UPDATE FOR GADSDEN FUMC CHURCH FAMILY 3.20.20 Dear Church Family -
My prayer for all of you is that you are well and making the best of our highly-unusual circumstances in these days of shutdowns and quarantines! I want to keep everyone up-to-date on the latest things we know. CHURCH OFFICE, ELC, LADLE OF LOVE AND CLOTHES CLOSET
Our church office remains closed to the public through Mar. 30. We'll re-evaluate after that. While the offices are closed, we will be doing deep cleaning of all our facilities. We are doing this in an effort to keep our members and community safe from the spread of the virus. The church staff is working from home as much as possible. Therefore, if you call the church office, you may or may not get an answer. If one of us is there, we will try to help. If you get voicemail, leave a message and we will get back to you. The ELC is closed until April 6th, following the schedule for Gadsden City Schools. Ladle of Love will continue to serve meals on Fridays, but will serve them "to-go" from the church portico. Clothes Closet will not be open to the public for the time being. WORSHIP
As for our church services - Bishop Wallace-Padgett and the Cabinet have called for suspension of in-person service through the end of March. Therefore, we will not have in-person worship through Mar. 29. After that point, we will re-evaluate and take it week-to-week. Even though we can't meet for in-person worship, we do want everyone to join us Sundays at 11:00 am for livestream and Facebook Live worship. For audio livestream, go to our church website-fumcgadsden.org/media and you can find out how to listen to the livestream. For Facebook Live, go to our church Facebook page-First United Methodist Church of Gadsden-at 11:00 am on Sunday, and you can watch live. This coming Sunday, Mar. 22, Pastor Andy and Pastor Carrie will be "tag-team" preaching, and we will also be adding music. You don't want to miss that! Tell your friends!
MOSAIC is doing Facebook Live on Tuesday nights at 6:30 pm. Go to the Mosaic Gadsden page on Facebook to worship and invite a friend to do the same! YOUTH AND CHILDREN
GFUMC Youth will be doing online activities on Wednesday and Sunday nights @ 6:00 pm. GFUMC Children's ministries is doing a daily "Bible Break" with Pastor Carrie at 10:00 am each day. Join in these opportunities, and again - invite a friend to do the same! BIBLE STUDIES
On Wednesday night, Mar. 25 at 6:00 pm, I will be doing an online Bible Study. More information on how you can participate in that will follow. Pastor Carrie will be doing her study of Adam Hamilton's book, The Walk, online on Tuesday evenings at 6:30 pm. DISTRICT, CONFERENCE, AND GENERAL CONFERENCE
Mountain Lakes District Office and North Alabama Conference Offices are closed through Mar. 30. All district and conference staff are working from home, and if you need to get in touch with any of them, you can find emails and phone numbers on their websites. In addition, Camp Sumatanga will be closed and all planned retreats cancelled through May 11th. They are still planning on having Summer Camps if at all possible.
General Conference, which had been scheduled for May 5-15, has been postponed. This has just been announced, and we don't know any new dates. We will pass that along as soon as we know. Because of this, the General Conference informational meeting that I had planned to have at GFUMC on Monday night, Mar. 30 will be postponed as well. At this point, I don't have any information to pass on to you-as soon as I do, I will do my best to keep everyone informed. HOW YOU CAN HELP
- Pray! Pray for all those whose lives have been affected by this virus and all the shutdowns...for those who are sick from it, for healthcare providers and volunteers helping in testing, for students who are home, for their parents, for small business owners, for laid off workers, for nursing home and care facility residents... The list goes on! Pray for our nation's leaders, state and local leaders... Pray for our churches and other community organizations who are trying to help... Pray for your pastors and church ministry staff. We are all trying to figure out what to do and how to be there for you and our families.
- Give! Your church needs your support now more than ever! Since we have had to suspend in-person worship service, we haven't been able to receive offerings (obviously). We still need your support to keep our awesome church going. You can always do online giving through our secure e-giving site. Go to our church website www.fumcgadsden.org/give or App: FUMC Gadsden to find out how or drop a check in the mail to 115 S. 5th Street, Gadsden, AL 35901. If you can give something extra during this time, it would really help and be much appreciated!
- Serve! Call and check on your friends and church family. Check on your senior friends, but also remember to check on parents with small children. Check on those who have anxiety during "normal" times, but whose anxiety levels are through the roof these days. I've had some of our church family to volunteer to make home deliveries to people who are self-quarantined. If you would like to help with that, please call the church office.
Finally, I want to encourage everyone to have a little faith. Faith is believing, even where we have not seen, because the One who makes promises to us is faithful. We will get through this difficult time, and we might even discover that God teaches us something new through it all.Grace and peace,