We are the church no matter where we meet. During this time, we will seek to serve our community and each other with the grace and love of Christ.
A Word from Pastor Paul
Following the “strong urging” of our Bishop (and the same from the Bishops of the two United Methodist Conferences in North Carolina) we will suspend in-person worship services and other activities for the next two weeks. Personally, and pastorally, this is very disappointing to me, but what we are facing is much larger than my preference for keeping the doors open on Sunday. The leaders of our denomination, state, and nation are telling us that this crisis necessitates our cooperation to help slow the spread of this virus. While we are certainly concerned, we choose to act not out of fear but out of love for our neighbors near and far. The Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization guidance is that measures such as those we are taking are essential.
Still worshiping together!
The good news is that we are not entirely canceling worship. We will offer an opportunity to worship together in a very different way than we are accustomed to. We have the technological capability to broadcast our worship service online. A small team of musicians will lead us in song. I will lead us in prayer, the Apostles Creed, and bring a message from God’s Word. To join in simply visit our Facebook page or website (www.seymourumc.com).
Still the church together
Our regular Wednesday night activities are canceled. However, we still want to be able to share food with the community, as we have many regular visitors who count on this weekly free meal. We will still order the same amount of food, and meals will be available for pick up starting at 5:00 on Wednesday. Additionally, we will continue to deliver meals to shut-ins and to the Volunteer Fire Department. Over the next two weeks we will certainly discover more ways to be in ministry together even while we are apart.
Pray, give, and communicate
Thanks to your generosity our church has been in a season of financial health for the past several years. We have been able to invest more in mission, outreach, and ministry than we have in many years. Because we don’t want any of this to change, we ask that you continue your giving during this time. There are several ways you can do this. In addition to simply mailing checks to the church office (which will remain open), you can download our GivePlus app which is a secure and convenient way to support the ministry of Seymour United Methodist Church. Text giving is another option. Instructions for this method are attached.
Please keep praying for our church, community, and world. Check up on one another. Keep me updated on how you are doing. We will be sending out devotionals and prayer guides in the coming days as well as our church prayer list. We will also resume producing our audio podcast.
Who would have ever thought we’d be facing something like this? I hope and pray that we won’t know the full potential impact of COVID – 19 (in part, possibly, to organizations and churches taking these drastic and terribly inconvenient steps). But I would rather look back and say, “Well, that wasn’t as bad as we thought it was going to be,” than face the potential of widespread mortality and maxed-out health care system unable to care for people with COVID-19 and all others who need care over the next few weeks.
I am blessed to serve as your pastor, and I’m blessed to share in leadership with people who come together in challenging times to make difficult decisions and who are fully committed to doing our very best, with God’s help, to be in ministry throughout this crisis.
We are one in the Spirit. We are one in the Lord.
May God continue to bless and keep you.