Hello, neighbors! This last year has been something else, to say the least. I do not know about all of you, but I
am ready to be done with 2020. Although this year has been difficult, dealing with all the changes caused by the pandemic, I believe that a lot of good has happened, too. Let me take some time to reflect back on these last few months. Then we can talk about what is to come in 2021.
Since my arrival in July, we were able to worship together outside all summer long. Marble has added some
new technology to enhance our worship experience. Vicki Charter and Tim Kartje have blessed us with sharing
the Word on Sundays while I was gone. The Outreach Team sent cards of encouragement to the teachers at
Paddock Elementary School. The people of Marble assisted the team by donating $775 in gift cards to Aid in
Milan. We weren’t able to hold our annual Goodie Sale, but instead, had a Bake-less Bake Sale that raised just
over $3,100. I feel blessed being appointed here and having the opportunity to serve our neighbors despite the
obstacles of 2020.
Looking forward to 2021, I see an open road in front of us to take and see where God leads us. Yes, what lies
ahead may include some more changes to Marble. We need to prepare for what is next when we can open the
doors of our building again. The beginning of this next year is the gateway to allow us to turn things around in
the neighborhood. I realize these might be difficult things to hear after all that has taken place here in the last few years. Also, I know some are hesitant to follow a new pastor knowing there are no guarantees on how long they will be around. Regardless, we need to unite and reignite our fire for God in order to move forward. Will you join me in making 2021 a great year?
In the next couple of weeks, I want to share more details of my vision for this next year and the future of
Marble. As for how I will share this information, I would like to discuss things on Sundays, via Zoom meetings,
or individual visits if needed. Please understand that parts of this plan will feel like sprints and other will be
more like a marathon. On average, it takes four to seven years to make real change happen. May we be of one
heart and mind as God leads us to serve our neighbors. May we represent Christ in all that we do. May everyone around us know that they are loved and valued. Does this sound like a something you could be a part of? I pray that it is and ask you to pray on it, too.
Realistically, the start of 2021 is not going to be that different from 2020. My hope is that this next year ends
even better, and that Marble grows from this experience. The key is that we maintain hope and let our faith be
bigger than our fear. Happy New Year!
Peace be with you, neighbors.
“Coming Soon...” What is coming soon? Well, in case you missed last Sunday’s (11/29) service, we have started
the season of Advent. This year we are taking a different look at the Christmas story. What if we approached the story from the viewpoint of a movie? We began with the trailer and will work our way to the climax. Be ready for a cliffhanger, too! Do I have your attention now? Stay tuned then!
Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said, "The celebration of Advent is possible only to those who are troubled in soul, who know themselves to be poor and imperfect, and who look forward to something greater to come." I am willing to bet that most of us, if not all, would fall under one of those areas mentioned by Bonhoeffer. The beautiful thing is that it does not matter and can only make this season even better. Imagine a movie trailer with a group of misfits that begin a journey not knowing what is next, but who they discover is the real surprise! This sounds like a movie I could get into and provides the something greater to come.
I also found these thoughts from Christianity.com interesting as we discuss what is, “Coming Soon”, in this
season. “While Advent is certainly a time of celebration and anticipation of Christ’s birth, it is more than that. It is only in the shadow of Advent that the miracle of Christmas can be fully understood and appreciated, and it is only in the light of Christmas that the Christian life makes any sense. It is between the fulfilled promise of Christ’s first coming and the yet-to-be-fulfilled promise of his second coming that Karl Barth penned these
words: ‘Unfulfilled and fulfilled promise are related to each other, as are dawn and sunrise. Both promise and in fact the same promise. If anywhere at all, then it is precisely in the light of the coming of Christ that faith has become Advent faith, the expectation of future revelation. But faith knows for whom and for what it is waiting. It is fulfilled faith because it lays hold on the fulfilled promise.’ The promise for Israel and the promise for the church is Jesus Christ; he has come, and he will come again. This is the essence of Advent.”
Do I still have your attention? Stay tuned!
As I wrap things up for this newsletter, I leave you with an Advent prayer to use throughout the month from
author Renee Swope.
I have asked you to stay tuned and most are probably looking for more. If that is the case, then please join me as we journey through this season of Advent with our series “Coming Soon...” Invite others to worship with us
every Sunday at 10:00am online via our Facebook page (Marble Memorial UMC). I don’t know about you, but I
am excited to see what God has instore for us as we near the end of 2020!
