June 3, 2020 Update for Christ UMC, Selinsgrove, PA
Blessings Christ UMC, Selinsgrove, PA Family & Friends,
I write to you today with many emotions. I am grateful for the incredible generosity of Christ United Methodist Church, Selinsgrove, PA. You have been faithful in your giving and gracious in providing additional support in time, talents and treasures. I cannot thank you enough for your outpouring of compassion, devotion and love. I also write to you today with the emotion of grief over the loss of life due to the coronavirus and due to racism. Both of these items are plaguing our nation at this time. I also write today with the emotion of hope as my family is on the eve of celebrating Anna graduating from high school (all be it not the way we imagined) and for the opportunity to do some church activities in person on Christ UMC, Selinsgrove land. As you can see, many emotions are within me right now as I am sure they might be within you as well.
Today, I am excited to announce that in addition to our online offerings, we will be able to have in person worship services starting Sunday, June 7. The following schedule will be followed for this Sunday and also for Sunday, June 14:
9:15am & 10:30am Half Hour Worship at the Outdoor Worship Center (OWC/Pavilion)with Communion (please bring your own elements). We ask that you bring your own chair and social distance from each other. In addition, please wear a mask if you plan to sit under the OWC. I am going to attempt to set up in such a way that allows some people to sit in their car to hear and worship. Also, to allow people who cannot wear a mask, to sit slightly farther away while still being able to hear. Please also bear with us as I am sure the first Sunday will have glitches while we figure this out. There will be no congregational singing (we might try to hum lightly a familiar hymn) and we will not pass the peace. Additionally, please be willing to leave by no later than 10am if you attend the 9:15am service so we can prepare for the 10:30am. We will also be trying to get a rough count by Facebook and other means to determine how many will be attending each service. This is to help in figuring out set up for each service.
The Contemporary Christian Sunday School Class will be meeting as a small group at 8:15am in the OWC on Sunday Morning. This will be the second Small Group/Class to begin meeting in person, the other being Monday Morning Men. We will be working on how other groups can meet throughout the month of June.
We will continue having online classes/worship/prayer which includes our normal Facebook and YouTube posting of produced online worship. The following is the schedule for online ministry starting Saturday, June 6:
Saturday, June 6, 2020: 7pm ~ Worship Posted to Christ UMC, Selinsgrove Facebook Page
Sunday, June 7, 2020: 7am ~ Worship Posted to Ryan-Gephart Facebook Page; Prayer Post Facebook Page and YouTube Page ~ Christ UMC, Selinsgrove Worship.
We will also continue Monday Morning Wesleyan Theology & Tuesday Morning Bible Study both at 10am on Facebook Live (Ryan Gephart-Pastor Page). This will continue for June 8 & 9 respectively. We are not ready for Tuesday Morning Bible Study to meet in person most likely till the Fall. Monday Morning Men will meet at the OWC for the month of June at 10am. Youth Group will take this Sunday off (June 7) and will look to see if there are ways we can meet in person at the OWC or maybe even a day trip to Wesley Forest (youth leaders and parents will have to be consulted and surveyed over the next couple of weeks). Children’s ministry will not meet in person till the fall and Amanda Rousu with our children’s ministry staff will have a take home Vacation Bible School including online videos (shown in worship and other times) starting the end of June/beginning of July (more information to come later in June).
On Friday, June 5 we are having the OWC completely power washed and sanitized by a professional company in preparation for Sunday Services. The funds for this service have been donated by a member of the church.
I would like to reiterate that I am so thankful to serve an amazing church like Christ UMC, Selinsgrove, PA. You are amazingly generous and kind. Your faithfulness inspires me. I covet your prayers for the staff and leadership of our church as we continue to move into a new normal of doing ministry. Please also continue to keep our nation and community in prayer as we live out our membership vows to “resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.”