“Cast your anxieties upon the Lord, for he cares for you.” I Peter 5:7

Saints of SHUMC,

How is your extended Sabbath going? I do hope all of you are social distancing and washing those hands! But if you are like me, you might be discovering that Sabbathing is actually hard! This has been a time of reflection upon how much of our time is monopolized by culture and circumstance, yet armed with such an awareness, I hope we are making time to not only “recreate” but to do it with quiet and peace as our daily bread. A devotional time, a quick song of praise in the head, or a moment of simply listening to the sounds of creation, gives the heart a time to reset.

It has been a trying time, this Covid-19, challenging the treadmill of familiarity that our human nature is so easily comforted by. The church has been especially pushed toward innovation. We are about relationships, but what to do when the power of touch is removed? Will it be enough to sit and observe when even the most introverted among us feels separated and isolated in such times? Cary Neiwhof, a wonderful pastor in Canada, says that the future of the church is connected to its online ministry, inviting others to meet and seek the touch of grace and relationship with Christ and the people of His Church.

We at SHUMC are working diligently with the tools of the internet with the intention of it being an important part of how we reach out in Christ’s name. But the touch of grace, the sensory connection of relationship expects that we will use all of who we are to bring life to others. The Lord created us as a people of spirit AND of body, so I am looking for ways to stay connected during this time.

If you are immune compromised or concerned about infection, please do not join us. Do not risk your health; the Eucharist will be offered at a time the virus has been overcome. Please be safe. And if the risk increases, we will not attempt these options. I am posting some devotions and encouragement on Facebook and the services are available on You Tube.

And next Saturday evening, April 4th at 7 pm, the Chasing Eden portion of the Praise Band is going to offer a mini concert of encouragement for you on You Tube. We will do some of praise music, some of Luke’s music and a few of the songs we worked up for special music during Communion. We might even take a few “requests” from you!!

We are working to figure out the tech, but it should be a wonderful time! Neighbor to Neighbor is available to assist anyone who needs some grocery or pharmacy pick up help. Karen Cole and Bob Moffit are ready to assist you if you need something from the store, so call the office and we will get connected!

Be strong, take heart and let’s pray for one another during these days of transformation. I am sending out a “virtual” hug to each of you and may this Sabbath time be one filled with new encounters with the Lord and life! Our situation is very fluid at this time, so keep up with us on the Website, You Tube and via emails.

Peace and hope in the one who lives,

Rev. Michael