Peace be with you, neighbors... Pastor Matt
To say that October was a strange month would be an understatement, considering the year as a whole. We
were starting to get into some things and then life throws us a curveball. At least it threw one at me! The
last couple of weeks have been an experience for me and my family. Thankfully with God in our lives,
dealing with what has happened was a lot easier to handle.
Let me take a moment to make sure everyone is in the loop. A couple of weeks ago, I started to experience
some pain in my lower abdomen. After a visit to a local walk-in clinic, I left thinking I had a kidney stone.
Then a couple of days later, the pain was not getting any better. So, after service, the pain returned and was
not going away. My wife, Melissa, took me to the ER at St. Joe Mercy Hospital to see what was up with me.
They ran a CT scan and found that it was not a kidney stone. Instead, I was told I have a tear in my aorta or
what is medically referred to as an aortic dissection. Thankfully, this tear is not by my heart, but lower in
my abdomen. Are you with me so far?
This led to me being admitted to the hospital for the next 10 days. They spent a couple of days deciding
whether or not I should have surgery. Then they were working on treating my issue medicinally. The idea
was to get my blood pressure down and then see if we could keep it low. Once they figured this out, we had
to move from the medication being given to me via IV to taking them orally. From there, I had to see how
things went to figure out when I could go home. For some, 10 days may not seem like a lot of time, but this
was the first time I had ever been admitted to a hospital.
Now, I move forward and give thanks for each day I am blessed with to serve our God and God’s people.
Thank you for all the cards, prayers, and support you have shown my family and me these last couple of
weeks. We are so appreciative of the love the neighborhood has offered us during this time. Thank you to
everyone that helped make service possible these last couple of Sundays and a couple more to come. God is
good all the time.
Moving forward, I will slowly be working my way back into a routine at the church. Pastor Matt’s
Neighborhood will return, but it might be next week before I go back to recording shows. My prayer is that
this life event does not change who I am, but only alters what I do or how I do things in the future. Please
know that God loves you, and nothing can change my love for my neighbors. Again, thank you for
everything and we still have work to do to build God’s kingdom here on earth!
The Re-Entry Team and I are happy to share with everyone that we are going inside for worship starting on Sunday, October 4th. To begin with, we will continue to offer one service at 10:00am. Worship will continue to be streamed on Facebook as well. Please understand that we are doing everything to respect and protect everyone that comes to worship with us.
With that being said, we ask for everybody to be flexible and show grace as we continue to work our way through this situation. Also, please understand that how we approach and attend worship inside is going to look different than before the shutdown. We realize that a lot of churches have been meeting and there are some that are still worshipping online only. Avoid trying to compare apples to apples. Let’s make sure we continue to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
Keep in mind there is no single way to go about what we are doing and no instruction manual to help figure out what to do. Marble Memorial is only as strong and loving as its people are. Again, be flexible and show grace.
Below, are the key guidelines Marble is following each week we gather for now. Thank you.
Masks are still required along with social distancing protocols.
Entering will be through the Parking Lot door on the southside of the building.
Temperatures will be taken at the door before entry. If a temperature of 100 or higher is registered, then you will be asked to return home.
Colored bracelets will continue to be utilized to show a person’s comfort level.
No congregating in the hallways before or after service. Please head directly to the sanctuary.
No reservations/reserved seats. Ushers will direct you to your seat. No switching seats.
The upstairs restrooms by the elevator will be available for use.
Coffee areas will be closed, but you are welcome to bring something to drink.
Masks will remain on while in the building and for singing.
No programs, hymnals, or Bibles will be available for use.
An Offering Station will be available to leave your gifts before or after service.
Ushers will dismiss everyone by row at the end of service.
Exiting will be through the Bell Tower Doors.
There will be no receiving line with the pastor, and everyone will be asked to go outside to visit.
Communion will continue to be served by the pastor in pre-packaged kits.
Besides what is listed above, here are a couple of other things to keep in mind for now:
No programs, hymnals, or Bibles. (You may bring your own Bible from home.)
The Nursery is not open until we can get volunteers to staff the room.
Pastor Matt and The Re-Entry Team are available to answer questions: Brenda Kempher, Barb Bachant, Lisa Jarema, Mike Sweet, Dave Ludwig, Paul Salow, Tim Kartje, and Justin Murray are on the team.
After each service, Pastor Matt will re-evaluate the steps we are taking and discuss changes with the Re-Entry Team. We realize there will be questions after reading this, and we have also taken households into account for seating. Things are going to look and be different for a little while. Remember, be flexible and show grace. We look forward to worshipping with everyone each Sunday!
