Dear Messiah family,
As I was eating breakfast this morning, I turned on the news. A few minutes later, I turned it off. It’s not that I wasn’t interested in what is happening (though, as you know it is all covid19 all the time), but I could feel this dread inside. It is not how I wanted to begin my day, and not how I needed to begin my day. In recent days, I’ve been watching and reading the news less and less – not because I am ignoring the pain and suffering across this nation, just the opposite. I’ve never prayed as much and listened for God’s direction as much as I am in these days of uncertainty.
I keep returning to the prayer that became the basis for our worship in December: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. If you heard that series, you may remember the scene from the Seinfeld show when George Costanza’s father kept shouting, “Serenity now!” I’ve not been shouting, but my soul has been crying out for serenity for all of us. And when I’m not praying, I’m focused on what I can change (like listening to less news and assisting the people around me). Somehow I see these days as an opportunity to attend to my soul and to invite you to do so as well.
I hope that you have received a phone call. If not, it is likely that we do not have a current phone number for you. If in the past couple years, you have dropped your land line, we may not have your cell phone number. To be sure, you can email Carolyn Loeffler in our church office at email@example.com. Thank you to those of you who have been making the calls and those of you who are lifting up the prayer requests that we are receiving.
Worship Live Stream
The past two Sundays, we have had difficulty with our worship live stream. The company that we had been using was unable to keep up with the sudden increase in participation. We switched companies this week and completed that change yesterday. If you missed last Sunday’s worship, it is now available online. If you go to that page, you will also see a few tips at the bottom of the page that may help you with your connection. And if you are not sure how to connect with our online worship, we have created a tutorial video to assist you.
This Sunday is Palm Sunday. Would you join me in the Palm Sunday processional? Once again, this Sunday we will be live streaming at 8:45 am ONLY, but you can participate later by clicking “On Demand.” Make your own palm branch – or use the “palms” that God gave you – and join me as worship begins with Jesus’ joy-filled entry into Jerusalem. Then stay for the message that will help us connect what happened 2000 years ago to what is happening in our lives today. I’ve titled the message, Hosanna Living.
- Maundy Thursday with Virtual Communion, April 9 at 7 pm. Prepare for this online service by having bread and a cup of juice or water for each participant.
- Good Friday, April 10 at 7:30 pm. This will be an online meditative service of music, scripture, and prayer.
Join us on Facebook Live. If you have never joined Facebook, let me give you a reason to do so this week.
- Pastor Tami on Mondays at 10 am focused on prayer.
- Karen Klekner, our Children’s Director, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 4 pm with a story time and activity for children.
- I will be on Facebook on Wednesdays at 8 am with a message of hope.
All of these will be available later on Messiah’s Facebook page. This is one of the ways we are hoping to connect with you and offer a message of encouragement. Be sure to “Follow” “Messiah United Methodist Church” and “Messiah’s Kids” on Facebook, for Facebook Live notifications and other upcoming events and activities.
I also want to provide an update on Bloom Early Learning and Child Care. We know this program has an important role to play in our community. As I write this, we are planning to reopen the Center on Monday, April 13 as an Essential Worker Center which will accept children from parents who are considered essential health care workers and first responders. We will also be open for the families already enrolled, knowing some will choose to return and some will not. We will be following new guidelines provided by the Minnesota Health Department. Pray for the staff and the families that will be attending.
I am so grateful and proud of the ways you are responding to the need for food. Food insecurity is a real and present need for Bloom and Messiah families. Here’s photo of what is ready this morning to be delivered to families. Thank you to everyone who has been donating funds and food, shopping and making deliveries.
You can support our local Food Shelves by making an Easter “Virtual Flowers” gift. We’d love to share your tribute in our Easter worship.
Finally, as I said at the start of my message last Sunday, “I miss all of you.” I am praying for you and specifically for those requests that are coming to me each day. I am grateful to be part of our Messiah family and proud to be one of your pastors. I hope you will join me for worship ONLINE this Sunday.
In Christ’s love,
Please Pray with Me
Gracious God, we pray for the Holy Spirit to break through and renew Messiah United Methodist Church, unleashing a fearless, Spirit-led congregation! Empower our pastors, leaders, and everyone who walks through our doors with the contagious, miraculous, saving message of Jesus. Boldly use each of us, without limits, to reach new people and heal a broken world. Create in us a joyful heart for all that You are doing in and through us to change lives and transform the world. We pray in the precious and powerful name of Jesus. Amen.
Join Us on Sunday
Traditions Worship: 8:45 am | Journey Worship: 10:30 am
Worship Online: Live stream of our Traditions service at 8:45 am and Journey contemporary worship service at 10:30 am every Sunday morning. Prior Sunday broadcasts are available on demand all week at your convenience.