Dear Church family,
What a week! The Center for Disease Control (CDC) late Sunday urged “no groups of more than 50 people meet for the next 8 weeks.” Today, our bishop wrote, “All United Methodist pastors and congregations… are expected to follow all CDC guidelines without exception.” What does this mean for Acts 2 United Methodist Church? With much more information to come in the days and weeks ahead, what it means today is that we will stay connected online while the physical campus is closed and all gatherings are postponed until Sunday, May 17.
I want to share with you three things I want you to know and three things I want each of us to do.
What I Want You to Know
- We will worship together by Livestream each week at 9:15am and learn and fellowship together by Livestreaming Wednesday night programming and teaching for Children, Youth, and Adults.
- The Bible teaches us, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except from God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God.” We are to be faithful citizens of heaven and earth, which at times requires sacrifice of time, pleasures, or comforts to help the sick or vulnerable.
- God loves you and your church family loves you. While this is new to all of us, God makes a way even when we can’t see it yet. Those of you who have built Acts 2 Church alongside me know this to be true. We didn’t know how we would purchase land or build our first facility or make it past Y2K, 9/11, or the 2008 recession, but here we are by the grace of Jesus! Our Administrative Council will meet by conference call on Sunday, April 19 to assess the situation and make any decisions needed in this time.
- Stay connected and faithful by attending worship online, praying, singing, and giving online, checking on your church friends by text, email, phone call, or by letter. This is living out Acts 2:42: Apostles’ teaching (scripture and preaching online), fellowship (being there for one another), breaking of bread (communion), and prayer.
- Follow the 3 General Rules of Methodists: Do no harm. Do good by acts of mercy. Do good by acts of vital piety (worship, prayer, study, fasting, communion, giving).
- Let me or Brandon or John, as your pastors, know how you are doing. How can we be praying for you? Do you need something other than prayer? How can we better stay connected with you during this time?
Personally, I am sad to not be able to gather in this Easter season (April 12) as Chantelle and I so enjoy being with you and having little ones wrap their arms around us each week. I’m guessing you have big feelings about this as well. I’m happy to listen and walk through this together.
The last time American Christians faced something of this magnitude was before any of us were born, around 1918. However, God is guiding us. We have many knowledgeable health professionals among our membership who have encouraged us in this direction. Our top church leaders met all day Monday and Monday evening to get to this decision. It was confirmed and required by Bishop Nunn this morning. You can read the bishop’s message to Oklahoma churches here.
Pray for me as I am praying for you. God can do more than we can even think or imagine. Even as we love our neighbor by suspending meeting in person for 8 weeks, we will continue to create a people who sing God’s praises, serve God’s children, and share God’s salvation until Christ comes again.
I’m praying with you and for you in this time.