Let your faith be bigger than your fear.
Hello, neighbors! I cannot believe it has been two months since Melissa and I arrived in Milan. We are so blessed and happy to be here with all of you at Marble. A lot has happened, is happening, and will happen this year. I thought I would take a moment to share a few highlights of these last two months.
We have been worshiping in-person on the front lawn and have only had to cancel twice due to weather.
That is incredible for Michigan!
People have been engaging with Pastor Matt’s Neighborhood daily on our Facebook page.
Through generous gifts from the Memorial Fund and an anonymous giver, we were able to purchase the
TV’s we use for worship. Thank you!
We are working to complete what is left of your ministry plan.
People have continued to give so we can continue to do ministry. Thank you!
A Visioning Team has been created as part of the pastoral transition to plan for what is ahead of us.
Melissa and I have been welcomed, supported, and loved on since we moved to town.
These are only a few things I could think of while trying to get ready for vacation. I also want to share a few ideas that Marble and the neighborhood will need in the days to come.
Technology to manage worship in-person and online to properly connect with others.
Volunteers to make preparations for and implement our new children’s ministry.
A Stewardship Campaign will be in our future.
More community involvement to get to know our neighbors better.
Small Group options will be coming soon.
Opportunities to serve our neighbors are on the horizon.
I am so excited to think about God has in store for us at Marble Memorial UMC! Please continue to be in prayer for the Church, the community, and the neighbors we have yet to meet. Well, I need to go finish some work and getting ready for our vacation!
Until next time, peace be with you...
In chapter three of the book of Isaiah, we read about the “Judgement on Jerusalem and Judah,” and verse five is where I want to take us. “People will oppress each other—man against man, neighbor against neighbor. The young will rise up against the old, the nobody against the honored.” This reading sounds like some pretty scary stuff and not what I think of when we talk about being good neighbors. Isaiah saw trouble coming and tried to warn the people. May this scripture and article offer some guidance for today.
Since arriving at Marble, I have used the term neighbor a lot. One mistake I have made is taking for granted that everyone knows what "neighbor" means. I want to take some time to discuss what it means to be a neighbor, specifically a good neighbor. Hopefully, this conversation will guide us moving on as a Christian community at Marble.
While reading an article titled How to Be a Good Neighbor, I quickly noted this statement. "Being a good neighbor is essential to being part of a community. When you make an effort to be the best neighbor you can, those living near you are more likely to reciprocate." This quote seems like a straightforward approach to being someone's neighbor and also being a good one.
The next thing that got my attention was how the article addresses how a good neighbor can help us personally. First, it allows us to work toward a safer community, create a friendlier community, and have more fun in our community. Next, we can meet new people, make new friends, and have people to support and help us. Finally, being a good neighbor will enrich our lives and the lives of our neighbors and let us learn more about our community and the area around us.
Now, while reading this, you might be thinking to yourself these are simple ideas. Maybe you might consider these unique Christian perspectives. The funny thing about the article I read and the information I am sharing is from a construction and real estate company. Yet, if you re-read this piece, you will see how easily these ideas apply to the church.
Here are some steps from the article you can take—and avoid—to be a good neighbor. I will be adding some thoughts on how we can apply them to our Christian community.
1. Know the rules of your community.
- There are guidelines we follow as United Methodist, but not all of our neighbors know them. Please do not assume they do and offer to provide answers when they look unsure.
2. Introduce yourself.
- Be hospitable and introduce yourself to our new neighbors. Do not expect someone to say hello to a group of people unknown to them.
3. Be mindful of noise.
- Sometimes it is not easy to hear what is going on in service. Be aware of the distraction you might be causing for someone near you.
4. Maintain the outside of your home.
- We must care for God's House on the outside as much as we do on the inside. Would you stop at Marble if it did not look attractive on the outside?
5. Keep a lookout.
- We do not stop with just introducing ourselves. We have to keep an eye out for our new neighbors when they could use our help with anything. Maybe offer to let them sit with you if they look uncomfortable.
6. Respect Space.
- Understand that not everyone is where you are at with comfort levels. What you like, our new neighbor may not. Respect and protect.
7. Practice the golden rule.
- Think about when you go somewhere and the expectations you have upon arriving. Now, put yourself in the other person's shoes. You are serving our neighbors, and they have expectations when coming to a church, too.
8. Behave on social media.
- Think before you type and hit share. We want to create allies, not enemies, with our thoughts and words for the whole world to see. People check us out online and use that to decide if they will come to our neighborhood.
