My prayers continue for you and for so many people throughout our country. It is heartbreaking to watch the ripple effects of this global pandemic unfold and to know that the circumstances are critical. Now that we are officially living within a stay-at-home order in North Carolina, I hope that you are doing just that—staying at home while only venturing out for necessities and for work that is deemed essential. The rhythms of life offer a strange new normal. If you are high risk and don’t feel comfortable venturing out for necessities and need someone to assist you, please let us know.
Our Monticello leadership team gathered for a virtual meeting this past weekend to discuss our continued ministry and the way forward for April. I offer a few important takeaways:
We are called to pray always, but even more so now, Monticello Leadership calls you to pray for our church, our community, our nation, and our world, for those on the front lines of health care and innovation and research, and for healing and life-saving response, and cure.
We continue to be the church even at a distance. It is especially important for us to stay connected to one another (by phone, by postal mail, by email, by text, through social media, through www.monticelloumc.org, etc.) Reach out to one another. We are currently updating our directory and will distribute that soon. If you have any new contact information from the past 6 months – 1 year, please contact Kallie asap.
Because a religious organization is considered “essential” under Governor Cooper’s guidelines, our church office will remain open Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Please call Kallie or email her at email@example.com. We believe that her service provides a hub for our life together. If you need anything, please let Kallie know.
I continue to carry out my pastoral responsibilities either from home or in our church facility on some weekdays and on Sunday mornings. I am equipped to serve from either context. When I do go into the church facility, I do so carefully. If I overlap with Kallie or Carol, we maintain appropriate distance. If you need me, please don’t hesitate to call. I am making phone calls as much as possible, but I would be glad to hear from you, too.
We will have no in-person worship or small group gatherings throughout the month of April. We will worship on Sunday mornings at 10:00 a.m. (note the earlier time) through Facebook Live and will gather remotely for prayer and reflection through a Zoom meeting at 5:15 p.m. on Sunday evenings. (See instructions for both opportunities later in this email.) Also, we invite preschool and elementary children for virtual Monticello Children’s Time on Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. (Contact me if you have a child and would like for them to join.) firstname.lastname@example.org
Leadership Council is closely monitoring Monticello’s financial situation. Spiritual giving has radically diminished during this time of necessary physical distancing; yet, our financial obligations remain. If you are able to send your tithe or offering, you may mail a check to 308 Island Ford Road, Statesville, NC 28625 or give a one-time gift or set up a recurring gift online at http://www.monticelloumc.org/online-giving.html. We have also made online giving available through PayPal, if you prefer giving in that way. You may do so at https://www.paypal.me/Monticello2002. Please call Kallie at 704-924-8322, if you have questions about either of these online options.
MINISTRY OPPORTUNITIES: **Website—Staying Connected NOW: Check the Monticello UMC often for regular resources and updates. www.monticelloumc.org There is a new link called “Staying Connected Now” where you can connect and access worship information as well as other timely and helpful resources.
**Share a Prayer: You may submit your prayers at http://www.monticelloumc.org/share-a-prayer-now.html. We will receive them confidentially or will include them in Sunday morning worship on Facebook and in the Zoom gathering. Also, if you would like to be added to the prayer chain, please email Kallie.
WORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES—PALM SUNDAY, APRIL 5: **Sunday @ 10:00 a.m.—We will “gather” for online worship on Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. on Facebook. You do not need to have a Facebook account to access the Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/MonticelloUMCStatesville
**Sunday @ 5:15 p.m.—We will “gather” for prayer and reflection on Sunday evening at 5:15 p.m. We will connect through a Zoom gathering where you can either log in online or call in with a phone number. This time will enable us to see each other and/or hear familiar voices in prayer.
Join Zoom by Phone: 1-929-205-6099 (Dial this phone number.) 6776882374# (Enter this meeting ID.)
In closing, I offer this prayer by Peter Scazzero so that you might use it for “holy interruption” today or in the days to come. “Lord, grant me the grace to do one thing at a time today, without rushing or hurrying. Help me to savor the sacred in all that I do, be it large or small. By the Holy Spirit within me, empower me to pause today as I move from one activity to the next. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”