New Vision UMC
Friday, June 05, 2020

Sheltering in Grace

RESPONDING TO COVID-19

Friends, we are in uncharted territory.  The situation in the world and in our own community is changing rapidly, hour by hour, and even minute by minute.  I think we can all agree, this has been a crazy couple weeks, so let's all take a great big breath and let it out slowly.  Breathe in the peace of God, and let go of all the stress, anxiety, fear, frustration, etc.  Breathe deep and release all that tension that has been bunching up inside of you.  

There are a couple of things I want to let everyone know.  New Vision is a United Methodist Church.  What does that mean?  Well, in this context what it means is that we follow something called the three simple rules.  John Wesley, the guy who founded the Methodist movement, had a plan and he used these rules to guide everything he did in his life.  Those three simple rules are as relevant today as they were 300 years ago when Wesley first thought them up.  So here's the plan, our method as we navigate our way through the new reality that we are living in the midst of a pandemic.

Do No Harm.  Our number one priority is to do no harm.  We are going to do everything we can to make sure we aren't adding to the chaos or putting people at risk.  In the effort to do no harm, we are closely monitoring the situation as it unfolds, educating ourselves and following the recommendations of our local health authorities and denominational leaders.  What does that look like?  It means that we are canceling in-person worship for starters.  This is not as a response born of fear, but rather a decision based in science and our values as people of faith.   Part of being church is looking out for and protecting those who are most vulnerable.  Not meeting in person for worship on Sunday is an act of Christian discipleship; it is how we care for each other.  We put the needs of others before our own (check out Philippians 2:3-5).  In order to do no harm we are also making sure our facilities are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, we are canceling gatherings, and when we do meet we are practicing social distancing.  

Do Good.  After we ensure that we are not doing things that will cause harm, our second mandate is to do good.  This goes back to the whole looking out for and caring for those who are most vulnerable.  Through this time we are going to be seeking ways for individuals to support each other safely.  This is going to take some creativity on our part.  I'm thinking of things like making sure people stay connected and aren't socially isolated even if we have to be physically separated.  Things like making sure folks who are sick or can't be out an about have the food and supplies they need.  That may look like dropping off casseroles and a case of toilet paper, or that may look like teaching folks how to order groceries online for delivery.  If you see a need, let us know.  We want to be doing good in all the ways we can in the midst of all of this. 

Stay in Love with God.  Last, but certainly not least, we will be figuring out how to stay connected to our faith, how to be church even when we can't gather in the ways we usually would.  Once again, this is going to take some creativity on our part.  Things that are in the works include setting up an online worship experience so that we can worship together even if we aren't physically together, taking advantage of technology that will enable us to hold meetings and even our Lenten study remotely (video conferencing has come a long way!), email devotions, recorded sermons, virtual prayer groups, etc.  This is going to take time and it will undoubtedly be a little bumpy, so please remember to be patient.

In all of this, keep praying!  Pray for the communities impacted by this virus around the world and right here in our neighborhood.  Pray for students and teachers and families who are being impacted by school closures.  Pray for the scientists who are working day and night to find a way to fight this virus.  Pray for all the healthcare workers who are working overtime and putting themselves at risk to care for the rest of us.  Pray for our leaders.  Pray for those who are most vulnerable in our communities.

Pray.  Take courage.  Consider the least of these.  And press on.  God is with us.   

Pastor Beth <><

 

P.S. - Stay tuned for updates!

 

News and Events

Worship Online - April 5, 9:30 am

Join us as we celebrate Palm Sunday.  We'll have music and a message from Pastor Beth at 9:30 am on Facebook, followed by a time of prayer and fellowship on Zoom at 10:15 am.  Check your email for full details.  

Worship + Music + Message (9:30 am).  

Prayer + Fellowship (10:15 am).

Daily Video Devotions

Pastor Beth is filming a video devotion every day to help us all stay connected and grounded in our faith during these trying times.  You can find them on Facebook and YouTube.

Snack-n-Chat with Pastor Beth - Tuesdays & Thursdays at 2:00 pm

Grab a snack and something to sip, and join Pastor Beth on Zoom for a time to check in, catch up, and chat.  We may be physically separated, but that doesn't mean we should be socially isolated.  Let's connect!  Don't know how to get in on the fun?  Click here for login instructions.

  

Get Connected

Now more than ever, we need to be connecting.  Here's how to get plugged in, ask a question, stay updated, etc.

 

Additional Resources 

Here are some resources for more information.  When in doubt contact your doctor.  Click on the image to go to that website. 

Cal-Nev Annual Conference

The latest news and info from our annual conference about how we are responding at at the conference and local church level.

 

San Mateo County Public Health

This gives up-to-date information and recommendations specific to our county.

Center for Disease Control

This is the ultimate guide for up-to-date scientific information and recommendations.