- Not just with the people we know, but everyone we come in contact with weekly. Things will be a lot easier for our new neighbors to understand if we talk with them, instead of figuring it out for themselves.
10. Listen to your neighbors.
- We do not know everything, and there will be times we can learn from our neighbors. Learning will only occur when we listen to what they have to say. Think of this as praying. If we do all the talking, then how can we hear God's response?
I offer these insights as food for thought and a different perspective. We have people at Marble that are already practicing some of these steps. The goal is for all of us to practice all of these steps. We have a beautiful Christian community here, and we want to keep working at making it better all the time. Our mission is to create more disciples, and our vision is to invite people who, in turn, are living the love of Christ. So, go back and re-read those steps and see how we can serve our neighbors better.
Peace be with you, neighbor!
Peace, neighbor. Yes, these are weird times we live in right now. Everything is going to be alright though because we have God in our lives. We must continue to spread a message of hope for all of our neighbors. Yes, in-person worship is going to look different for a little while. That’s okay. We are the church, not the building, and “where two or three gathers in my name…” Yes, we have a lot to be excited about in the days ahead. Apparently, there is a new pastor starting July 1 st . We will be holding service outdoors in the yard of Marble Memorial on July 12 th . We are planning to serve communion that Sunday as well.
We have some exciting ideas that are in the works to provide a few new things to what we do at Marble Memorial. Erin Tellas spoke about change this last Sunday and she made some good points. Change does not have to be bad and a lot of times it can be good. I understand Marble Memorial has gone through a lot of changes prior to my arrival as part of the Vital Church Initiative. I have heard how some the change has been difficult for some of our neighbors and I get it. I really do, because my home church went through the same process. We struggle when things change in our church buildings more than any other place, in my experience. Let me ask everybody a question: why? We change things in our lives, our homes, our careers, etc. We do not always like them but eventually understand the need for change. So, why do we struggle so much when it comes to change in our church buildings?
Earlier, I stated that we must continue to spread a message of hope. With God on our side, this should not be an issue. If we continue to sort things out on our own without listening for God, then we might run into some
problems. In these weird times that we currently live in change is inevitable. “Pivot” is the word being thrown
around a lot lately instead of “change”. Either way, we will keep praying to discern what God’s will is for Marble Memorial in the days ahead. We will also continue this conversation about what is next and how we go about working with whatever comes our way. At the end of the day, we are still brothers and sisters in Christ.
Melissa and I are so excited for what God has in store for us here in Milan. We look forward to getting to meet all of you in person and becoming good neighbors with everyone. I want to share something, and you are going to hear this phrase a lot, “Let your faith be bigger than your fear and know that God has got your back.”
Let me also address what is happening and some helpful changes with my arriving to Marble. On July 5 th , I will be worshiping with the congregation online through Facebook and YouTube. As I stated before, on July 12th , we will be worshiping together in person on the lawn of Marble Memorial. Our plan is to offer in-person worship outdoors, weather permitting, for the rest of month. While we worship outside there will need to be some precautions taken.
Outdoor Worship guidelines:
-Wearing a mask is suggested (not required) and we will social distance.
-Bring your own chair, Bible, maybe some water and umbrella for extra shade (if needed).
-We will not be singing and no hugs or handshakes.
-Remember that not everyone is where you might be with COVID-19, be respectful and love your neighbor,
If the weather forecast looks like outdoor worship will not work, then we will call service off the day before. Then Justin Murray (Music Director) and I will livestream service from the church on Sunday morning. More details will be shared in regard to worship in the sanctuary as we continue planning.
God Bless and have a great day!
As I enter my last month of being your pastor I can’t help but think about the last two years and the changes they have brought. My heart aches as I remember the phone call shortly after I arrived that church member Dale Dennison had died in a terrible accident. There have been others who have passed, including Selma Knueve. Selma made a big impact on our congregation even though she wasn’t able to attend worship in several years. She made lots of baked goods for our ‘goodie sale’ and the mission trips to Henderson Settlement. She was also a BIG reason Marble reached its financial commitment to Habitat for Humanity - every friend, family member and person who entered her home was asked if they could help! She has left us the challenge of meeting that commitment without her — I know you CAN do it.
