we livestream. For all that would like to join us, please tune in! For those who wish to take communion with us as a community, whether watching the livestream or not, here is the process for partaking with us as a community.

You will need some bread and grape juice; just a small cup and a roll, a pita or even a water cracker will work just fine. I will be sharing the words of Institution at 9:30, so if you are not on the livestream, you can say a prayer of gratitude and grace, take the bread and remember the words we share when the bread is broken “This is my body, given for you. So often as you partake, do so in remembrance of me.”

Then take the cup, and then proclaim “This is my blood, shed for you and for the sins of many. So often as you drink, do so in remembrance of me.” Once we have finished, the opportunity to once again give thanks is before you and perhaps you might close with a verse of your favorite hymn (Amazing Grace perhaps!?)

We will try our best to bring worship to you via the livestream and the website for Holy Week, but should the virus increase in Southern Utah, we will minimize contact and make sure all are protected from exposure.

Current schedule live steam:
Sunday, April 5th, 9:00 a.m. Worship with communion.
Friday, April 10th, 7:00 p.m. Good Friday with Rev. Joe Doherty of New Promise
Easter April 12th, 9:00 a.m. Worship

We will be under the Government mandated 10 people gatherings at all events, but if the worst case, I will present only some prayer, a homily and maybe Rev. Michael’s guitar (unless I can get Anne to sing!). Should our area take a dramatic turn for the worse, the livestream will be suspended, and I will post a prerecorded video from home.

The Staff and I are taking into account every circumstance and possibility during this pandemic. We are diligently sanitizing, social distancing and will seek the welfare of every person involved as a priority. Continue to pray for us, to join us and I thank you for your continued support by your prayers, presence and offerings. Our community is alive, the Kingdom is coming and each one of us is light of God’s grace in this struggling world! Keep Calm and keep the faith!

We are Jesus’ people, and I know we will be together again, sharing the songs, the laughter, the hugs and handshakes of a people born of the greatest love of all.

In His love,
Rev. Michael