FUMC GRAHAM SUSPENDING WORSHIP SERVICES AND OTHER ACTIVITIES IN RESPONSE TO THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
In consultation with church leaders and following the Center for Disease Control recommendations FUMC Graham will be suspending worship services and other activities effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020.
Knowing how quickly the situation can change, we will be reevaluating the decision each week based on the latest information and additional guidelines set forth by local, state and federal agencies.
The health, safety and well-being of our people is vitally important. We urge you to be following all recommendations including regularly and thoroughly washing your hands, minimizing physical contact with others and seeking medical help if you show signs of contracting the coronavirus.
While there is good reason to be concerned, we made the decision in light of the words found in 2 Timothy 1:7 "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power. and of love and of a sound mind".
During this time of uncertainty and anxiety FUMC Graham will do what it has always done, step up and step out. We are called to be different. When there is a crisis, we run toward it instead of running away from it. While others are driven by fear we're motivated by love to reach out to those in need. In the absence of meeting together physically as we normally do, the church will find creative ways to help us all stay connected. WE'll pray for each other, help our neighbors, work together to meet the challenges and serve together to meet the needs of the community. We'll mobilize teams of volunteers who will take care of those hit hardest by the crises. We're all in this together. These are the moments when the church becomes more than a building or a slate of activities and programs. These are the moments when the church truly becomes the Body of Christ.
We'll be updating information every week. Here are a few questions and answers as we navigate through uncharted waters together:
Q: How will we worship together?
A: We invite you to join us THIS Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m., as we continue to worship online. You can join us on Facebook at the link provided at the bottom of our website or you can click here to watch the service in our media section. We hope
you can join us!
Q: What about those in our congregation who need help?
A: The need for social distancing to combat the virus also creates a hardship particularly for those in our church who may be at a considerable risk for contracting the disease. Our volunteers will be in contact with those homebound members and those in assisted living facilities through cards, and phone calls with words of encouragement and prayers. Our commitment is to make sure our people have what they need. Staff and volunteers will make weekly phone calls to check on our members. If they need something and feel uncomfortable getting out or going to the store, we'll mobilize volunteers to bring them the items they need. We've already had a number of people who have stepped up to volunteer to do just that. Sandra Boedeker is assembling the list of volunteers and we would love to add your name to it.
Q: What about the people in our community who need assistance?
A: When others are pulling back, FUMC Graham is stepping up. We're working with the Food Bank to ensure those who are in need have the food they need. We are taking on a greater role through our Friendship Meal so that people in our community don't go hungry. Instead of the traditional sit-down meal, individuals and families will be given a to-go meal to take home with them. We are working with Meals on Wheels to make sure the people who depend upon their services have ample supplies and volunteers.
Q: What does this do to the Bible in 90 Days small groups and classes?
A: All class participants and leaders will have access to the weekly DVD's teaching sessions. You'll be sent a link that will allow you to watch the DVD session individually and collectively. Some classes may with to meet online through Facebook Live and other options. Be creative. Ben Disney will send out a weekly video blog introducing and outlining the readings for the week. We're almost finished! Keep up with the readings. In this season of uncertainty and fear we need to read the Word of God now more than ever.
Q: How can I help the church?
A: Continue to be generous in giving so that we can continue to minister to the congregation and community. You can access online giving though our website at www.fumcgraham.org. Give your time. Share what you have with others. Pray for each other and encourage one another. It's easy in a time of fear and uncertainty to pull back. Now is the time for the church to be a bold witness for Christ. There is real work to be done. It's time to roll up our sleeves and help people when they need it the most. The church is at its best when it stands up and bears witness to the love of God. An uncertain and fear driven world needs the church and the message we have to share.
God is with us.
We are not alone.
Thanks be to God!
Rev. Ben Disney