Many of the other changes over my time with you have come out of the ministry plan you accepted the May before I came as your pastor. These include updated web-site and Facebook pages, a new vision statement, a new format for our weekly worship bulletin, more intentional follow up with our guests, which was made easier with our new connection cards, decluttering of the church building, painting around the church and a ‘make over’ of our lounge (which is consistently said by guests to be a warm, welcoming room) with better quality coffee served during gathering time. We are also being more intentional about our ministries meeting the needs of our community. All of this has been to meet our vision statement of being “Inviting people, living the love of Christ”. That, alongside our mission statement, “Making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world” is why we exist! Yes, there are people who are no longer worshipping with us at Marble because of these changes. While their absence is noted at Marble, I pray that God’s love, mercy and comfort be made known to all and that they have or will found a home in a community of faith.
A big change in my life over these two years has been the death on earth of my mom last July 3. I am so thankful for the love, support and care you provided me and my family during this past year as we adjusted to this new phase of our lives. I really appreciate the many of you knowing grief is not done in a few days or months and have continued to listen and support me over this year. There was also the added challenge of my dad’s accident which broke a bone in his neck. I am happy to report he is doing well! I know he will miss you too! He did say “A new place to visit” after I told him I was moving.
Other changes include the recent ‘retirement’ of Mike Williams as our Director of Music. Mike has served God through Marble in this position for many years. He also served for many of those years as Director of Christian Education. Thankfully, Mike and his wife Laurie will remain in the congregation. I suspect he will be found upstairs running the audio/visual system at least occasionally. :-) Be sure to see elsewhere in this newsletter words about our new Director of Music, Justin Murray - and a big thank you to Mike for working with Justin to teach him the ‘ropes’ of this position!
Of course, many changes have come as a result of the coronavirus. I am so thankful to our congregation’s leaders as well as our district, conference and the general UMC, for the support and leadership they have provided to help us minister in ways we never thought we would have to do! I am also thankful to you as a congregation for the support and graciousness as we have adapted, quickly, to this new way of ministry. A group focused on what we need to do to be able to come together in our building is scheduled to meet Saturday, May 30. I don’t know when a return to in- person worship will happen but it will happen eventually. Watch for information about future worship services but until then find us on our Facebook page!
The relationships I have built with you over the last two years will be a part of me for the rest of my life. I am struck by how quickly deep friendships can form. I think that was enhanced by what we have experienced so much during this time. I hope you will feel free to stop when you are in the Upper Peninsula! You can even come up north on a mission trip!! (But keep supporting Henderson Settlement!) We can talk about family and friends but I will talk about Marble Memorial UMC’s leadership.
Having worked with you, including several people who have started attending services and are now a part of Marble, for these two years, and having had the pleasure of meeting both your new pastor and your new Director of Music, I am excited for you and the ministry that will happen through Marble! God will truly use you as “Inviting People, Living the Love of Christ” as you “Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World”. You do have to be open to what God wants and that is not always easy but you can do it!
I am your pastor through June. My last Sunday is June 14. I know your Staff Parish Relations Committee will provide meaningful worship the last two Sundays of June. My movers will load me on June 23. Pastor Matt will move in June 25 and be your pastor July 1.
Until then ... See you Sunday – on-line!
Pastor Jackie Roe
So much has changed during this month while some things have stayed the same. Things that have changed include the news that as of July 1 Bishop Bard is appointing me as pastor of Newberry and Engadine UMC’s and Director of God’s Country Cooperative Parish (GCCP). I appreciate all the support, concern and love that has been shared with me since this news.
I have been asked if I asked for the move: No I did not. I was very surprised when the District Superintendent (DS) phoned to tell me another DS would be calling me. Then, I was just as surprised when the DS of the Norther Skies (Upper Peninsula plus a little) District called.
The church did not ask for a move either. The cabinet (the bishop and district superintendent’s) saw a need there that fit my gifts and evidently believed Marble Memorial UMC could be well served by another pastor’s gifts.
Having been a pastor in the UP for 15 years I know of these churches and have even stopped at both of these buildings. In my 25 years of pastoral ministry I have co-lead two mission trips to GCCP. The cooperative is a group of seven churches that works together to strengthen their ministry especially in outreach in their communities. They host mission teams that work mostly on home repair projects, similar to what our groups do when they go to Henderson Settlement in Kentucky. The churches and the cooperative are very active in their community. The cooperative has bought a building which will serve as its headquarters and house mission teams. No more sleeping on a sanctuary floor like last time I was there!
I have had the honor of a ‘zoom’ meeting with your new pastor, the Rev. Matt West. I really enjoyed our visit. He brings experience which will greatly help your ministry here in Milan.
