From the Pastor 6/2/20

I hope everyone is having a chance to enjoy the nice weather we have been having as of late.  I am enjoying getting out more for fresh air and exercise.

For me it brings a renewed sense of hope as we look toward to the coming weeks and what it means for worship here at Sandy Mount UMC.  With the positive data coming from our governor concerns COVID-19 cases, it appears we are in a good position to begin outdoor worship services. These will be short, 30-minute devotional services held in our outdoor chapel behind the parsonage beginning June 14 at 9 AM. If needed we can add an additional service at 8 AM should attendance warrant this.

The format for these outdoor services will be adjusted to adhere to current requirements for keeping everyone as safe as possible. First, social distancing will be a must – we can seat a limited number of persons or groups on the benches, but there is plenty of room to spread out if you would like to bring your own lawn chairs. Second, please bring a mask and be prepared to wear it during worship. Third, we will not be doing any singing together but we will engage in group prayer and liturgy. Fourth, an usher will be present should you need any assistance.

Our team is working hard to get everything in place to return to worship in the sanctuary as soon as possible. When we reconvene indoors, we will continue with our current worship format of a blended style service at 10 AM on Sunday mornings.  However, even when we do begin indoor worship, some may still feel more comfortable with outdoor worship. Hence, these outdoor devotional services will continue through the summer.

I realize many of you are longing to be back together for worship at SMUMC. There is something very special about gathering as a body of Christ for worship and fellowship together. I was reminded of the story of the four men who carried their paralyzed friend on a stretcher to get before Jesus. I’m sure these men were anxious to meet this great healer, but when it became obvious they could not get near Jesus because of the crowds, I think they could have easily left their paralyzed friend behind as he was a hindrance. Instead, they did everything they could, including tearing the roof off the house, in order to bring healing and wholeness to their friend. (Mark 2:1-12)

I, too, do not want to leave anyone feeling excluded from a safe, meaningful worship experience.  As we reconvene, I hope you feel a renewed sense of inclusion, peace, power, and love from Almighty God. I hope and pray you all continue to be well and safe. Should you need to talk, I am always available.

You servant in Christ,
Pastor Kathy