I hope we can gather before I leave … but safety first! Watch for details in this time of transition.
Changes in May include Mike Williams’ last Sunday as Director of Music. Mike has decided it is time to step away from this position so he can visit his adult children who live away from Milan and spend more time with his wife. He will not have to return from camping to lead worship. I appreciate Mike’s worship leadership while I have been your pastor and have learned much from him. Mike will work with your new Director of Music to help ensure a smooth transition. Mike and his wife Laura will continue to be members and participate in the life of Marble Memorial UMC, he is just leaving his current position.
We are anticipating an announcement of the new Director of Music soon. Watch for it!!
I want to say a HUGE thank you to all of our leaders but especially Staff-Parish Relations Committee chair who has done a GREAT job leading through all of these changes! There has been much behind the scenes work with these changes and she has lead with a wonderful spirit! All of this while learning a new job and doing it at home of course. Please join me in thanking Vicki Charter! Of course … there is much to do in these transitions and I know Vicki will continue to lead well with your support.
Some things have not changed during April. We are still staying home to do our part in lowering the impact of this virus. I am so thankful for those essential workers who are working so we can be healthy and fed! Of course, many are ill with this virus and many have died due to it. I can’t imagine dealing with a death at this time. Some congregation members have had loved ones die during this time and I am praying especially for them.
Another thing that has not changed - and never will - God is present!! God knows our thoughts, our struggles, our joys and our feelings. Remember, your feelings and emotions are your feelings and emotions. Feel them! They are okay with God! Just don’t get stuck in one. I do not believe this virus is from God but I do believe there is good that has come from it. Just think about those who have worked so hard to lead us through this time!
If you are a leader of a group in the church and want to meet via the internet please let me know. I have access to ‘Zoom’ which is a virtual meeting space.
Please feel free to contact me via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone, which includes text (906-553-1953). If you need something brought to your house, or know someone who does, please contact me I will do my best to arrange it.
See you Sunday… on-line!
Pastor Jackie Roe
During this time of sheltering-in-place and physical-distancing, when we need to stay home to help slow the spread of this new virus, my thoughts and feelings have been all over the place. I suspect I am not the only one. When we are experiencing Lent in this new way sometimes the scriptures I have known the longest are a great comfort. Though I don’t use the King James Version of the Bible much at times of stress the familiar language I learned it in is very meaningful. The 23rd Psalm is one of these familiar passages which I have been found comfort in these past weeks.
23 1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil;
my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the
This Psalm reminds me that even while I am physically-distancing, God is with me. God is there when things are good: green pastures and beside still waters. God is also with me in that valley of the shadow of death. And verse 6 reminds us that goodness and mercy will be with us in life and that we will be with the Lord forever.
When I get overwhelmed or fearful, I remember this scripture, sometimes by saying it out loud. I also let myself feel whatever I am feeling. I don’t push the feeling away. I have learned it is best to feel the emotion. I have also learned not to get stuck in that emotion. That is when I remember scriptures such as “Go make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19), or our congregation’s vision statement of “Inviting People, Living the Love of Christ”. Yes, the way we do those things are different right now but they can still be done on the phone, through the mail and on the internet.
I hope you will reach out to someone today – maybe someone you haven’t talked with in a while or someone who lives alone. Let them know that you care and that God loves them!
I am keeping very busy learning technology to bring some sort of worship or devotions to us. Our denomination, and especially our annual conference, is doing a great job of providing tools to assist in this ministry as well as other aspects of ministry. We have received word that the annual conference is funding some portion of our ministry shares – a small portion but it will still help! This is another way the conference is helping us. See the rest of this newsletter for the events that are being postponed – they will happen later but they are postponed for now. Please know that while some things are postponed, we are still planning on Vacation Bible School, still working to hire a new Director of Music, still working with our worship consultant, still staying in touch with other churches and groups in Milan to see what we can do during this time and still providing worship and caring for each other – just in a new way.
If you are a leader of a group in the church and want to meet via the internet please let me know. I have access to ‘Zoom’ which is a virtual meeting space.
We will be celebrating Holy Week and Easter virtually. Watch for services to be online.
I am also looking forward to celebrating with you when we return to in person worship. That is another way I get through those ‘tough’ moments – visualizing us together and celebrating the resurrected Christ.
Please feel free to contact me via e-mail: email@example.com, or phone (call or text) to
906-553-1953. If you need something brought to your house, or know someone who does, please contact me I will do my best to arrange it.
See you Sunday! ... On-line! - Pastor Jackie Roe